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Thursday, 29 April 2021 12:31

Legends and myths about the origins of coffee

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A hot and stimulating cup of coffee is one of the most important elements of every morning for billions of people around the world.

What's more, the smell of brewed coffee is associated with a cosy and homely atmosphere, which is why every workplace has a coffee maker. It is worth noting that this drink has only been known in Europe since around the 15th century. So, who were the first discoverers of coffee and what do myths and legends say about its origins?

Ethiopia's coffee roots

Ethiopia is a place where the coffee fruit has been known for over 3,000 years, as confirmed by archaeological findings. Therefore, it's no surprise that the most popular coffee legend comes from Ethiopia. According to legend, the African shepherd Kaldi set out in search of his goats that had escaped from his sight. After a short search, he found the herd, but the animals were extremely energized and active. Then Kaldi saw that the reasons for this behavior of the animals were the leaves and red fruit of the nearby bushes. Kaldi decided to try the leaves and fruits, which resulted in stimulation and a surge of strength. The shepherd quickly shared his discovery with the inhabitants of his village, which contributed to the spread of the plant's popularity. The country where this story supposedly took place was the historic state of Kaffa. Moreover, some suggest that this is why the hot infusion of roasted coffee beans is called coffee today. To this day, Ethiopian coffee is considered one of the best in the world.

The legend of Omar – another myth about the origins of coffee

Omar was a famous doctor who healed people through prayer. He did not charge for his extraordinary abilities, therefore he was poor, because he claimed that helping people should be selfless. The rulers of his hometown did not like the altruistic attitude of the mystical medic, so Omar was banished. The medic took up residence in one of the caves in the desert, but alone, he almost starved to death. His red fruit growing at the entrance to the cave turned out to be his salvation. They were too bitter to eat raw, so Omar decided to bake them over the fire and then cook them. He realized that the infusion made of the fruit gave him strength and eliminates fatigue. Omar decided to heal people again and share with them information about the miraculous infusion. The fame of coffee spread throughout Yemen, thanks to which Omar returned in glory to his hometown of Mokki, and years later became its patron.

Are all the myths about the origin of coffee true?

Many Middle Eastern countries have legends about the creation of coffee. Such a large number of similar stories allows us to suppose that in every myth we can find a grain of truth. Interestingly, each legend mentions the stimulating properties of coffee and its beneficial effect on our well-being. Today we have access to many different types of coffee, such as coffee from Papua New Guinea or Colombian coffee. Hundreds of years later, we feel the same emotions when we brew delicious, hot and aromatic coffee.