In many countries you can choose from hundreds of coffee brands. You might already have a favourite. But how did coffee become branded like that? Branding, in the sense of naming or labeling a product, plays an interesting part in coffee’s history.
At first, there was just coffee, and the Arabs who grew it tried to maintain a monopoly. As the drink’s popularity spread, the monopoly gave way and coffee began to be grown in different places. The places of origin gave their names to the different coffees. “Mocha” coffee came from a port in Yemen; “Java” coffee from an island in Indonesia.
Later on, coffee was taken to the Americas and the world learned to love names like “Hawaiian Kona” and “Jamaican Blue Mountain”.
You might have also heard of Turkish, Greek and Italian coffees. These labels describe the way the coffee is prepared rather than its origins. Coffees are also labeled by the type of bean – Arabica or Robusta.
The Dutch coffee merchants were among the first to establish their family names as brands.