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The Origin of the Coffee Bean

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Coffee has a rich and interesting history. Several stories have been told to explain the origin of the coffee bean.

Discovery of coffee bean

One story indicates that Kaldi, an Arabian goat herder, noticed his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, according to Coffee Research. Kaldi tried some of the cherries himself, discovering that the mysterious cherries were causing the effects he had noticed in his goats.

When Kaldi reported his findings to a local monastery, the abbot made himself a drink with the mysterious berries. He discovered that after drinking it, he was able to remain alert during long hours of prayer. Coffee quickly spread to other monasteries from the Sufi Monastery. Another story has Turks enjoying coffee as early as the 6th century.

While the stories regarding the origin of coffee do have some weight, the truth is that coffee is believed to have been brought into Yemen from central Ethiopia, where it most likely actually originated.

Coffee enjoyment spreads

Coffee began to be enjoyed throughout the Middle East and quickly spread to Europe. Known as ‘wine of Araby,’ according to the National Coffee Association USA, it did not always receive a welcome reception. In 1511, coffee was banned by orthodox clerics. The ban lasted until 1524 when according to stories, Pope Clement VIII actually baptized coffee, making it acceptable for Catholics to enjoy. Some believe that it was in Austria that coffee first began to be enjoyed with additives such as sugar and milk.

Coffee gets its name

The Dutch, who called the drink koffie, brought coffee to America. Once coffee came to the United States, companies soon sprang up making the popular new drink. Today, while coffee is enjoyed worldwide, few who enjoy it really know the detailed, often mysterious, origin of coffee.

Since 1994, Cafe Milagro has been working with small, independent growers to source the finest coffees Costa Rica has to offer.


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