Gabriel de Clieu

The Father of American coffee

Before the 17th century the only coffee producer in the world was the Ottoman Empire but in 1690 the Netherlands were able to aquire some coffee plants and to start a new business. Before 1714 when the Burgomaister of Amsterdam gifted two coffee plants to Luigi XIV,
Netherlands were the only plants’ owners in Europe; this two plants were kept in the king’s official greenhouses.

 In 1723 of the plant was stolen from the greenhouse by Gabriel de Clieu, he did that hoping to start a new life in America entirely based on coffee. According to his account he managed to keep the plant safe despite they tried several times to steal it, the ship was attacked by a crew of Tunisian pirates and the ship was surprised by a storm and risked sinking.

When he menaged to arrive to Martinique the plant was still alive and Gabriel was able to start the coltivation of coffee; in 1796 he had over 20.000.000 plants and he expanded his business in the whole country.

Thanks to Gabriel de Clieu today the American coffe business is the most productive of the world!