Ethiopian Coffee History


Legend has it that a herder from the Ethiopian Highlands first discovered coffee beans. After witnessing his goats eating red berries from a cluster of shrubs he observed that the livestock had a surge of energy. The herder, named Kaldi, tried the berries himself and was in turn as euphoric as his livestock.
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Versions of the tale claim that Kaldi cut off branches with the berries and took them to a local monastery, after his wife believed they were heaven sent. Kaldi explained that his goats were up all night after eating the berries. One of the monks declared the coffee beans as "the Devils work" and threw the branches into a fire. Not long after an exhilarating aroma filled the space. The monks are said to have removed the beans from the fire, crushing them in the process of extinguishing the flames. The crushed beans were stored in a jug with hot water to preserve them and the smell attracted others to the monastery. 

The monks began chewing beans and drinking the brewed coffee before long prayer sessions and the custom grew throughout Ethiopia.
 
Coffee was originally found in the Kafa region of Ethiopia and it is believed that the term is a derivative of the name of the place of origin. Coffee was taken to Arab countries from Ethiopia, where the term 'Arabica' stems from.