Coffee is Discovered
Would you believe that coffee was discovered by a goat? Well, actually a goat herder named Kaldi.
Legend has it that Kaldi noticed that when his goats ate a certain red cherry from a naturally growing local plant, they were more energetic and frisky.
Curiosity overtook Kaldi, and he decided to give the cherry a try. Soon after, he found himself highly energetic and even happy.
Kaldi enjoyed the feeling he received from the coffee so much that he took it to a nearby monastery to show the monks his discovery.
The First Caffeine High
Initially, the head monk was so taken aback by Kaldi's caffeine enhanced enthusiasm that he declared the discovery to be work of the devil.
When a rebellious monk decided to try the cherries, he observed the same effects as Kaldi, and one additional effect -- he was not as tired when it came time for late night praying.
Upon learning they could stay up later to pray, the monks adopted coffee as part of their regular routine. It is said that the word of coffee spread from there.
Tribal Energy Bars
It is said that rumors of the coffee cherries and their effects traveled to Ethiopia where the coffee plant grew abundantly.
Tribes in Ethiopia mixed the coffee cherry into food bars for their people. These were especially useful for their warriors as the natural effect seemed to increase their intensity and stamina in hunting and battle.
Arab traders in the area, noticing the benefits from these magical cherries, took coffee plants back to their homeland to cultivate for themselves.
Persia and Turkey
Back in the homeland, the Arab traders were able to plant and harvest the coffee plants. Coffee was successfully marketed as a stimulating hot drink.
There was even a law created announcing that divorce was justified if a husband did not provide enough coffee to last his wife through the day.
Coffee was considered a sacred drink and the plants were heavily guarded to prevent distribution to other countries.
This Coffee Monopoly was breached when a man named Baba Budan smuggled seven coffee beans to the Mysore, India region.
Saint Baba Budan
The seven coffee beans Baba Budan smuggled back to India were planted and developed into starter coffee plants.
In time, Baba Budan was able to successfully grow coffee plants, and essentially start the spread of coffee to the rest of the world.
To this day, a third of the coffee produced in India is grown from direct descendants of the plants that Baba Budan grew.
His influence was so strong that he was sainted, and an area of India was named after him.
Coffee in Europe
Coffee eventually reached Europe and found popularity, but was initially declared to be the drink of the devil by the religions of the day. Can you say history repeats itself? This sparked a great debate over the value of the energizing hot drink.
Legend has it that the controversy grew to a point where the Pope himself intervened and gave it his personal approval. With this stamp of confidence, Java became a staple in Europe.
Eventually, coffee houses began showing up in countries all over Europe, spawning the business merchants centers like Lloyds Coffee House in England, later to be named Lloyds of London.
Coffee in America
Coffee is reported to have been brought over to the Americas by Captain John Smith when he founded the colony of Jamestown, Virginia.
As in other areas, coffee became popular and was soon found in most colonies and cities of the day.
Over time, many business deals were negotiated over cups of coffee in coffeehouses all across major American cities such as New York City, San Francisco, and Boston.
Coffee Gets a Boost From Tea
Following the Tea Act taxation in the 1770's, there was an uprising, later called the Boston Tea Party, which sparked the American Revolution.
With the American demand to remove taxation from tea, there came a need to find another daily drink. Coffee was a natural substitute, and growers answered the call.
With the American Revolution came a patriotic call to stop drinking tea like the English, and instead, adopt coffee as the national drink of the Americas.
And that is the history of coffee! It was a rough road but as they say, "good things come to those who wait."
If you aren't familiar with Rogers coffee, consider trying a sample today.