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Don't know beans?

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Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 03:48 PM

When: Saturday through Jan. 6; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Where: Tampa Bay History Center, 801 Old Water St., Tampa

Tickets: $12.95 adults, $10.95 seniors and students, $7.95 children youth age 4 to 12 and free for children age 3 and under;

www.tampabayhistorycenter.org or call (813) 228-0097

EXHIBIT EVENTS

Evening coffee tasting:

Thursday, 6. to 8 p.m.

Veg Fest Family Fun Day:

Oct. 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Coffee con Comida: Food and Coffee in Tampa Bay and Beyond: Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31

Espresso Politics with Emerge Tampa Bay: Oct. 24, 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Coffee Walking Tour of Ybor City: Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tampa's history as a cigar-making town is legendary. Its history as a coffee town is less well-known but tied closely to its cigar heritage.

During the heyday of cigar factories in West Tampa and Ybor City, workers would sip espresso at their rolling tables as the newspaper was read to them. After all, caffeinated cigar rollers rolled more cigars. Each cup was carefully accounted for, with the cost of each espresso deducted from their pay. Coffee roasters supplying those factories thrived with the cigar industry and dwindled with it as the factories moved offshore.

That story is part of "Coffee: The World In Your Cup," an exhibit about the 1,000-year worldwide history of coffee opening Saturday at the Tampa Bay History Center. The exhibit runs through Jan. 6.

The exhibit is organized by the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture and the University of Washington, and is sponsored by Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks.

During the exhibit's run, there will be coffee tastings, a family fun day, a panel discussion of the politics of coffee in Tampa and a walking tour of Ybor City coffee spots.

"Coffee culture is big in Tampa, thanks in large part to the influence of Cuban, Spanish and Italian cigar workers in the early 20th century," said Rodney Kite-Powell, a curator at the Tampa Bay History Center. "It's a legacy that continues today in coffee shops around the city."

The exhibit's highlights include:

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