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Coffee History

The roasting industry grew as coffee became popular in Europe


It all started with a curious goat. At least that's what the legends say. 9th century Ethiopian goat herder Kaldi drank a concoction made from the beans after seeing his energetic goats eat them.  The Sufi monks of Yemen in the 15th century were said to drink it as well. Soon it was popularised in Arabic coffee houses and spread to India, Europe and beyond.

French botanists looked after the Noble Tree for King Louis XIV

In the early 1700s the French were so interested in growing their own coffee, they attempted to plant it in the Dijon region. This attempt was a failure due to the cold temperatures in the area which were too cold to grow coffee.


King Louis XIV, a fan of the drink, coveted a coffee tree of his very own. Fortunately for him, the Dutch, who had some success growing coffee trees in Java, owed him a favor and agreed to bring him a tree, dubbed The Noble Tree. Royal botanists looked after the tree in the first European greenhouse and it became one of the highest yielding coffee trees in the world – fathering billions of Arabica trees that were exported to the Americas and elsewhere....


Coffee had to be smuggled to the Americas

It may seem to you that coffee is everywhere in the Americas now, but it didn’t take root there until Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu smuggled some seeds from The Noble Tree in France and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the island of Martinique.


Though the French tried to contain the production of coffee to their considerable territories in the region, coffee was in too much demand not to spread. It is said that Francisco de Melo Palheta brought coffee seedlings to Brazil by seducing the wife of the governor of French Guinea. After Brazil came Costa Rica and Colombia, two countries whose economies benefitted richly from the crop.


The popularity of NESCAFÉ really took off in the 1940s

The NESCAFÉ coffee you’re enjoying today is a perfect brew of the brand’s long-standing history. The origins of NESCAFÉ hark back to the year 1930, when Brazil had a substantial surplus of coffee, and needed help preserving it. Upon the request of the Brazilian government, NESTLÉ began abrewin’!


Our coffee specialist, Max Morgenthaler, and his team had a simple proposition – a delicious cup of coffee by simply adding water. With this guiding principle, the team worked hard to find a way to make soluble coffee that would not lose out on the coffee’s natural flavor. Seven years later, they found the answer.


NESCAFÉ was finally ready. Named by using the first three letters in NESTLÉ and prefixing it to café, NESCAFÉ was the brand new name in coffee. First introduced in Switzerland, on April 1st, 1938, it was anticipated to be a huge success throughout Europe. However, because of World War II, its popularity took longer than expected. Soon after the first half of the next decade, NESCAFÉ was exported to France, Great Britain, and the USA. American forces played the role of brand ambassadors in Europe, because NESCAFÉ was a staple in their food rations.


Steadily through the rest of the 1940s, its popularity grew. Today, there are several varities of NESCAFÉ to suit all the different tastes around the world. But since the very beginning in 1938 we have respected the origins of coffee and work hard to ensure you only have the best in your cup. Next time you pick up a jar of your favorite NESCAFÉ coffee, have a look at the ingredients. This list is short and to the point: 100% pure coffee. Nothing artificial added.



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