The story of coffee, seen as the black gold of the 18th century, which remains the world’s bestselling product after oil.
In February 1708, two frigates 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, 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 a coffee trading monopoly in Europe, but the French wanted their share of the highly lucrative market and launched a naval war against the cartel.