16 episodes

A History of Coffee is the story of how a tiny psychoactive seed changed the world and shapes our lives today.

Across six episodes, documentary maker James Harper and professional historian Jonathan Morris narrate how humans race coffee across oceans to keep up with demand for this addictive drink.

Coffee creates enormous fortunes for some, and misery for others. Sometimes the environment benefits, but more often it is plundered.

If we want to make coffee a more equitable industry that’s also kinder to the environment, a place to start is understanding the stories and systems that put the coffee into your cup this morning.

Press the Subscribe button so you don’t miss future episodes!

Follow Jonathan Morris @coffeehistoryjm and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast.

Read full transcripts at www.historyofcoffee.org.

A History of Coffee Coffee Podcasts

    • History
    • 4.8 • 67 Ratings

A History of Coffee is the story of how a tiny psychoactive seed changed the world and shapes our lives today.

Across six episodes, documentary maker James Harper and professional historian Jonathan Morris narrate how humans race coffee across oceans to keep up with demand for this addictive drink.

Coffee creates enormous fortunes for some, and misery for others. Sometimes the environment benefits, but more often it is plundered.

If we want to make coffee a more equitable industry that’s also kinder to the environment, a place to start is understanding the stories and systems that put the coffee into your cup this morning.

Press the Subscribe button so you don’t miss future episodes!

Follow Jonathan Morris @coffeehistoryjm and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast.

Read full transcripts at www.historyofcoffee.org.

    4) Just Friends? America's love affair with coffee

    4) Just Friends? America's love affair with coffee

    America is coffee-obsessed. From Central Perk’s red couch being the centre of major plot twists in Friends to the fact the average American drank more than two cups a day.

    And the conventional explanation is pretty straightforward: an English colonist introduces coffee to Jamestown in 1607. 150 years later Americans rebel against the British by throwing tea chests into Boston harbour and drinking coffee becomes their patriotic duty. Oh, and of course who won the civil war? The side that had the coffee.

    But, actually, the truth is much more surprising, and reveals a much more counter-intuitive story of America.

    In this final episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we offer you a story of America through the lens of a black drink, another black drink, a third black drink and perhaps even a fourth.

    A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.
    Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast player.

    -----------

    Please spread the word about A History of Coffee!

    Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story.

    Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)

    Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)


    This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years
    (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)


    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)

    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)

    Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)


    Learn how Brazil massively expanded output in episode three of the first series of A History of Coffee: Coffee Catches Fire (https://bit.ly/2NArChO)

    Brew up some Yaupon Holly! (https://bit.ly/40R6IuY)

    Discover Deb Hunter's All Things Tudor podcast (https://bit.ly/3L5OZet)

    • 44 min
    3) Espresso Lungo: The slow road to Italy's democratic espresso culture

    3) Espresso Lungo: The slow road to Italy's democratic espresso culture

    One morning back in the ‘80s, Howard Schultz walks out of his Milan hotel, stumbles into an espresso bar, and fundamentally changes coffee history.

    He discovered (and then popularises) the iconic, timeless Italian coffee experience: Rich thick coffee, an affordable price and great theatre.

    But this Italian ritual is surprisingly young, so young that Howard Schultz was in school while some of it was being developed!

    In this third episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you why for most of Italy’s history, coffee was thin, expensive, dull to watch…and that’s if you were lucky enough to even be drinking the real stuff at all!

    A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.

    -----------

    Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast player


    Please spread the word about A History of Coffee!

    Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story.

    Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)

    Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)


    This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years
    (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)


    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)

    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)

    Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)


    Go deeper into the story of espresso machines:

    James' science podcast about Espresso Machine Technology

    Neapolitan coffee maker (https://bit.ly/3zZCivl)

    Espresso at 1906 World’s Fair in Milan (https://bit.ly/3MOX7kQ)

    Rancilio's Museum, Officina Rancilio 1926 (https://bit.ly/3Q7vqTI)

    "La Cornuta" espresso machine (https://bit.ly/41uBryd)

    Rancilio's...

    • 44 min
    2) A Lasting Stain: Haiti, Colonialism and Coffee

    2) A Lasting Stain: Haiti, Colonialism and Coffee

    Haiti was once the biggest, most profitable coffee growing region in the world.

    But today Haiti is one of the world’s poorest nations where you can’t get a bag of Haitian beans delivered to Berlin in a week for love nor money.

    In this second episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you how colonialism and racism dragged Haiti into poverty, and the role of coffee at the centre of it.

    Be warned: this episode contains graphic descriptions of violence.

    A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.

    -----------

    Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast player


    Please spread the word about A History of Coffee!

    Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story.

    Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)

    Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)


    This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years
    (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)


    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)

    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)

    Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)

    • 47 min
    1) It's Just Coffee? How coffee houses changed the world

    1) It's Just Coffee? How coffee houses changed the world

    A coffee shop is a lot more than just a place to drink coffee. The seats and sofas encourage you to invite a friend, and chat.

    And chatting is powerful: ideas that emerge from these caffeine-fuelled conversations give birth to modern finance and even the founding of great artistic and scientific institutions.

    Meanwhile, other ideas threaten those in power, and have led to many attempts to ban coffeeshops (and even coffee itself!) these last 500 years.

