The actual origin of Coffee use tends to be a bit obscure, lending to the number of varied legends regarding its genesis. Of the many legends one seems to be embraced more widely than others, and I personally think it has more pizzazz. As the story goes, an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi was tending to his herd when he noticed his goats ìdancingî whenever they chewed on bright red berries from a specific bush. Needless to say Kaldi was intrigued and was soon doing his own jig. After making such an awesome discovery word soon spread, and things really began to pick up when it reached the Arabian Peninsula.
This is where coffee underwent its metamorphosis into that dark liquid gold that it is today. The Muslims of Arabia were drinking coffee like it was nobodyís business, perhaps because the Koran forbid the consumption of alcohol and the energizing effects of coffee were found to be an acceptable substitute. However, with such an awesome substance in their possession it was only a matter of time before it found its way into other areas, despite the best efforts of those in Arabia. Beans were made infertile through various methods preventing their export from Arabia.
European travelers to the Far East brought this delicious black beverage back to Venice in 1615 where it was met with such controversy that the possible evils of the beverage was brought to the attention of Pope Clement VIII. Of course, after the giving coffee a shot it received Papal approval whereupon it spread throughout Europe like wildfire, and the coffee house culture was born. So called ìPenny Universitiesî sprung up in London where coffee and conversation could be bought for only a penny. With such a thriving coffee culture it was only a matter of time before beans were snuck out of Arabia, and in the 17th Century the Dutch succeeded in obtaining some seedlings. Soon there was a thriving coffee trade going with the Dutch growing coffee in Indonesia. The Mayor of Amsterdam presented a coffee seedling as a gift to the king of France, and this begat the worldwide spread of Coffee.
Today, coffee is the second most highly traded commodity on the planet (oil being the first). The journey it has taken from providing Ethiopian goats and their herders with energy to becoming a worldwide phenomenon is amazing. There is an amazing amount of information out there regarding the origins of coffee and coffee culture. We highly recommend yíall come to Tryst, enjoy a cup of our house blend or one of our hand poured single origins and explore the world of coffee that is just a Google search away.
Written by our Barista Justin Harbison