Every morning more than 80 percent of American adults drink a cup of coffee. Many of us may question what roast is best, or wonder what milk to opt for, but few think about how coffee came to be such a readily-available, loved, and affordable part of our lives. The latest episode of Eater’s Folklore video series tells us: It’s slavery.
In order to feed European demands for coffee once the drink caught on in the late 1700s, slaves were put to work on coffee plantations. Brazil ― which is still the biggest producer of coffee on the planet ― was notorious for its ill treatment of slaves. Eater reports many slaves died after only eight years working on a coffee plantation. Brazil was the last nation to abolish slavery in Latin America, so this went on for a long time.
Watch the video above for the full story. It’ll make you think twice about that morning cup.