    In the first episode of Series Two of A History of Coffee, we show you how the coffee shop changed the world, and we ask whether it still has what it takes to upend society.

    A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.

    -----------

    Don't miss future episodes by pressing the 'Subscribe' or 'Follow' button in your podcast player


    Please spread the word about A History of Coffee!

    Follow us on Instagram - Jonathan (@coffeehistoryjm) and James (@filterstoriespodcast) - and tag us in an Instagram story.

    Write a review on Apple Podcasts (http://apple.co/3jY42aJ)

    Leave a 5 star rating on Spotify (https://spoti.fi/3K2h4RQ)


    This free educational content for the coffee community was made possible by Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for your home and coffee bar for almost 100 years
    (https://bit.ly/3U3oLMz)


    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ (https://amzn.to/3dihAfU)

    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast (https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e)

    Download all episodes of this second series right now by subscribing to the ‘A History of Coffee’ podcast channel (http://bit.ly/2NArChO)

    • 45 min
    Introducing: Series Two of A History of Coffee

    Introducing: Series Two of A History of Coffee

    We're back with more stories about the tiny psychoactive seed that changed the world and continues to shape our lives today.

    In Series Two, we reveal how the invention of the coffee shop revolutionised societies, why colonialism, racism and coffee have kept once prosperous Haiti poor today, how Italy's revered espresso culture was created, and we debunk many myths around America's supposed love affair with coffee.

    If we want to make coffee a more equitable industry that’s also kinder to the environment, a place to start is understanding the stories and systems that put the coffee into your cup this morning.

    Press the ‘Subscribe’ button so you don’t miss future episodes.

    A History of Coffee is a collaboration between documentary maker James Harper of the Filter Stories coffee podcast and Jonathan Morris, Professor of History and author of ‘Coffee: A Global History’.

    Follow us on Instagram! Jonathan Morris @coffeehistoryjm and James Harper @filterstoriespodcast.

    This free educational content was made possible with the support of Rancilio, manufacturers of professional Italian espresso machines for almost 100 years.

    Join us live at the London Coffee Festival 2023! We have three time slots for you to choose from: Saturday, 22 April, 11:00-11:30 and 14:30-15:00, and Sunday, 23 April,14:30-15:00.

    • 5 min
    BONUS: Coffee's Ticking Time Bomb

    BONUS: Coffee's Ticking Time Bomb

    We have an exciting announcement....AND, a story about Sri Lanka and coffee history we think you're really going to like.

    Sri Lankan coffee has delicious notes of chocolate and caramel. But it’s basically impossible to find, and we’re going to bet you’ve never drank it.

    But that's really odd, because Sri Lanka has the perfect climate to grow coffee, and was once one of the biggest coffee growing countries in the world.

    But Sri Lanka was the victim of an ecological ticking time bomb. And this bomb is still ticking, and is going to explode again.

    In this episode of Adventures in Coffee, producer James Harper takes co-hosts Scott and Jools on an adventure back in time, across Ethiopia, Yemen, Sri Lanka to trace the origins of this ticking bomb, and what it’s going to take to defuse it.



    Subscribe to Adventures in Coffee here: https://bit.ly/300V4jS

    Listen to Jonathan's guest appearance on negative coffee advertising here: https://bit.ly/3uOXYc0

    Read Stuart McCook’s excellent book, Coffee Is Not Forever: https://bit.ly/3320rob

    Listen to James’ stories about El Salvador on his Filter Stories channel: https://spoti.fi/3Lcnuhg

    Help other people find the show by leaving a rating on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3JYduHY

    Help others find the show by creating a screengrab of this episode on your podcast player and sharing it on your Instagram stories. Tag us and we’ll reshare it!
    Scott Bentley / Caffeine Magazine: https://bit.ly/3oijQ91
    Jools Walker / Lady Velo: http://bit.ly/39VRGew
    James Harper / Filter Stories: https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O

    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfU

    A massive thanks to Lawrence Goldberg of Hansa Coffee, Ajantha Palihawadana, Professor Stuart McCook and Harm van Oudenhoven.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

Music_Lv'r ,

Excellent, Intelligent, Unflinching

A very interesting and intelligent History-based show, connecting the dots of History, Coffee, Revolutions, Conquests, Human Suffering…, I don’t know what else, yet. Not for the coffee afficionato with a weak stomach, for the ghastly background of coffee’s history, and colonialism. I almost gave up drinking coffee, after hearing a couple of these; but not giving up the show itself. Addicional pluses: The language is clean; the show’s pace is a delightful conversation with pauses, and great original piano music. It is clearly well-researched. (So far, I’ve heard only 2 of the Episodes, so it’s possible not all episodes are, as described here). The minuses: It unflinchingly describes the horrible things humans are capable of inflicting on each other—especially those in the disadvantageous position. Much of it is inappropriate for young children to hear (except in a situation where discussion and explanations of the contexts within the descriptions, can and will be discussed). It would be a good extra teaching tool, for History, Sociology, Human studies in a classroom setting. Overall a very well-made, and produced, educational Podcast.

Taken it Slow... ,

2 Minutes in and I’m Out

Too much bias. Nothing wrong with owning land.

GuitarBrad ,

Excellent content!

I’ve enjoyed listening to every episode and would welcome more in the future! Thanks for the great work!!

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