The popularity of coffee and coffeehouses in 1600s Europe combined with colonial expansion and rivalries meant the French, and British, both encouraged the planting of coffee across the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia.  However, when leaf rust hit Sri Lanka in 1875, farmers chose not to replant coffee, but sewed tea instead, which is immune to leaf rust.  In England it became patriotic to drink tea, and the French, who had high quality milk but weaker varieties of coffee became known for their coffee.


For more information, check out this article on Coffee Rust & Sri Lanka