The history of coffee dates back centuries. It is not known who was the first to discover that the beans of the coffee tree could be dried, roasted, ground and brewed into a drink, but hats off to them. Coffee is now the world’s most popular beverage (after water) with around 1.6 billion cups of coffee drunk worldwide everyday.


No one really knows exactly who or when coffee was first discovered, but we do know it was in Ethiopia, and legend credits Kaldi, a goat herder, with its discovery. One day Kaldi found his goats darting and jumping around after eating berries from a tree he had not seen before. He tried the berries himself and suddenly felt all kinds of energy and excitement.

The Ethiopians have been credited as the first to gather coffee from trees growing wild in the forest. It is thought that the coffee cherries were chewed at first, or the beans ground with fat to make energy bars.

Later the Ethiopians brewed the leaves with boiled water and made a weak tea.

Sometime in the 1400s someone roasted the beans and discovered how good they smelt. They ground them and brewed a black, potent beverage. Coffee!

Ethiopians have remained proud of their coffee. It's considered to be a family beverage that brings friendship and kinship. Even today, if you go into any home in Ethiopia, the family will prepare coffee before any other dish.

The Ethiopians follow an elaborate coffee ceremony that's centuries old and commemorates the memories of three Sheiks who went into the wilderness in search of God. When the Sheiks had almost starved God appeared and instructed them to grind coffee beans for food.

Only the women of the house can roast the coffee beans. When the beans begin to crackle they are ladled onto a metal plate and blessed by the spirits of fertility and prosperity. There are always three servings of coffee to honour the three Sheiks. The brew is thick and strong. The eldest member of the family is always served first.


The Arabs began the first know cultivation of coffee in the mountains of Yemen.

Nobody really knows where the word 'coffee' came from but it's thought to have been the Arabs who named it rather than the Ethiopians.

Soon, thanks to the Sufis, coffee spread from town to town as a holy ceremonial drink. Wealthy people set up entire rooms devoted to coffee drinking and the poor gathered in coffee houses.

Coffee quickly gained a reputation as a trouble making social brew.

In 1511, the Governor of Mecca tried to ban the coffee houses. However, the Sultan of Cairo, the Governor's boss and a coffee lover himself, reversed the order.


As the Turks conquered the Arab world they inherited coffee and the coffee culture. Coffee secured a place of itself in the lives of everyday people.

Intellectuals, writers and poets would come to Turkish coffee houses for conversation and to debate the issues of the day. Coffee houses were (and still are) places where Turkish men meet and exchange knowledge. Women were (and still are) forbidden to enter the coffee houses.

Coffee readings were (and still are) important to young women in Turkey. A young woman can have her future divined in the grounds in her cup.

Coffee became a very precious commodity in Turkey and the Turks were very careful to keep the monopoly. Eventually a young man names Baba Budan taped some coffee seeds to his body and smuggled them out of the country. He began to grow coffee in India.

Soon the Dutch got hold of the seeds and began growing them too. They transported them to the colony to Java where native slaves were forced to cultivate the coffee. By 1683, Mocha and Java were the most sought after beans and coffee was poised to conquer Europe.


Coffee came to the west with a bad reputation. Italian priests regarded the black brew as a threat to Christianity. They petitioned the Pope to ban it, but when he tasted it he found it so delicious he decided to baptise it instead.

The Turks began to trade with Venice and the first cafe, the Florian opened in 1720 and over the next 30 years, hundreds of cafes opened. There were cafes for the poor, cafes for the rich and cafes for the foreigners.

Italians love their coffee and have greatly enriched the worlds coffee culture. The espresso machine was developed in Milan, Italy and created a coffee that is strong in taste, aroma and body but weak in caffeine because there isn't time to extract all the caffeine from the ground coffee.


It wants until the late 1600s that coffee made it to France. It was introduced by the Turkish Sultan, the Ambassador to Paris.

The French are enamoured with coffee but they don't know how to make it. An Italian, Francesco Procopio de Coltelli, seizes on this opportunity and introduced the French to the French cafe. The women were the first to embrace the cafe society. They would come for tea, coffee, chocolate and pastries. Soon the men came too. People began to engage each other in intelligent conversation and debate as coffee came the beverage of choice, ahead of beer and wine.


The first coffee house in London opened in 1652 by Pasqua Rosse.

