Every year on International Coffee Day, millions of coffee lovers from around the world get a chance to celebrate their love and the history behind their favorite cup of joe

With the average coffee drinker drinking 3.1 cups of coffee each day, there’s a reason why there’s a day dedicated to the caffeinated classic.

The history of International Coffee Day started in Milan under the International Coffee Organization. The organization agreed that every year the world would come together to celebrate coffee. The day also recognizes the millions of people – from farmers to roasters, baristas, and coffee shop owners – who work hard to create and serve the beverage.

Beyond grabbing some coffee from your favorite shop, Suiter Swantz IP wanted to celebrate by diving into the history of coffee and some patents surrounding the drink.

The history of coffee begins with a legend. It’s believed that an Ethiopian herdsman was tending to his goats and noticed that some of them were behaving abnormally and jumping wildly. He realized that the energetic goats were eating small red berries. He tried one himself and felt instantly energized. The berries, he found, could be roasted, ground into small pieces and tossed into hot water to create a brew. From there, the rest was history.

Coffee arrived in Europe first through Turkish slaves in Malta. When coffee found its way to The Republic of Venice, however, it became an unstoppable force. By 1645, coffee houses were all over Italy. Over the next 30 years, coffee became a cultural staple throughout the rest of Europe.

Brazil became the world’s leading coffee producer in the 1800s, at one point producing 80 percent of the world’s beans. Vietnam became the world’s second-largest producer, followed by Colombia and Venezuela. By 1850, every corner of the world was drinking coffee.

Coffee has come a long way since its first discovery. One of the first, coffee-related patents in America was the coffee mill. Created by Thomas Bruff in 1798, the mill had “teeth” that ground the beans to create coffee grounds. Since then, coffee grinders have improved and can be seen in both standard kitchens and in coffee shops.

One of the first coffee makers was created by Sir Benjamin Thompson around 1810. This coffee maker was improved upon and patented by James H. Nason in 1865. The percolator-type maker used a downward flow method to allow steam and aromas to remain in the coffee pot, which allowed for a stronger coffee flavor.

While there have been many advancements in coffee brewing technology, there has been significant growth in coffee shops in America, too. A popular coffee shop chain is Starbucks. Their signature mermaid logo was trademarked in 1971 and is still used today. You can even visit the first Starbucks coffee shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Whether you prefer a dark roast, iced, or extra sweet, take time to appreciate coffee’s history and the inventions behind the infamous drink.










Suiter Swantz IP is a full-service intellectual property law firm providing client-centric patenttrademark, and copyright services. If you need assistance with an intellectual property matter and would like to speak with one of our attorneys, please contact us at info@suiter.com.