Experts claim it all began in Ethiopa, the land of the Abyssinians. A country that stood out as the only African countrty to accept Christianity.
I cannot tell you when, but I can tell you it most likely started with dancing goats. Before you start thinking I have surpassed my limit of coffee, let me share with you the most common legend:
Ethiopian and Arab legends claim that it began with Kaldi, a goatherder. He used play his pipe, while his goats wandered around the hillsides. Then in the late afternoon he would blow a special piercing note on his horn. This brought his goats scampering down from the hill to once again join the herder and head back home.
Except this one day when they did not return. No matter fiercely Kaldi blow his horn. Now getting very concerned, he started following the path in search of his goats and eventually he found them.
But he was shocked to find that they were dancing!
Were they possessed he wondered? Yes, dancing on their hind legs and even playfully butting each other as well bleating excitedly. (Do you feel like this too when you drink too much coffee?)
Then Kaldi noticed his goats under a stand of trees of a type he had never seen before. He watched amazedly as his goats were eating the fruit of these strange trees. They seemed to be enjoying these red berries
The next day the goats headed back to this same grove of trees. Realizing that his goats didn't seemed to be harmed by these berries, he slowley, cautiously sampled some. He started to feel this strange tingling sensation spread throughout his body. The storytellers then claim that he was soon frolicking with his goats!
And the news spreads...
On returning home, Kaldi shared the news of his wonderful discovery with his father. And soon, the word spread throughout the area.
And before long a Starbuck's popped up in his town. (Just kidding!)
Here's what those Ethiopians did with those newly found magic berries:
Eventually the Ethiopians started brewing the leaves and berries with boiled water, turning it into a weak tea. They even turned it into a quick energy snack by grinding the beans and mixing with animal fat (wonder what kind of animals)! And, of course, they made wine out of the fermented pulp.
Now there's a possible addition to the Starbuck's growing product line: Starbuck's Wine!
So when did coffee as we know come about?
Well, it is said that in the sixteenth century they finally started roasting and grinding those coffee beans and made an infusion out of them.