Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tampa Bay History Center Serves up Coffee Exhibit

Did you know the coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia at least 1,000 years ago? Or that the word “coffee” comes from the Turkish word qahwa, for a wine-like drink? From the bodegas of West Tampa to hipster hangouts in downtown St. Pete, every cup of coffee we buy and drink in Tampa Bay connects us with a web of hidden stories around the world.

A new exhibit brewing at Tampa Bay History Center uncovers the true story behind one of the world’s most widely-traded commodities.

Coffee: The World in Your Cup opens Oct. 6 and serves up an overview of the powerful influence of coffee on environments, human cultures, and economies worldwide. Learn about coffee’s early controversial reputation as a “revolutionary drink” and consider the culture that surrounds coffee in the twenty-first century.

“Coffee culture is big in Tampa, thanks in large part to the influence of Cuban, Spanish and Italian cigar workers in the early 20th century,” said Saunders Foundation Curator of History at the Tampa Bay History Center, Rodney Kite-Powell. “It’s a legacy that continues today in coffee shops around the city,” he said.

Highlights of Coffee: The World in Your Cup include:
  • Interpretive displays of traditional Turkish and Ethiopian coffee sets, picking baskets, and more than 40 coffee sacks from around the world
  • Color photographs of farms from South America to Africa to the Pacific Islands that tell the global story of coffee cultivation and trade
  • Short videos featuring different aspects of the coffee industry

On exhibit at the History Center Oct. 6 – Jan. 6, 2013, Coffee: The World in Your Cup has been organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle and is sponsored locally by Melitta Coffee.

For more information, visit or call (813) 228-0097.
Coffee: The World in Your Cup Program and Event Schedule

Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Coffee: the World in Your Cup opening day

Oct. 11, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Premium Blend: Evening coffee tasting and members event

Oct. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Family Fun Day at Veg Fest

Wednesdays, Oct. 17-31 Cafe con Comida: Food and Coffee in Tampa Bay and Beyond

Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Ybor City Coffee Experience, a walking tour of Ybor City

Dec. 27 & 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Kids, Cocoa and Coffee

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