Oh, coffee! The beverage made from those magic beans that makes our mornings wonderful and can even stop your wife/husband/mother/father from being a complete Grinch! But who discovered it and how did it happen? Read this article and find out!
According to a legend, coffee was discovered by a 9th-century goat-herder from Ethiopia named Kaldi. It is said that Kaldi saw his goats behaving differently after eating the red berries from a Coffea Arabica tree. He decided to try them himself and he soon discovered that he was acting as hyper as his goats. He then took some to a monastery where the beans were used during the long hours of prayer. But this practice didn’t please the religious leaders who tried to burn the beans and destroy them. But the beans had a trick up their sleeve: the amazing aroma of the roasted beans which convinced the monks to give coffee another chance. They started mixing the roasted beans with warm water and, so, coffee was born!
But, although this is an interesting story, it is said that people used to chew coffee beans as a stimulant long before Kaldi discovered them. They would grind the beans and mix them with butter and animal fat to preserve and eat on their travels. Sudanese slaves used to chew coffee beans to help them survive their difficult voyages on trade routes.
The cultivation and trade of the beans for drink began in the 14th century, in Arabic countries, and spread throughout Egypt, Turkey and Syria. It is also believed that, until the 1600s, coffee plants didn’t exist outside Arabia or Africa. This changed when a pilgrim, Baba Budan, took them to India. Pieter van der Broeck smuggled some coffee from Mocha, Yemen and brought it to Amsterdam. The Dutch and their colonies took over the European trade. And then, coffee started conquering the world! Nowadays, coffee became one of the most profitable industries.
So, although coffee has a very troubled and doubtful history, we must acknowledge one thing: it makes our lives better!