Forklore — Eater's animated video series about the myths and legends surrounding your favorite foods — tackles another facet of coffee’s history in today’s episode, this time exploring the crop's dark side.
Coffee production on a large scale has never been entirely innocuous. Top bean-producing countries historically were also those with significant slave populations, responsible for the back-breaking labor required to meet coffee's growing global demand. The result of their treatment meant coffee farming practices were often punctuated by bloody revolts and acts of retaliation. Today, the plight of the average modern coffee farm laborer is better, but barely: little to no benefits, poor working conditions, and wages that add up to even less than a latte would cost at your local cafe .
To learn about coffee’s origin story, and how the plant defied all odds to pop up all across the globe, click here.