Do you know when and where people started drinking coffee?
Ethiopia is the fabled home of coffee, where arabica plants were discovered growing wild in 850AD.
The story goes that coffee was discovered in the ninth century by an Ethiopian goat farmer named Kaldi. The farmer noticed his goats behaving strangely after eating the berries on the coffee plant - cavorting around like they were dancing. After trying one himself, and instantly feeling the energising effects of the caffeine-rich berries, Kaldi picked some to show others. He went to a nearby monastery to share these miraculous beans with the monks, but they were disdainful and discarded them into the fire.
According to the legend, the rich and pleasing aroma of the roasting beans encouraged the monks to give them a second chance. Shortly after, the beans were ground and mixed with hot water - producing brewed coffee!
Arabica coffee is Ethiopia’s main export today with an estimated 15 million Ethiopians employed by the coffee industry.