Who discovered it? When? where?
Ok! ...So lets start in Ethiopia (The horn of Africa) .legend says the goat herder Kaldi first discovered the potential of these beloved beans when he notices his sheep were particularly energetic when herding them up a hill one morning, They had potentially eaten berries from a coffee plant and subsequently did not sleep that night. Basically a Shepard noticed his sheep acting a little frisky around nearby bush.
I know that their tradition for a long time was just to eat the cherry or chew the beans, but I don't know why it would take until 15th c. Yemen to think of putting some hot water with it but whatever.
Kaldi reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer... This is probably the most commonly known myth of where it all started.
Interesting story right? sounds wholesome and you just want to believe every part of this is true!
If your in the coffee industry you may of heard of a guy called James Hoffman. James is an English barista, YouTuber, entrepreneur, coffee consultant, and author. Hoffmann first came to prominence after winning the World Barista Championship in 2007 and has since been credited as a pioneer of Britain's third-wave coffee movement.
James reckons the story is incorrect and Coffee fruit had been consumed for a long time by people in the region - often balled up with animal fat as a kind of snack. Others say that it had been around in Yemen for some time and was almost treated like crack! dealt secretly through the region for its addictive qualities...we are all addicted to coffee right? not just me!
So .. Ethiopia is where the legend lies..BUT if it's not from 9th century Ethiopia, where is it from?
Well, the earliest mention is likely in Arab chronicles circa the turn of the previous millennia. The main varietal of coffee, arabica should give us a clue to its origin as well. The coffee plant is a native species to the geographically isolated Yemeni region on the south side of the peninsula. The plant, and its invigorating properties were popular among the Sufi communities in and around Mocha...Mokha also spelled Mocha, or Mukha, is a port city on the Red Sea coast of Yemen
When did coffee first get exported from its origin to Europe?
Some sources say that In 1640, a Dutch merchant imported the first commercial shipment of coffee from Mocha to Europe, and regular imports of coffee from Mocha to Amsterdam began in 1663.
However I believe from my research that Coffee was first introduced to Europe in Hungary when the Turks invaded Hungary at the Battle of Mohács in 1526. Within a year, coffee had reached Vienna by the same Turks who fought the Europeans at the Siege of Vienna (1529). Later in the 16th century, coffee was introduced on the island of Malta through slavery.
In 1600, Pope Clement VIII, baptized the drink – making it more acceptable to European markets.
Is this all something to believe?.. ORRR was it the beginning of a Seattle based chain that....... ill get my coat.
So...to summarise .. Know one can really put a location or date on when coffee was actually found, invented, stumbled across etc etc .. But what we do know is that it was sometime in the 15th century in Africa and lets just be grateful that its around today.
The speciality coffee industry is evolving quickly in so many way today, automatic machines that dispense a coffee in seconds and Robots making coffee with their creepy robotic arms.
But know matter what becomes of the way its made, your friendly barista will ALWAYS be apart of the customer service and delivery of your coffee in the forever growing speciality coffee industry. These skilled people will always be the ones behind a decent cup of Joe! Baristas put the essence in the soul of your coffee!