History of Coffee

There are many tales, legends and story surround the enigma of the discovery of coffee. One favoured by historiens, and perhaps the most romantic is the tale of Kaldi, an Abyssinian goatherd. Sometime before the ninth century, Kaldi was sitting on a rock on a mountain slope one day, he noticed that his normally docile goats had suddenly become exceptionally lively for no apparent reason. On closer inspection, he discovered that they had been nibbling the bright red berries of a nearby plant. Bravely, he tasted the berry himself and after some moments, found to his amazement that he felt extraordinarily uplifted and invigorated. Convinced of a miracle, he rushed to the local monastery and excitely told his tale to the Abbot, showing him the berries that he had crammed into his leather pouch. The Abbot, instantly fearing the devil’s work, flung the berries onto the fire, where upon a wonderful and exotic aroma filled the air. Now convinced that its was God’s work, the Abbot gave orders for the beans to be swiftly raked from the fire and immediately several monks rescue the beans. They were than mixed with water so that all the monks of the monastery could partake in this miracle!

Before the tenth century, coffee was eaten by the wondering tribesmen where they discovered the alluring properties of coffee as a stimulant. The ripe berries were squashed and mixed with animal fats and shaped into round balls and often carried with them and eaten at interval of their long journey – the original ‘take away’. Later, on coffee was drunk where the berries were mixed with cold water and left to stand before drinking. The crushing of beans came at a later date and not until A.D.1000 when the Arabs discovered how to boil water, did coffee become a hot drinks where the Arabs where extremely proud of their newly discovered beverege.

By the 13th century, coffee had entered the main stream of Arabian life, where Qahveh Khaneh (Coffee Houses) emerged into the town and religious of Arabia. As coffee drinking become more and more popular, qahveh khaneh were quickly multiplied in numbers. With this ever increasing popularity, coffee drinking spread into people’s home where eventually it evolved into an elaborate ceremony.

Consequently, words reached Europe about the delicious new drink. The first consignment of coffee arrived in Venice in 1615 from Turkey. The drink soon reached Rome where, once again, it was condemned by the clergy as the drink of the devil. However, Pope Clement VIII upon experiencing the pleasing aroma and the taste of coffee realised how foolish it would be to banish it from the Christian world forever. So he immediately blessed it. With Papal approval, the growth of coffee drinking in Italy was assured and it was not long before the first European coffee houses were open. Here you can see coffee is a truly heavenly beverage.