Coffee history - Ethiopia


Coffee history – Ethiopia: The history of coffee is interesting and varied. According to one story, the effect of coffee beans on behavior was noticed by a sheep herder from Caffa Ethiopia named Kaldi as he tended his sheep. He noticed that the sheep became hyperactive after eating the red ‘cherries’ from a certain plant when they changed pastures. He tried a few himself and was soon as overactive as his herd. The legend related that a monk happened by and scolded him for partaking of the devil’s fruits. However the monks soon discovered that this fruit from the shiny green plant could help them stay awake for their prayers.

Originally the coffee plant grew naturally in Ethiopia, but once transplanted in Arabia was monopolized by them. One early use for coffee would have little appeal today. The Galla tribe from Ethiopia would wrap coffee beans in animal fat as their only source of nutrition while raiding parties. The Turks were the first country to adopt it as a drink, often adding spices such as clove, cinnamon etc. to the brew.

Coffee was introduced much later to countries beyond Arabia whose inhabitants believed it to be a delicacy and guarded its secret as if they were top secret military plans. Transportation of the plant out of the Muslim nations was forbidden by the government. The actual spread of coffee was started illegally.

Coffee was believed by some Christians to be the devil’s drink. Pope Vincent III heard this and decided to taste it before he banished it. He enjoyed it so much that he baptized it, saying coffee is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. - Coffee history - Ethiopia