The History of Coffee
Coffee has become such an integral part of some of our lives that it’s unimaginable to start our day without it. But have you ever wondered about its origin? There are various legends about the origin of coffee. No one exactly knows when and where it was discovered.
Tea and alcohol are over 5000 years old, but Coffee as a drink has been enjoyed in the last 1000 years. History of coffee is nothing like your normal histories given in books; it includes revolution, scandals, slavery, colonization and much more.
And it starts with a legend. It is believed that the very first coffee plants were found in Ethiopia. Native tribes over there would grind the coffee cherries and mix it with animal fat and roll it into small balls. These balls were given to warriors to give them energy for battle.
In ancient times, stimulating properties of coffee was considered as a type of religious ecstasy. It got a mystical reputation covered with secrets effects and associated with doctors and priests. There are two main legends for the discovery of coffee beans.
As per a story, there was once a goat-herder named Kaldi observed that his herd got more energetic and playful after having the red cherries from a wild shrub of coffee. He got curious and tried the herb himself and got delighted by its invigorating effects. As a result, he was spotted dancing with his goats later on by monks.
The monks started boiling the bean themselves and used the liquid to stay awake throughout the night during night ceremonies.
There is another legend in which it is said that once there was a Muslim dervish who was banished to the desert by his enemies. One day in his state of frenzy, the man heard a voice asking him to eat the fruit from a nearby tree. When he failed to soften the beans in water, he drank the liquid. He considered his energy and survival as some signals of Allah and came back to his people telling everyone about the recipe and faith.
How coffee spread around the world?
Coffee cultivation started in the 15th century. For a very long time, Yemen, a province of Arabia was its only source in the world. The demand for coffee grew high and beans were transported with very high security. No fertile plant was allowed to leave the country.
Muslim pilgrims somehow managed to smuggle coffee plants back to their homes and coffee crops soon found its way to India. It even reached Europe through Venice where perfumes, fabrics, and dyes were traded with Arabic merchants through Spice route.
This beverage became popular and now is the second most traded commodity after petroleum!