Friday, October 16, 2009
The history of the largest producing nation coffee in the world Brazil, is reminiscent of a Bollywood movie.
In 1720s the French and the Dutch jealously guarded their Latin American coffee plantations hoping to prevent the Portuguese and other nations gaining their secret plant. But in 1727 they let their guard down. The two needed a third party to help resolve a land dispute between French Guiana and Dutch Guiana (now Suriname). So they invited Brazil’s Lt. Col. Francisco De Melo Palheta to act as a mediator.
The Col. fostered peace between the two nations and (ahem) achieved harmony with the French governors wife as well. She in return gave a bouquet of flowers with coffee seedlings hidden inside it. The Col. Brought the plant back home and that pretty much ends the good part of the tale.
Over the next 150 years, Brazil imported 3 million slaves and made them work for 17 hours a day. The average life expectancy of a slave the moment he set foot on Brazil was less than 7 years. The coffee slaves defined the country. Brazil’s parliament pronounced in 1888 “Brazil is coffee, and coffee is the Negro.” At the dawn of the 20th century Brazil produced five times more coffee than the rest of the worlds combined.
Today the chief material caffeine from coffee is used in a variety of drinks including numerous energy and aerated drinks like Gatorade, Coke, Pepsi etc… It acts as a great energizer and keeps you awake.
Coffee has a wide and fascinating history. With goliaths like Starbucks, coffee is treated as a luxury item. Our very own coffee day’s are spread across the country and its increasing numbers indicate the rising consumption of the marvelous liquid.
My dad tells me they are incurring huge losses and rumor has it that it may be sold in the near future. If this happens, starbucks will be the obvious buyer, taking into account Howard Schultz’s maniacal desire to have an outlet in every nook and corner of the world)
Psst… DID YOU KNOW?
Starbucks has the dubious distinction of being called ‘food porn’, as it has huge amounts of fat? More than a BIG MAC (Mc Donalds, beef burger) and a Coke combined.
Mayors send cash to Starbucks to open an outlet in their area as they believe it helps in gentrification and improves the cost of living and TOURISM!