Coffee at three stages of the coffeemaking process

How Coffee Changed the World


This course was available in the past and may be presented again as part of the Open Enrollment curriculum.

This interdisciplinary course will explore the emergence of coffee as a culturally, socially and economically significant product in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, and follow its history along the trade routes of the region, its journey across the Ottoman Empire and into Europe. Through the reading and discussion of secondary sources, the students will analyze and comment on how coffee and its consumption became a focal point in public spaces in the Ottoman Empire and beyond, and the large cultural and social significance it acquired through time. The course will introduce the students to a broad overview of the manifestations of the importance of Middle Eastern coffee cultures through short excerpts from works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, art, and cinema. Students will also analyze the popular culture components of coffee such as the art of fortune telling with Turkish coffee grounds.

Course Outline

Required Text:

All of the articles and resources for this course are in pdf form and will be posted on Canvas, except the paperback book The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers. ISBN: ‎ 978-1101971444. This book will be used on Weeks 7 and 8, and is the only textbook purchase required for the course.

Course Syllabus


Online registration deadline: Thursday, Sept 22 at 5 pm CT.