Legends of the Coffee

An apocryphal history dating from the year 1400, tells of a Yemeni shepherd, named Khaldi, who noticed his goats became restless and energetic after eating the red fruits that were growing in the unknown bushes from these lands. Amazed by their behaviors Khaldi brought fruits to a nearby monastery, where the abbot boiled them in water. He got a bitter but flavored liquid, very stimulating, that banished fatigue and sleepiness.The other story is the one of a Muslin dervish who was condemned by his enemies to wander through desert and thus starve. In his delirium, the young man heard a voice telling him to eat the fruits from a coffee tree nearby. The dervish tried to soften the fruits in water and when this failed, he simply drank that liquid. He saw his survival and energy as a sign from God, so he returned to his people to spread his faith and the recipe of his drink.

Such stories are of course unconfirmed, but there are some facts about the spread of the coffee tree, which are well documented. It seems that the origin of coffee is on the African continent, in an area of Ethiopia called “Kaffa”. From there, it spreads to Yemen, then in Arabia and Egypt. Coffee cultivation has rapidly extended in all these countries and serving coffee has become a pleasant daily habit. In the late 14th century, the societies which were practicing commerce realized the big potential coffee had and they have successfully launched it in Europe.