The English are well-known tea drinkers, but by the 1700s there were over 2000 coffee houses in London alone.

London's coffee houses spawned may of the city's important businesses and customs. Patrons tossed coins in a bowl labelled 'to insure promptness' (TIP), and it is thought this is where tipping was born.

Coffee houses became the centre of London's social scene. Without alcohol patrons could visit and have meaningful conversations about the world around them.


In 1700, Europeans were consuming half a million pounds of coffee. One hundred years later, their consumption had grown to 100 million pounds.

The French were eager to expand their trade. The opportunity comes when a young French Lieutenant charms a royal mistress and she gives him a coffee plant which he nurtures on a voyage to Martinique. Most of the coffee grown in Latin American probably descends from that one plant.

The French establish large slave run plantations to cultivate the coffee. The plantations spread to Haiti and by 1790 half of the worlds coffee was grown on this one island.


  • During the American Civil War, soldiers, having used up all their coffee supplies, used roasted sweet potato and Indian corn as a substitute.

  • There is less caffeine in dark roast than in medium roast. It is because, the longer the beans are roasted, the more caffeine burns off.

  • American consumers spend $10.7 billion a year on coffee when combining the spend of coffee at home and away from home.

  • Cowboy coffee? Well, yes, — they put ground coffee in a clean sock and put a pot of cold water over a camp fire.

  • Ants don’t like coffee, so you can use coffee to keep them away from your plants or out of the rooms in your house.

  • The most expensive coffee in the world is called Kopi Luwak. Also known as Civet coffee. It is made from coffee berries that have been eaten and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet (a cat sized mammal).

  • Coffee trade statistics show that over 5 million people in Brazil are employed by the coffee trade; most of those are involved with the cultivation and harvesting of more than 3 billion coffee plants.

  • Coffee industry statistics show that 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality.

  • Each year some 6-8 billion kilos of coffee beans are produced and sold around the world providing over 20,000,000 jobs.

  • Coffee statistics show that coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.

  • The berries themselves are edible. They are very sweet, with a texture somewhat like a grape.

  • 500g of coffee is equivalent to approx 2,700 cherries.

  • About 12-20kg of export ready coffee will be produced from every 100kg of coffee cherries harvested.

  • The coffee plant has become a major source of oxygen in the world. Each hectare of coffee products approx 40kgs of oxygen per day, which is about half the production of the same area in a rainforest.

  • The optimum storage conditions for green beans are a cool, dry place with humidity of less than 45%.


Oxygen, moisture, heat and light are the enemies of fresh coffee. Exposure to these elements will cause your coffee to taint or become stale. Always store your coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dark place - but not in your fridge or freezer.

If you grind your own beans, only grind what you need to make a coffee. Ground coffee that isn't stored properly will go stale.

The function of the one-way Aroma Fresh Valve™ on the packs is to let carbon dioxide out and prevent oxygen from entering the pack. When whole coffee beans are roasted carbon dioxide is released. This continues to be released from the beans for 48 hours after roasting.

To enable the freshly roasted beans to be packed as soon as possible after roasting without the packet swelling and bursting, a valve is utilised to retain aroma and to ensure optimum freshness.

Grind choice is extremely important. Using a plunger grind in an espresso machine will mean you have a watery and weak coffee. If you use an espresso grind in a plunger you will find it hard to plunge and it is likely you will end up with grits and grinds in your coffee cup.

Espresso ground coffee is extremely fine and is designed to have the water passed through under pressure in a matter of 20-30 seconds. A plunger grind is coarse and designed to brew for 4 minutes. The coarse grind also means that when you plunge the coffee the water can freely pass through the coffee.

A Flat White is a single shot of coffee topped with velvety milk creating a 5-8mm cap. 

A Caffe Latte is a double shot of coffee (or single shot) topped with velvety milk creating a 6-10mm cap.  Traditionally served in a glass.

The beauty of these plunger bags is they will suit any occasion. Each plunger bag makes two cups, and multiple bags can be placed in the plunger.

So if you have a 6 cup plunger, place 3 x plunger bags in the plunger and add 4 ½ - 6 cups of water depending on strength preference and cup size.

We recommend placing no more than 3 bags per plunger.

It is recommended to use water that is just off the boil.  This means either 30-60 seconds after it has boiled, or turn the jug off just before it has boiled.  Boiling water can burn the beans.