10 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
    • 4.9 • 39 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.

    BONUS: A History of Tea

    BONUS: A History of Tea

    Coffee has a fascinating history stretching back hundreds of years. But tea takes it to the next level, stretching back thousands.

    And it too was colonised by Europeans with huge repercussions that we are still feeling today.

    We hope you enjoy episode 11 from the excellent The Tea History podcast: Europeans Discover Tea, produced by Laszlo Montgomery.

    Listen to the rest of The Tea History Podcast: https://bit.ly/3BnDjgr

    Explore Laszlo's The Chinese Sayings Podcast: https://bit.ly/3BiITAT

    Discover The China History Podcast: https://bit.ly/3GTekmd

    Sign up for the 2022 Barista League's High Density (free!) conference here: https://bit.ly/3BjAI78

    Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)
    & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)

    Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...
    Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJ
    Castbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcH

    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfU
    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e

    • 28 min
    BONUS: Decolonising Coffee History

    BONUS: Decolonising Coffee History

    Each sip of coffee we drink is steeped in dark colonial past.

    The reason we can enjoy it every morning is because it's relatively cheap, and many people suffered under European colonisers to create systems that produced this cheap coffee.

    But unfortunately, that's just the beginning. Colonialism has stripped enslaved and indigenous people of their language, pushed their descendants into work that a modern European would never do, and created racial ideologies that persist and harm people of colour to this day.

    In this bonus episode of A History of Coffee, documentary maker James Harper moderates a conversation between Professor Peter D'Sena, a leading historian from the decolonising academic movement, and Professor Jonathan Morris, author of Coffee: A Global History.

    They explore how colonialism shaped coffee, and what a cup of coffee that seeks to address the damage of colonialism would look like.

    Help other people find the show by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJ

    How would you decolonise coffee? Start a conversation with us on social media.

    Jonathan Morris' Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)
    Peter D'Sena Instagram (https://bit.ly/34WvPl5) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3ggSlKL)
    James Harper’s Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)

    If you an educator and are interested in decolonising your curriculum, Peter wrote a guide here: https://bit.ly/3cvoH3l

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

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

    • 48 min
    BONUS: Stimulating stories or fantastic flavours: what sells coffee?

    BONUS: Stimulating stories or fantastic flavours: what sells coffee?

    We are hard at work on the bonus episode about decolonising coffee history.

    But...in the meantime, here's an episode from a sister podcast we think you'll enjoy.

    You can listen to more episodes from Adventures in Coffee here: https://bit.ly/300V4jS

    • 31 min
    6) The Future of Coffee?

    6) The Future of Coffee?

    Do you grind your beans fresh before brewing your coffee? If so, you are helping overturn a race-to–the-bottom with deep roots in colonial extraction that today is leaving millions of coffee farmers impoverished.

    Or, at least, that’s what many specialty coffee companies would like you to believe. The truth is a lot less rosy.

    In this final episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore where the specialty coffee movement came from, whether it will succeed in arresting coffee’s race-to-the-bottom, and look into the future to understand what might be the future of coffee.

    Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)
    & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)

    Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...
    Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJ
    Castbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcH

    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfU
    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e

    Music featured in this episode:
    La Traviata, Brindisi (Verdi) by MIT Symphony Orchestra: https://bit.ly/3eGUsIf
    Infant Holy, Infant Lowly by Ann Alee: https://bit.ly/2SKlaY6

    • 47 min
    5) Desperately Seeking Sustainability

    5) Desperately Seeking Sustainability

    When was the last time you bought a coffee that was Fairtrade certified?

    Certifications make it easy for consumers to put their ethics into practice. But, hidden beneath the glossy sticker is a maze of complications and paradoxical outcomes.

    In this fifth episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore where coffee certifications came from, how they tried to stop coffee’s devastating race to the bottom and assess whether they succeeded.

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

    Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)
    & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)

    Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...
    Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJ
    Castbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcH

    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfU
    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e

    • 37 min
    4) A Dark Bitter Powder

    4) A Dark Bitter Powder

    How do you drink your instant coffee? If you’re like most of the world, you fill your mug with milk and sugar to sweeten the taste.

    By adding milk and sugar to your instant, you helped bring new growers - and consumers - into coffee, but arguably contributed to a crisis that left hundreds of thousands of people malnourished.

    In this fourth episode of A History of Coffee, Jonathan and James explore how the popularity of instant coffee dramatically alters the balance of power amongst coffee growing countries. Coffee as a global commodity takes on a life of its own, sweeping millions of farmers into a race to the bottom.

    Press the Follow button so you don't miss future episodes!

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

    Visit Jonathan’s Instagram (https://bit.ly/37eMS3F) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3jNr9ou)
    & James’ Filter Stories Instagram (https://bit.ly/2Mlkk0O) and Twitter (https://bit.ly/3baTsJk)

    Help other people find the show by leaving a review on...
    Apple Podcasts: http://apple.co/3jY42aJ
    Castbox: http://bit.ly/38sXdcH

    Read Jonathan’s book, ‘Coffee: A Global History’ here: https://amzn.to/3dihAfU
    Listen to other coffee documentaries on James’ Filter Stories podcast: https://bit.ly/3ajoT5e

    Coffee and brewing equipment featured in this episode

    1930 and 2020 “World Blend” roasted by Smiths Coffee (UK): http://bit.ly/3rtR2g1
    Comandante hand grinder: http://bit.ly/3qmTSCN
    Sage electric grinder: http://bit.ly/2Zf3NyC

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

Howie Beale ,

Coffee history is world history

I will hear the hosts voices each time I have my daily cup of coffee. This is an amazing series that captures the global impact of coffee.

1977ajdalo ,

Fascinating 1st episode

Looking forward to all the episodes

lingua203 ,

Very informative!

Thank you for describing the history of coffee. It is not a pretty story, but we should hear it. And you weaves in to this history the politics and economics.

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