Americas

Gabriel de Clieu brought coffee seedlings to Martinique in the Caribbean circa 1720. Those sprouts flourished and 50 years later there were 18,680 coffee trees in Martinique enabling the spread of coffee cultivation to Haiti, Mexico and other islands of the Caribbean. The territory of San Domingo (now Haiti / Dominican Republic) saw coffee cultivated from 1734, and by 1788 it supplied half the world's coffee. Coffee had a major influence on the geography of Latin America. [26] The French colonial plantations relied heavily on African slave laborers. However, the dreadful conditions that the slaves worked in on coffee plantations were a factor in the soon-to-follow Haitian Revolution. The coffee industry never fully recovered there.[27] Coffee also found its way to the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean known as the Isle of Bourbon. The plant produced smaller beans and was deemed a different variety of Arabica known as var. Bourbon. The Santos coffee of Brazil and the Oaxaca coffee of Mexico are the progeny of that Bourbon tree. Circa 1727, the King of Portugal sent Francisco de Mello Palheta to French Guinea to obtain coffee seeds to become a part of the coffee market. Francisco initially had difficulty obtaining these seeds yet he captivated the French Governor's wife and she in turn, sent him enough seeds and shoots which would commence the coffee industry of Brazil. In 1893, the coffee from Brazil was introduced into Kenya and Tanzania (Tanganyika), not far from its place of origin in Ethiopia, 600 years prior, ending its transcontinental journey.[28] Meanwhile, coffee had been introduced to Brazil in 1727, although its cultivation didn't gather momentum until independence in 1822.[29] After this time, massive tracts of rainforest were cleared first from the vicinity of Rio and later Sao Paulo for coffee plantations.[ 0] Cultivation was taken up by many countries in the latter half of the 19th century, and almost all involved the large-scale displacement and exploitation of the indigenous Indian people. Harsh conditions led to many uprisings, coups and bloody suppression of peasants.[31] The notable exception was Costa Rica, where lack of ready labor prevented the formation of large farms. Smaller farms and more egalitarian conditions ameliorated unrest over the 19th and 20th centuries.[32] In the 1930s Brazil took off as major producer of coffee leaving behind their early caffeinate yerba mate industry; which Argentina then took over. Mate plant, or Yerba mate (Spanish: [ea ?mate]; also spelled in English as mate, from the Spanish: yerba mate, Portuguese: erva-mate [?v? ?mat?i]), binomial name Ilex paraguariensis, is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae), well known as the source of the mate beverage. Though the plant is called yerba in Spanish ("herb" in English), it is a tree and not an herbaceous plant. It is native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.[1] It was first used and cultivated by the Guarani people, and also in some Tupi communities in southern Brazil, prior to the European colonization. It was scientifically classified by the Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895. The mate plant, Ilex paraguariensis, is a shrub when young and a tree when adult, growing up to 15 meters tall. The leaves are evergreen, 7Ц11 cm long and 3Ц5.5 cm wide, with a serrated margin. The flowers are small, greenish-white, with four petals. The fruit is a red drupe 4Ц6 mm in diameter. The leaves are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese), both of which mean "herb". They contain caffeine and related compounds and are harvested commercially.