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The East India Company was the first western company to be directly involved in the coffee trade, before it had been seen in Europe. At first coffee was only available at the Turkish port of Mocha (now Yemen) but the Dutch and, much later, the English set up their own plantations.

It became an international commodity and the first 'new drink' craze to sweep England. By the end of the 17th century coffee was more popular there than tea.

  coffee plant    
   

The Coffee Plant
in Elizabeth Blackwell, A Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants. London, 2 vol. Samuel Harding: 1737. 452.f.1 & 452.f.2.
(click image to enlarge)

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