Segments in this Video

Caffeine (02:58)


Caffeine gives the human brain a boost of energy and has been used for thousands of years. Tea is one of the most popular forms of caffeine and was the first globally traded good.

Tempest in a Teapot (03:18)

In the 1700s, coffeehouses became popular in Europe and America and were frequent meeting spots for political groups. Caffeine blocks the pathway to the brain for the chemical that tells someone they are tired.

The Family Tree (02:05)

Everything on Earth developed from the same one-celled organisms. Caffeine affects humans because human and plants that produce caffeine share similar DNA.

Tropical Climates (03:11)

The Earth is tilted on it axis, which created the different climates and seasons. The tropical regions have a consistent climate, which allows certain plants to grow all year.

Pick You Poison (01:12)

Some tropical plants evolved to produce caffeine to repel predators. Humans discovered what killed the insects could give them a boost of energy.

Caffeine Trade (01:54)

Coffee and tea were important to trading in the 17th century because they were not perishable. To meet demand, coffee and tea traders stole live plants so they can grow them for themselves.

Plant the Flag (02:52)

European powers, in search of a place to grow caffeine plants, colonized tropical regions. Slave labor was used to work massive coffee and tea plantations.

Industrial Revolution (02:08)

Great Britain was the biggest tea drinking nation in 1800. Since the water was boiled, death from waterborne illnesses decreased. In 1850, the Industrial Revolution changed society in Britain.

Credits: Brain Boost (00:31)

Credits: Brain Boost

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Brain Boost

Part of the Series : Big History
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Behind that cup of coffee or tea is a global story that goes back to the collision that created the Moon and the evolution of plant and animal life.

Length: 22 minutes

Item#: BVL160864

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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