History of Coffee | Coffee Began | Beginning of Coffee
According to the Ethiopian legend, Kaldi, a goat herder noticed that his goats were jumping and dancing from one shrub to the next eating the berries. Legend has it that he ate some and soon joined the goats in their dancing. Nearby monks noticed this and picked the berries for himself and his brothers. The legend goes on to say that the monks received divine inspiration after eating the berries from the coffee bush. The story is probably stretched to make it more interesting and it is more likely that the herder noticed the goats had more energy after eating the berries and thus tried them. It would be years later in Arabia that coffee began to be consumed as a beverage more closely resembling coffee today. Muslims in Arabia began roasting the coffee beans and drinking the beverage left behind in the water around 1000 A.D. This broth made from the coffee beans became a religious drink to keep the worshippers awake. Over time, the energetic properties of the coffee broth moved over to secular life as well as religious life. As the monks travelled the coffee bean did as well and soon began to show up in other countries and cultures. Eventually the coffee bean was showing up around the world and growing this exquisite plant became a race to grow the best coffee and create an empire from the coffee bean. Brazil moved ahead in the game and by the 1800s was producing enough coffee to allow it to become a daily drink that even ordinary people could enjoy. Originally coffee was made by boiling the coffee beans in water. The length of time the coffee beans boiled determined how strong or weak the coffee beverage would be when ready to drink. At some point it was determined that pulverizing the coffee bean released the flavor of the coffee more quickly than allowing the whole bean to simply steep for long periods of time. This led to grinding the beans and allowing them to brew the coffee.
The grounds would settle to the bottom of pot or cup. The beverage would be gently poured out to keep the grinds from being part of the coffee beverage. Over time and as technology progressed different methods of preparing the coffee beans developed and the roasting process became important in creating flavorful coffee. Dark roasted coffee beans had an altered flavor that was easily distinguished from the lighter roasts. Roasting the beans cracks the berry and allows the flavors to be released. The longer the bean is allowed to roast the richer the flavor gets as the oils inside the bean move to the outer bean and create an oily sheen and deep, dark flavor. The coffee bean has been a constant in societies around the world since it was first discovered. It has been through many changes in terms of how it is ground and the many different types of flavorings added to it to create gourmet coffees but it remains the same highly desired beverage that it has been from the time it was discovered.
- Alex Nikitin