Coffee 1961 to 2016

Week 2 Dataset

Posted by David Velleca on March 15, 2018

Historical Background

According to a Gallup Poll in 2015, 64% of American adults drink at least one cup of coffee per day. However, it is unlikely that the majority of coffee drinkers have any clue about the origin of the beans that made their drink, or the history of coffee. This week’s data set is relatively straightforward and has several metrics to investigate. A quick viz should be pretty easy to accomplish – try to keep the time spent on your viz to about an hour.

Click here to download this week's dataset as a CSV
Click here to download this week's dataset as a Hyper Extract

Before we get to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, coffee trees produce delicate white flowers that ripen into a fruit called coffee cherries. The fruit is harvested, and removed typically revealing two beans. In this state, the beans are considered green coffee beans. Before being roasted and ground, the beans are typically sun dried. Note that this is an overview of the process, for a more in depth look at the process, check out this link from the National Coffee Association USA.

Coffee’s history traces its roots back to Ethiopia where a goat herder named Kaldi noticed an increase in his goat’s energy level after they ingested what turned out to be coffee cherries. He brought this to the attention of an abbot at a local monastery who created and drank a beverage made from the cherries. The abbot found that drinking this beverage also increased his energy and alertness. Word spread throughout the monastery and eventually made its way to the Arabian Peninsula where coffee was first cultivated.

Although it is not known when Kaldi made his discovery, coffee was well established throughout the Peninsula by the 16th century. Coffee drinking was a social experience, with the predecessors of Starbucks popping up throughout the region. European visitors gradually brought the beverage back to Europe where it enjoyed immediate popularity. By the mid 1600s, coffee was gaining popularity as a breakfast beverage, replacing beer and wine which had been the standard for some time.

Those heading to the New World brought the love of coffee with them and spurred the inclusion of coffee houses throughout the colonies. Coffee cemented its place as the preferred American beverage after British Parliament passed the Tea Act on May 10, 1773. In addition to being a key event leading up to the Revolutionary War, the Boston Tea Party sparked an American beverage revolution as well.

With this background and the data set, what can you visualize? Remember to post your viz to Twitter, tagging @TThrowbackThurs with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday.

Data Source

This week’s data source comes from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. Please be sure to credit the data source in your visualization.

Data Notes

Because of geopolitical changes, especially the fall of the USSR, some of the countries included in the data set will not be found by Tableau. You’ll have to specify an equivalent.

Information for this week's post comes from the National Coffee Association USA.