A Quick History of Coffee, Part 1

Coffee: making Mondays manageable since 850 AD.  Or something like that.

Given its current global scope, the story of coffee's discovery is a bit unusual in the botanical cannon. People apparently lived around the plants for centuries before thinking to do anything with it. And now 2.25 billion cups are consumed daily, around the world.

No one knows if this legend is true, but the story of coffee is supposed to have begun in the late 9th century when an Ethiopian herdsman found his goats to be more lively after eating a certain bush. But really? 

Around 1100, traders from the Arabian peninsula took the plant home and began cultivating it in increasingly large plantations. They called the drink Qahwa, or "that which prevents sleep"—and that is the word from which both coffee and café derive.
In the 11th century, it was coffee's leaves that were called the "magical fruit". Arabica coffee leaves have anti-inflammatory properties and it was once marketed as an alternate tea. Have you ever tried coffee leaf tea? How was it?

This is just the first chapter in the story of coffee... stay tuned for the next chapter tomorrow. 

Liz PearComment