This is a summary of the long and celebrated history of the 2nd most traded commodity in the world (oil being the first). It is regarded by many as one of the most complex beverage on Earth. Here are a few fun facts about coffee:
•Estimated 500 BILLION cups consumed yearly – ½ of that at breakfast time. •Largest consumed of the worlds “legal” drugs.
•100 million people depend of coffee for their survival.
•Howard Schultz described coffee as being “A social romantic beverage and a theatrical experience”.
The Irresistible Bean
As the story goes:
About 1,000 years ago, in rural Ethiopia, a young goat herder named Kaldi (Khaldi), was walking his herd (as he often did) in the fields and woods. Typically, when it was time to go home, he would call to them on his flute, and they would come to him. One day, they didn’t. After awhile, he went to look for them and found them running and playing, seemingly in a state of euphoria. As he watched, he saw them eating the leaves and berries from some trees. He decided to try them himself – and soon he became energetic and was dancing around with the herd. They were coffee beans.
Ethiopians were the first to cultivate coffee. In the early days of coffee bean consumption – the beans and leaves of the tree were chewed. Then they were mixed with animal fats to create an “energy bar”. Eventually, the leaves were boiled to make a tea.
In the 1400’s, the beans were “accidentally” brewed with the leaves. This quickly caught on and coffee became a beverage for the wealthy. Coffee became the pride and heritage of Ethiopia.
Back then, only the women were allowed to roast the beans and make the coffee. They would lay the beans on a flat surface, or pan to be blessed by the Gods of Fortune and Prosperity. Coffee was poured from a height enough to allow the aroma to fill the room and the eldest was always served first.
Out of Africa:
Three Arabian Sheiks...