Of Goathearders and Monks-- The Mystical Origins of Coffee
November 10, 2014
If you've ever wondered about the origin of the beautiful gift of coffee, you need look no further than the wide plains of Ethiopia...
Once upon a time, there was a relatively unknown goathearder named Kaldi. One day, as Kaldi was watching his flock, he noticed they were particularly giddy, in fact as they grazed on bushes of red berries, they fairly danced from bush to bush. Kaldi, though used to a fiesty flock and and having the full knowledge that goats will eat almost anything, decided to try the mysterious red berries himself. He soon found that he was so full of energy he was leaping and dancing with his goats.
A monk passing by Kaldi and his heard saw the leaping goatherder and asked about his conduct. After Kaldi explained about the mysterious energy-giving berries, the monk collected some, took them back to his monastery and brewed them into a kind of dark tea and shared them with his brothers.
That night the monks found themselves particularly awake for the late evening prayers, some even said they were more in tune with divine inspiration. Thus, coffee came onto the local and eventually international scenes through the dances of some hungry goats, the curiosity of a poor goatherder, and the practicality of a few pious monks.
As to the origin of the word "coffee" itself, the seems a little muddle, but the qustionally reliable site Wikipedia provides this curious sentence: "The word "coffee" entered English language in 1582 via Dutch koffie, borrowed from Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from Arabic qahwa, a truncation of qahhwat al-bun 'wine of the bean."
Knowledge compliments of ncausa.org, nationalgeographic.com
Photo compliments of coffee-heads.com
Origins: Great Lakes Tea and Spice Co.
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