The story of coffee, continued...

We continue our story on the origins of coffee and today we're looking at the legend of how coffee was actually discovered. Scroll below for more or subscribe to our blog for regular updates.

According to one famous legend, a Muslim dervish (type of monk), who was condemned from his enemies to wander in the desert, once heard an uncanny male voice commanding him to eat raw coffee beans. At first, the dervish tried to soak the hard beans in water, but as he failed he decided to drink their juice. The dervish attributed his rescue and energy to his true God, and left the desert to declare his faith and spread the recipe throughout the world. 

Whether that's true or not, the story of our beloved coffee habit has been the centre of attention for numerous story-tellers throughout the centuries. Probably one of the oldest and most popular legends, concerning the conversion of coffee beans into a drink, refers to the young Ethiopian shepherd named Kaldi.

whether you believe coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia by chance, or the product of monastic happenstance one thing is for sure... We’re all grateful our favorite beverage is here!
— #whatsinyourcup

According to this legend, one day Kaldi noticed that his goats were surprisingly lively and full of energy, after eating the fruits of a particular bush. When he himself tried them and confirmed their revitalizing benefits, he decided to gather some and take them to the nearest abbey. The prior of the abbey renounced the unusual, red fruits as diabolical and instantly decided to throw them in the fire.

The legend goes on to say that as the fruits were burning, an exquisite smell emerged from the fire. This distinctive smell motivated the monastic priests, who then collected the roasted fruits and created a fragrant beverage to which they attributed sacred properties - such as their ability to keep them awake for their overnight solemn prayers.

The sacred fruits were gradually spread in the surrounding region through word of mouth of their exquisite properties and taste and later on, in the whole country through merchants who quickly realised the opportunity to trade on them as a commodity.  Coffee finally reached the Arabian Peninsula in the 12th Century and sadly though no one seems to know what happened to the young shepherd who had discovered it. 

On the next entry we continue the story of coffee and look at how this most delicious drink travelled from the Middle East to Europe and finally in America and the world!

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