Let's talk about the origins of coffee because it is actually pretty interesting!
Coffee was discovered around 1000 yrs ago—give or take. No-one really knows an exact date, but many believe the Aribica (the lighter colored and less bitter bean) originated in Ethiopia, while the Robusta (Darker brown and more bitter bean) originated in West Africa.
Even before the seeds were roasted and ground to make the coffee beverage we all know and love and rely on, their leaves and cherries were used for their energetic qualities. Goat herders in Africa used to mix the coffee seeds with goat fat to create the first ever energy bars. A little different then the ones you can buy today. But it kept them alive when they had to travel long distances away from home.
It is thought that in the 1400’s, Sufis (African slaves) made a tea from coffee cherries which helped them stay awake when they needed to be alert. These Sufis carried the drink North to Yemen. By the 1500s Arabs of Yemen started to roast and grind the coffee cherry and created the coffee much like the one we drink today. So, thank you to the Yemenites for this delicious gift to humanity!
It is said that the Arabs guarded this delicious drink with their lives, but by the 1600’s a Sufi smuggled a coffee seed out of Yemen to India, who then gave it to a Dutch trader, who planted the seeds in Amsterdam. By the end of the 17th century coffee had been planted in the Dutch colonies but mostly in Indonesia
Within a few hundred years coffee had reached around the world—first as a beverage then as a commodity.
We owe a lot to that brave Sufi! Whoever he was, here’s to you! (Raise your coffee mug) Cheers!