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The Incredible History of Coffee

The extraordinary history of coffee is filled with delight, devotion, intolerance, and intrigue.

Exactly where and when coffee was first cultivated is debated, but botanical evidence confirms that Coffea Arabica originated on the plateaus of central Abyssinia (now Ethiopia), several thousand feet above sea level. Coffee trees still grow wild there in the shade of the canopies of the highland forests.

The Kaldi Coffee Legend:

Legend has it that sometime between the 6th and 9th centuries an Abyssinian goat-herd named Kaldi noticed a discerned up-tempo to the frolic in his herd as they grazed on the berries of a certain bush. Not wanting his herd to get away from him, adventurous Kaldi sampled the ruby red berries and soon discovered that he too had added a certain hop to his step.

Word of the stimulant properties of the local berries spread and, much as Yemeni laborers chewed khat leaves and Andean messengers coca leaf, the local native tribes fueled up on protein rich coffee and animal fat balls for an early African highland version of a caffeinated power bar.

Next: Part 2, Turkish Coffee

For additional chapters, visit the Incasa Coffee Blog

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