Rose Nicaud became the first known coffee vendor in New Orleans. - Coffee and Celebrating Black History Month
Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia, and continues to be the country’s primary export to this day. While the distinct origins of coffee are unknown, a common folktale tells the story of a goat herder who first discovered the plant. Known as Kaldi, the goat herder saw how his goats became energized when they ate the coffee cherries, so he brought the plant to a monastery in order to share his discovery with others.
While the beginning of the black history of coffee is one of slave labor, we've made leaps and bounds moving away from that.
Picture: Rose Nicaud became the first known coffee vendor in New Orleans.
Until its abolition in 1865, slavery was a common practice in the United States. There was one formerly enslaved woman named Rose Nicaud who sold coffee. She opened the first fresh coffee stand in New Orleans. Rose Nicaud became the first known coffee vendor in New Orleans. Rose, a slave, saw the opportunity to provide a service to French Market Vendors. Not only did she support her own freedom, she popularized cafe au lait. Eventually, she saved enough money to open a permanent location. Rose Nicaud inspired many other free women of color to open their own coffee carts. She's an icon of the New Orleans coffee scene. Because of her, coffee shops became popularized in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
Picture: Mural by artist Max Bernardi depicting Rose Nicaud making coffee
While slavery was abolished in the United States, it's still a widely-used practice in some countries. Finding fairtrade coffee beans was nearly impossible until recently. In 2015, President Obama signed a bill banning the import of goods produced with forced labor. With that bill came more availability of fairtrade coffee.
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