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History of coffee

History of coffee

Many stories are connected with the discovery of coffee. The most widespread one is the legend of an Ethiopian shepherd called Kalid (Kaldi) who lived around III century B.C. Once he noticed that his goats started running around wildly after eating leaves and red fruit from a bush that was unknown at the time. Kalid told the story to the local monastery's abbot. Having himself tried the tonic fruit and leaves, the monk decided that a hot beverage made of that plant would be useful for other monks not to fall asleep during the long services. Taking in a beverage of coffee leaves and fruit soon became popular with the locals. From there, from Ethiopia, coffee started its slow but sure conquest of the world.

Systematic coffee cultivation first began in XV century. It was grown in the hanging gardens of Yemen and sold through the seaport Mocha to numerous countries of the Middle East. For two centuries Yemen was the sole coffee-seller worldwide. Later coffee quickly spread in many Asian countries, and Turkish diplomats brought it to countries in other regions.

Before coming to Europe, the beverage made a long way from the countries where it was born to India and Arabia. Europeans were also charmed by its invigorating effect, and today it is hard to imagine how important was alcohol in Europeans' diet before they tasted tea, coffee and cocoa.

Since the Middle Ages on, most people used to consume huge amounts of wine and beer. For middle class people who had to do a lot of sitting work demanding much mental effort, coffee became something like a cool shower. The beverage helped to work attentively for many hours in a row. Thus, Europeans very quickly substituted alcoholic drinks with coffee.


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