The highlands of Ethiopia are the cradle of the coffee-tree. Originally the tree was around 10 m high. The moutain woods of the kingdom "Kaffa" are the genesis of the coffee-tree. Bypassing nomads liked to chew its fruits.
In the 9th century, maybe earlier, the fruits of this wild growing tree were used for a potion. Probably the fermented juice of the coffee-cherries was deluted and then drank. Much later people discovered that the pounded beans hat a bigger output as a brew as well as the better aroma. The famous persion doctor and philosopher Ibn Sina (Avicenna) recognized the stimolous effect of the coffein already in the year 1015. He used the coffee-plant as a medicine.
In the 11th century the arabs planted coffee on artificial watered coasthill of the red sea. In the jemen coffee was roasted on plates of stone for the very first time.
The word "coffee" comes not of the province "Kaffa", but from the ancient arab word "qahwah". It considered wine, which was forbidden for believing muslim. Because of its stimulating and slightly intoxicative effect coffee was now on called "wine of the islam", instead of the real grape juice.
Was it Allah by himself who sent us this drug? According to the islamic legend archangel Gabriel has healed the prophet Mohammed from his sleeping deseas - with coffee. Already after some zips Mohammed was that empowered, that he was able to fight 40 horseriders and to introduce 40 virgins to the secrets of love during one night.
Less exciting is the story about the drove of the goat herder Kaldi. Near the abbey of Schehodet in Jemen he wondering, why his goats were so excited and jumped around even during the night. Above all after eating the fruits of the coffee-tree. Together with the monks he discoverd the cause. Afterwards the monks dried the cherries, pounded them to powder and put it into hot water. Finaly they tasted the brew and were the first to enjoy this stimulating potion.
© E. Mayr, K. Falkner