The Wonderful History of Coffee - Part 1

The Wonderful History of Coffee - Part 1

The origin of coffee is steeped in myth, intrigue and adventure.  Coffee has many names, in many places.  Nobody is quite sure where it got its name definitively although there are many theories.  We do know that coffee was jealously guarded, smuggled and continues to be a source of tradition that brings warmth to many peoples morning.  Today there is no country in the world where coffee is not loved and enjoyed, usually with friends and conversation.

Originated in Ethiopia

• To give credence to the Kaldi legend, botanists believe that Coffea Arabica is indigenous to Ethiopia where it still continues to grow wild in the mountains and forest regions.

• Coffee cherries were at first chewed like in the legend and the beans were ground with fat to make an energy bar

• Later it was brewed with water to make a weak tea

• Ethiopians take great pride in their coffee and it is instrumental in their morning rituals

Kaldi dutifully reported his finding to the abbot at the local monastery who made a drink with the berries and discovered that it kept him alert for the long hours of evening prayers.  Soon he shared his discovery with other monks and the energizing effects of the berries began to spread.  As word moved east and coffee reached the Arab peninsula, its reputation spread and grew.

Journey to Yemen

• It is most likely Arab traders took coffee out of Ethiopia and brought it across the Gulf of Aden to the port of Mocha in Yemen.  So much coffee was shipped out of this port that Mocha became synonymous with Coffee

• The first Arab coffee beverage was like a wine made by mixing the juice from fermented beans with cold water, Islamic law forbade wine so coffee was used to replace it

• The Arabs were not only the first to cultivate coffee but also the first to begin its trade

• In fact the Arabs so valued their coffee trade that they made it illegal to remove a coffee plant from their country…punishable by DEATH

We hope that you’ve learned something new about this beautiful beverage and culture. Maybe you even found the answer to “why is coffee called coffee?” Whatever your takeaway, we invite you to share it with us on social media!