The Origin of Coffee
Coffee is enjoyed and appreciated by millions of people worldwide, but do you actually know its roots? This beloved beverage started with humble beginnings, changed people’s breakfast habits, and ignited innovation within the industry.
There are a few versions of coffee’s origin story. One starts in Ethiopia with a goat herder named Kaldi. “He found that a small shrub (or a cluster of shrubs, according to some legends) was the source of the excitement. Deciding to try the bright red berries for himself, Kaldi also felt the coffee cherries' energizing effects.” He believed that this fruit was sent from heaven, something we can all agree on, even though reception in the community was positive at first.
Two theories have origins in Yemen. “The Yemenite Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili was traveling through Ethiopia, presumably on spiritual matters. He encountered some very energetic birds that had been eating the fruit of the bunn plant (known elsewhere as the coffee plant). Weary from his journey, he decided to try these berries for himself and he found that they produced an energetic state in him as well.”
“The second coffee origin myth from Yemen claims that coffee originated in Yemen. The story is centered around Sheikh Omar, a doctor-priest and a follower of Sheik Abou'l Hasan Schadheli from Mocha, Yemen, who was exiled to a desert cave close to the mountain of Ousab. After some time of exile and on the verge of starvation, Omar found the red berries of the coffee plant and tried to eat them. One version of the story says that a bird brought him a branch bearing coffee cherries after he cried out in despair for guidance from his master, Schadheli.”
Beer for Breakfast?
Believe it or not, the breakfast beverage of choice used to be beer. Because of water contamination in the 1800s, “the English drank beer for breakfast”. To be totally honest, beer with breakfast doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, but we’re thankful coffee made its way into our hearts and on to our tables.
The New Age
With advancements in technology and the internet, the coffee industry has completely changed. We’ll start simple… how do you order your coffee? Maybe on a mobile app. In a new city and looking to find the best shop around? Check out social media! Obsessed with your local barista? See if they’re competing for a title soon. (Yes there are barista competitions and it’s everything you’ve hoped for and more.)
We're sure that within the next few decades the coffee industry will continue to change and we can't wait to see what comes next.