There are many stories about the origin of coffee. Some people want to believe the legend of the Kaldi Shepherd, while others prefer the story based on science. It’s up to you to choose which one you prefer!
The legend of the Kaldi Shepherd 🐐
Legend has it that it was goats that were responsible for the discovery of coffee. One day an Ethiopian shepherd noticed that his goats were excited after eating berries (coffee cherries) from a hitherto unknown shrub.
The shepherd was very curious and tasted the berries but was not convinced by their bitter taste. When he threw them into the fire, a delicious smell was released. The idea came to him to prepare a drink with the freshly roasted coffee beans. After tasting the coffee, he confirmed the stimulating effect of the caffeine in the berries.
The discovery of coffee according to science 📖
Ethiopia is often referred to as the “cradle of coffee” and this is no accident. Indeed, Ethiopians have been drinking coffee since prehistoric times. In the 9th century, the first written traces were found in a medical book highlighting the benefits of caffeine on the body.
It is in Yemen that the cultivation of coffee trees began in earnest in the 15th century. As the conquests progressed, coffee consumption spread to various countries annexed to Yemen, then to the Ottoman Empire (Egypt, North Africa, Turkey, etc.). Yemen then became the leading producer and exporter of coffee in this region of the world.
In Europe, it was not until the 17th century that the Italians, who specialised in trading spices between the East and Europe, decided to import coffee. The drink quickly became popular with monks, merchants, the people and even the Pope. It was then the Dutch and then the English who began to import coffee throughout Europe.
In the middle of the 17th century the first coffee houses appeared in England. These establishments became meeting places for intellectuals and philosophers. The king’s court tried to close them down and ban them but failed. These meeting places became fashionable and popular throughout the country.
In France, coffee first appeared in 1644 in Marseille. A few years later, the court of King Louis XIV discovered the famous beverage. Immediately seduced, coffee became chic and reserved for the bourgeoisie. A right that disappeared over the years to allow coffee to become more democratic in France.
This is how coffee spread through trade and travel. Today, coffee is enjoyed all over the world and has even become the second most consumed drink after water!
So, legend or reality?