The History of Coffee

Here at Scanomat, it’s no secret that we are passionate about coffee. We live, breathe and think it. But the way the coffee we know and love is consumed has changed since the first coffee beans were discovered roughly 1000 years ago. Our ancestors certainly didn’t start their days with a cup of Cold Brew or a macchiato.

Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia as far back as the 10th Century. It is believed that Ethiopian monks ate whole coffee beans as a way to keep them awake and alert, something we now know to be due to the effects of caffeine. As well as eating the raw beans, berries from the coffee plant were mixed with animal fat to create a protein rich snack. It wasn’t until the 13th Century that coffee beans began to be roasted, the first step in the coffee-making process we know today. The modern version of roasted coffee originated in Arabia, where Muslim communities found it to be useful in keeping them alert and focussed during long prayer sessions.

Coffee was first introduced to Europe a few hundred years later, in the 16th century. The first Coffee House in England opened in Oxford in 1650, and the first in London followed 2 years later in 1652. Coffee houses began popping up around London, and were known to the public as “Penny Universities” because for the price of a penny, one could buy a cup of coffee and engage in conversation with the writers, artists, lawyers, politicians and philosophers that frequented such places. For a while, coffee was the drink of the upper classes, but by the mid 19th Century, coffee had become one of the most important commodities in world trade. In the early 20th Century, roasted coffee began to be packed in vacuum tins, and not long after, the first “instant”, soluble coffee was invented.


As consumers become more and more knowledgeable about their coffee, the taste is becoming more important than the caffeine boost. Consumers want good quality coffee and choice in what they’re drinking. Coffee shops have realised that simply offering black or white coffee will no longer suffice, so coffee shops now offer a huge variety of drinks, from lattes and cappuccinos to cold brew and iced coffees. The TopBrewer offers an extensive list of drinks, all of which can be customised to an individual’s taste and mood. Feeling sleepy and need a caffeine boost first thing in the morning? Simply increase the grams of espresso in your drink.


Our coffees are all Grade 1 Specialty coffees, which means that they are made only of perfect, ripe berries that are hand picked. 2-3 times per year, green coffee beans are sent from our partner farms to our Amokka Roastery in Denmark. Many small batches of green coffee beans are roasted there every day, which ensures optimum freshness and quality, and means we can make unique coffee blends. We are passionate about fantastic tasting quality, which is why we roast our own beans and hold regular tasting sessions to make sure our clients are receiving the best tasting product.

Scanomat/Amokka coffee comes from 5 different countries; Brazil, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Peru and Nepal. We are proud of the network of partner farms we have in these countries, and the relationships we have built with the farmers (click here to read more about Direct Trade). These relationships have been built on mutual respect and trust, and this means that not only do we receive a consistently high quality product, but also means we can ensure proper working conditions and ensure that no unnecessary harm is done to the environment. This is what social and ecological sustainability means to us.

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