S2E4: Coffee Culture

April 10, 2019


About the Episode

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?”
– Cassandra Clare

Many of us have to start our morning with a delicious cup of coffee. Whether we make it at home or buy it from our favourite shop, drink it hot or drink it iced, coffee is a big part of our lives and cultures. From its birth in Ethiopia, coffee has spread across the world to become a truly global drink. And all over the world, cultures have their own unique twists and traditions surrounding the drink.

Do you know who first discovered how to turn the coffee bean into a beverage? Which Canadian province drinks the most coffee? What does your choice of coffee shop say about your social values? If these questions peak your curiosity, then tune in as we notice the history of coffee.


Aregay, Merid W. “The Early History of Ethiopia’s Coffee Trade and the Rise of Shawa.” Journal of African History 29, 1988: 19-25.

Brinkeroff, Jennifer A. “Being a Good Ethiopian Woman: Participation in the “Buna” (Coffee) Ceremony and Identity (Ph.D diss., Arizona State University, 2011).

Buist, Ron. Tales from Under the Rim: The Marketing of Tim Hortons. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2003.

Cowan, Brian. The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

Daniel, Dahay. “The Comforts of Coffee: The Role of the Coffee Ceremony in Ethiopians’ Efforts to Cope with Social Upheaval during the Derg Regime (1974-1991)” (M.A diss., Carleton University, 2016).

Gately, Iain. Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. New York: Penguin Group, 2008.

Hattox, Ralph S. Coffee and Coffeehouses: The Origins of a Social Beverage in the Medieval Near East. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996.

Manzo, John. “Coffee, Connoisseurship, and an Ethnomethodologically-Informed Sociology of Taste.” Human Studies 33, 2/3 (December 2010): 141-155.

“Coffee consumption highest in western Canada.” Canadian Grocer 110, 8 (Oct 1996): 27.

Penfold, Steven. The Donut: A Canadian History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008.

Pendergrast, Mark. Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed our World. New York: Basic Books, 2010.

Yedes, Janet, Robbin Clamons, and Amal Osman. “Buna: Oromo Women Gathering for Coffee. “Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 2004: 675-703.


Hosts: Robin Mullins, Nick Bridges, Nick Johnston

Producers: Robin Mullins and Emily Cuggy

Researchers: Dahay Daniel and Nick Bridges

Audio Editing: Keely McCavitt

Web Content: Casandra Masse

Image Credit: 1902 First Coffee From Kenya, 1929. Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1983-27-279. MIKAN 2845030.