word beverage refers to a liquid which is normally
meant for drinking. Beverages thus include everything
which one normally drinks. However
among these, water is not considered as a beverage.
Similarly, while talking about beverages one usually
means alcoholic beverages, hot beverages like tea,
coffee, etc. or cold beverages like soft drinks, soda,
sherbets and the likes.
history of beverages is very vast as it encompasses
various types of drinks. Thus, we have to take a look
at the individual pasts of these drinks. When talking
about hot beverages the first thing which come to
our mind is tea or coffee. Both of these beverages
have a lengthy history.
Tea is considered as the most popular beverage in
the world. It is rumored that tea was first discovered
by Emperor Shennong of China in around 2737 B.C. However,
the first mentions of tea aren't as late as AD 350
in some Chinese literature.
After that tea drinking spread to Japan. In the early
1600's the first shipments of tea arrived in Europe
via Dutch merchants. After the first imports the popularity
of tea increased at a very fast rate within Europe
and most of the European traders indulged in the trade
One of the famous incidents involving tea was the
Boston Tea Party of 1773 when the American colonists
threw hundreds of crates of tea into the sea to protest
against the tax which was levied by Britain on tea
during that time.
India is the leading tea producing nation of the world.
Coffee too has a vivid history. It is said that coffee
was first discovered by Ethiopian goatherds who noticed
that their flock would stay awake throughout the night
after consuming coffee leaves and berries. Coffee
arrived in Arabia in the 13th century.
Before being used as a beverage coffee was used as
wine and medicine. After colonization of Africa started
in the 17th century, coffee became hugely popular
among the colonial powers. Thousands of coffee houses
sprang up throughout Europe in the 1600's. Coffee
growing started in South America during the 1700's.
Today, Brazil is the largest coffee producing nation.
Compared to tea and coffee the history of alcoholic
beverages is very old. Wine is probably the mot ancient
alcoholic beverage. Production of wine started in
Europe around 5000 years ago.
The origin of beer too is believed to have been around
the same time i.e. 3000 - 3500 B.C. Brandy is said
to be the oldest distilled beverage with traces of
it being found as early as AD 100. During the 1400's
whisky was distilled in Ireland and Scotland.
Gin was made by a Flemish doctor in the 1600's. Vodka
came up around the mid 1700's. Soft drinks and sodas
are relatively new in the field of beverages. Soda
water was first sold in USA around 1835.
Towards the end of the 19th century John Pemberton
invented the now world famous 'Coca-Cola'. In 1898,'Pepsi-Cola'
was invented by Caleb Bradham. Since then soft drinks
have dominated the market of beverages consumed by
As has been mentioned at the start there are three
main types of beverages:
We shall investigate more about these types in our
- Alcoholic Beverages
- Hot Beverages
- Cold Beverages