Although coffee may have existed longer than anyone knows, the first written reference to coffee did not emerge until 1671 AD. The writing tells the story of Kaldi, an Ethiopian farmer and goat herder who found and tried the fruit from a coffee plant. However, the story of Kaldi is steeped deeply in myth and legend.
No one knows for a certainty that the story of Kaldi is true. Supposedly, Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate the berries from a particular bush, they became much more active than usual. Wanting to see if the coffee berries had the same effect on him, Kaldi picked some coffee berries and chewed them whole. Afterwards, Kaldi discovered that like the goats, he felt much more vibrant and energetic. Because he wanted to spread the tasty secret of the coffee berries, Kaldi took some berries to a local Islamic holy man. Although Kaldi loved the feeling the berries gave him, the holy man disapproved the altered state that the coffee created. To express his disgust, the holy man tossed the berries into a fire. To his surprise, the coffee berries in the fire created a pleasant, irresistible aroma. The roasted berries were raked from the fire, ground, and dunked into hot water. Thus, the first cup of coffee was created.
However, the 15th century presents the most credible evidence of the first coffee drinkers. Arabian Sufis drank coffee to keep themselves awake during late devotions. In 1554, the first coffeehouse opened in Istanbul. Unfortunately, coffee drinking presented controversy to many residents who feared that coffee was too stimulating.
In the 16th century, trade brought coffee from Africa to Europe. Coffee was expensive, so only the wealthy could indulge in the habit of drinking the beverage. Soon after the coffee bean arrived from Africa, French royalty began enjoying the beverage. In 1683, the first coffeehouse opened in Vienna, Austria. However, the Dutch were the first to obtain live coffee bushes. In Amsterdam, the coffee bushes were planted in botanical gardens, where they began to thrive.
As you can see, coffee plays a vital part in our lives, and that is why we need to know some basic things about it. The health benefits of coffee are extensive, and it is a good idea to drink it. Don’t drink it too much because moderation is key!