The story of coffee, the black gold of the 18th century
In February 1708, two boats sailed to Yemen from the French port of Saint-Malo.
One of King Louis XIV’s privateers, Mr. de la Merveille, led the expedition. His destination was Mocha, the main trading post for coffee which was a precious and rare product at the time.
In the 18th century, Yemen was the only country in the world to grow it. The Dutch East India Company had trading monopoly in Europe on the beans. The French wanted their share of this highly lucrative market and launched a naval war against the cartel.