The credit of this important identification from the point of view of Chemistry should go to two German personalities. The credits, however, have always been the reward of the one who executes the idea and not the one who gave it.
So let me narrate the story of how the world came to know about the presence of the psychoactive drug, Caffeine in Coffee.
The German chemist, Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge once accidentally dropped some belladonna extract into his own eyes while experimenting. He then, being interested in the nature of every chemical (no matter it is in front of his eyes or in his eyes), noted his observations on belladonna’s effects. The observations later helped him to find the effect of belladonna plan's extract on dilating of pupils.
The famous German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was quite intrigued by this discovery, and it of Runge, and he only encouraged him to study the chemical composition of coffee beans.
(Courtesy: Semantic Scholar)
Some more facts about Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge, who identified caffeine in coffee:
• Runge was born in Hamburg, Germany on this day in 1794. He grew up to become a renowned analytical chemist.
• He completed his doctorate degree from the University of Berlin.
• After that, he taught as a professor at the University of Breslau.
• After 1831, he worked for a chemical company and invented the first coal tar dye.
• He is also credited with the isolation of quinine (a drug used in the treatment of malaria), the origination of paper chromatography, and introducing the method of extracting sugar from Beet Juice.
• Runge died at the age of 73, in poverty.