The Coffee

More legends are connected to the discovery of coffee. One of them is the myth of Kaldi and his dancing goats. The stimulating effect of coffee has been discovered by Kaldi, the goat herder in Abyssinia according to the story. The herd was grazing and nibbling on a strange bush with red berries and leaves, and consequently they stayed vivid throughout the evening. whereas other times they had been calm and peaceful. Next day Kaldi tasted the strange red berries himself. and discovered the stimulant effect of coffee beans. For he was fearful of the origin of this freshness he experienced, and feared it was from the Devil, he visited a holy person in his home village and asked his opinion on the berries. The holy person threw the berries in the fire, from which enticing aroma billowed to their utmost surprise. C coffee beans are roasted ever since.

An other myth says the ill Mohamed prophet was given the coffee as a gift from archangel Gabriel. Drinking coffee, he became so vital and strong, so he had the energy to unhorse forty men and please forty women. A different legend claims the coffee berries saved the life of a disciple of Sheik Omar, founder of the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order (Abu ai-Hasan al-Shadili Sheik), who was lost in the desert. Sheik Omar was famous for healing with the power of prayer. Following the wondrous escape from the desert he returned to Mocha, where later on he became respected as saint.

There are no existent documentary about when coffee started to be used as primary ingredient to stimulant beverages, also when and how the different ways of roasting, grinding and brewing were discovered. What we know for sure is that Coffea arabica has been grown in Arabia ever since the VI.century. Also there is a document, connected to Jabir Geber (Abu Musa Jaszbir ibn Hayyan), Arab naturalist, who refers to this plant as a herb. Also a Persian author, Rhazes (Muham- mad ibn Zakariya Razi) describes the positive effects of coffee (quawa plant) in his works during the IX.century.

In a work of Avicenna (Abii Ali al- Husayn ibn’Abd Allah ibn Sina) from the XI. century, called The Canon of Medicine describes coffee as curative even.