Coffee has become a staple in people’s morning routine. In fact 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed a day worldwide. But many people are unaware as to how coffee actually came to fruition.
A popular Ethiopian legend says Kaldi, a goat shepherd, discovered his goats not sleeping at night after eating berries from a tree. Kaldi after continuously noticing this trend reported the findings to a local monastery. The monastery made a drink like concoction with the very same berries and discovered it kept them alert for long hours of evening prayer.
Before this berry like drink became coffee, the people found several other useful ways to eat the berries and gain their caffeinated effects. They mixed the cherry like fruit with animal fat to create a protein rich snack bar. It was also common to ferment the berries into a pulp and make it into a wine like mixture.
The first known coffee bean, or roasted berry, was roasted in Arabia around A.D. 1000. Coffee very quickly spread around the world, however, it took time and several countries to finally get to the name “coffee”. In Yemen coffee first earned the name “qahwah”, which was a romantic term for wine. It later became “kahveh” in Turkish, where the Islamic faith prohibited the consumption of alcohol and “kahveh” became the substitute. The Dutch then named it “koffie” and then finally it became “coffee” in English.
John and Charles Arbuckle, brothers in Pittsburgh, then expanded the coffee roasting business by revolutionizing how coffee would be sold. Before the Arbuckle’s, consumers would go to the grocer who would scoop out their amount of desired coffee into smaller packaging. However, having the grocer scoop out the coffee into bags left the coffee open to air, causing the coffee to deteriorate over time. The Arbuckle’s roasted coffee and packaged it into individual packages of uniform weight and quality. Their process soon gained the national market.
We have come along way from coffee bags. Whether you prefer brewed coffee from a traditional brewer or a single cup brewer, tomorrow when you take your first sip of coffee, just remember Kaldi’s goats are to thank for the caffeinated goodness.