Ah, coffee! Really there is no better beverage. Today, we’ll be looking at just how this wondrous drink was discovered.
As I write this, I’m on my 3rd cup of the day and honestly, I probably have another one or two in me. Back in college, I got totally addicted to the stuff and really, I haven’t looked back since.
Coffee is a natural energy drink and with coffee in the picture, who needs any of the artificial energy beverages on the market?
There’s nothing better in the morning or say in the afternoon after a long morning and a lull in the old energy department. The perfect cure for lethargy, too.
But how was it discovered and who is the saint or saints responsible for doing so?
According to a piece at hsph.harvard.edu, coffee is extremely beneficial to the health when consumed in moderation. It apparently helps prevent in some cases type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and even depression among other ailments…
When I was working with my dad as a teenager, he was always good for a great story during a break from work. It was at a reception hall where he was the chef that I had gotten a job. That run lasted from my later high school years and into college.
It was during college that he noticed my caffeine intake was considerably higher than ever before, me often taking the coffees that the waiters passed around over the course of service.
One day during a lull, he looks at me with that smile he always gets when he’s about to tell me something funny…and usually, I can’t tell if it’s a serious story, or just a joke, and this time was no different.
As we waited for service to start, all our prep done, he was leaning on the counter with his back to it, his arms crossed, he looked over at me and said as I drank my third or fourth cup of espresso: “You know how coffee was discovered?
“No,” I said.
He then proceeded to tell me that one night, long ago, a shepherd was watching his sheep, and he let them wander off to a further pasture than usual, where they went to feed on some vegetation.
Later that night, the sheep were so energetic and couldn’t sleep…the shepherd figured it must have been that crop of vegetation they were munching on…
The shepherd went to inspect the plants and the cherries there, and discovered that each of the cherries had what would be known as a coffee bean inside. How he figured to roast said beans and extract coffee from them in water, was unknown, my dad said.
I looked at my dad and laughed. He was smiling so I figured it was a joke, but then I did some research of my own.
Was my pops right?
Well, as it turns out, he was indeed right. According to a piece at ncausa.org, the story is pretty much one in the same with a few variations.
Instead of sheep, the animals were goats, apparently.
According to the source, the actual place the discovery occurred, was in the Ethiopian Plateau specifically (the Ethiopian Plateau covers most of Ethiopia and also Eritrea), and the shepherd in question was named Kaldi—in fact he is referenced as a goat herder, obviously…which is darn close if you ask me.
Kaldi also thought the goat’s sudden burst of energy that night and inability to sleep was because of the berries on that plant they ate from, so he brought some of the berries to the head of the monastery where he was from, and the abbot made a drink derived from said berries and he too experience the miraculous burst of energy.
From that point on, it was all word of mouth.
So in the end, dear readers, we’ve got an adorable herd of hungry goats to thank for the beverage that has brought so many people such joy, this writer included.
And, Kaldi, the mighty goat herder, of course. So next time you’re sipping on that much-needed cup of coffee, dear readers, raise your mug to the man, the myth, the legend: Kaldi and his herd of goats.