The Origins of Coffee

The Origins of Coffee

When you sit down each morning with a large mug of coffee in your hands as you prepare for your work day, you probably haven’t thought about your coffee’s journey to your cup. The earliest record of coffee dates back to the 10th century. Many have speculated that Ethiopia was where coffee made its first appearance, then later traveled to the Middle East, then Europe assumed.

Dancing Goats

There is a coffee myth that dates back to the  ninth-century. A goat herder named Kaldi discovered the impact coffee’s caffeine content can have on anyone, or anything, who consumes it. He noticed one day that his goats were prancing and frolicking, a behavior that he deemed irreproachable. He decided to investigate the cause of their abnormal behavior and observed them eating red berries off of an unfamiliar tree. Kaldi tried some of the berries himself and joined the goats in their dancing. He became known as “the happiest herder in happy Arabia.”

Etymology

The Oxford English Dictionary first recorded the English word, coffee, in 1582. The name was derived from the Dutch word, koffie, the Ottoman Turkish name, kahve, and the Arabic word, qahwah. The name is derived from qahiya because of the coffee’s impacts as an appetite suppressant.

Ethiopia

Evidence suggests that the Oromo people may have been the first to discover the energizing and revitalizing effects of coffee, and the plant was first domesticated for coffee production in the Ethiopian city of Harar. When coffee spread to the Middle East, it was often used in the Islamic culture for religious practices and prayers. Its popularity within Muslim cultures created a clash with Christians. Several decades later, despite being the origin of coffee, the drink was banned in Ethiopia by their Orthodox Church in the 17th century because drinking coffee was believed to be a “vile Muslim habit,” along with smoking tobacco and chewing qat. But coffee was later reintegrated in their society because Ethiopia’s Emperor Menilek often drank it, and Abuna Matewos ruled that it was a drink not solely reserved for Muslims.

Whether you try our coffee from Ethiopia or any of our coffee varieties, they will be delicious and flavorful. You’ll be drinking history in every cup. Think about the origins of your coffee the next time you try our coffee.