Coffee fans, how well do you know your cuppa?
Learn why coffee used to be called the “Devils Brew”, coffee history myths and how this amazing brew got around the world!
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Did you know that the history of coffee dates back from ages ago?
There were actually a lot of legends and myths on coffee’s history, and we’ll reveal them all here.
First, there’s this story about Kaldi, who was a goatherd. According to the legend, Kaldi’s goats were found munching on red cherries and then immediately got excitable… Kind of like what happens to you after you get your caffeine boost.
So he got curious and had a taste of these cherries. That did it for him. He started dancing and thought that it was the coolest thing since those tasty sliced cheese back in the day.
He grabbed some of these cherries and took them to some Islamic monks. They also ate it and got mind-blown. Well, it was not quite a good thing for the head monk because the effect was not pleasant for him. He cursed these cherries (coffee beans) and threw them in the fire. But…
What happened was the aroma – the fragrant coffee aroma – lingered in the room and decided it wasn’t all that bad. He poured some water to these roasted beans, and there goes your history of coffee roasting!
Now, I talked to a shop owner in Kansas City. He told me that Kaldi was not actually a goatherd. What Kaldi actually means is “one who found”, which was a name given to that goat who discovered those power-boosting cherries.
Brief History of Coffee – How It Started in Other Countries
There were also a bunch of tales about coffee just like this story of Muhammad who found himself overcome with sleep after his travels. The Angel Gabriel served him coffee to help ease his tiredness.
Then there were also stories about Chinese and Japanese monks traveling and found coffee.
But here’s the thing. Coffee actually came from the word “Kaffa”, which is a town in Ethiopia.
Sounds pretty cool until the truth about the history of coffee comes out, and that it was from the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia.
Qawha, or where the word “coffee” came from (its etymology) was not roasted, initially. The cherries or coffee beans were chewed. People traveling across Ethiopia chewed these cherries to get a boost of energy. And from Ethiopia, coffee’s popularity spread to Turkey and Yemen.
But in the 14th century, the Arab people gained control of this commodity and made it illegal for anyone to smuggle coffee outside the Arab nations. Those who were caught smuggling coffee were put to death.
It did not stop some people from sneaking coffee out of these nations, though. A Dutchman was able to get it out to Indonesia, specifically in Sumatra and Java. Then, the Dutch people began trading to other European nations, and coffee was among the popular commodity traded. This was how it spread from Ethiopia to Indonesia and to the rest of Europe such as in Italy, and so on.
Eventually, coffee was brought to the British colonies in the Americas such as Bermuda, Jamaica and the Caribbean. There were French colonies in South America and Spanish colonies that were also introduced to coffee.
If you piece all of these things together, coffee is really that fascinating – how it started and how it spread around the world. That Ethiopian coffee ended up in Guatemala, Brazil, Java, and then several varieties came out, one after another. It’s just absolutely fascinating to think about it and how we now have different varieties of coffee beans with unique flavors and aromas!
I hope you learned from this video, and I look forward to knowing more about your thoughts on the history of coffee. Peace!