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Cafe Earthling: Columbia

The Legend of Coffee

One of the most interesting stories in the world is the history of that amazing drink that we call now coffee. OK, coffee is varied and interesting, involving chance occurrences, political intrigue, and the pursuit of wealth and power.

According to one legend (no idea is the legend is real or not), the great effect of coffee beans was noticed by a smart sheep herder from Caffa, in Ethiopia named Kaldi as he was watching his sheep. He noticed that his sheep became happy and very active after eating the red fruits of this unusual plant, the fruits look like red "cherries" . Kaldi, the shepherd soon realized that it was the bright red cherries on the plant that were causing the funny euphoria and after trying the cherries himself, he learned about the great effect .

So what Kabi this next? You bet, Kabi as a good network marketing guy, Kaldi dutifully reported his findings to the his community and after a few tries the monks decided to drink water with berries so they could be awake for longer hours of praying. So you can say that the first use of coffee was mainly religious. Pretty funny isnt'? But obviously keeping the secret was pretty difficult and the word spread, the rumor about coffee reached the Arabian Peninsula, and you pet, coffee was born.

I know, believing in this legend is pretty nice, but some top historians believe something different, they think that the first beans of coffee where brought to Ethiopia (where the legend started) by ships from Yemen, where it existed since the 6th century. Then coffee became world famous once it arrived to key places in that time, Cairo and Mecca.

I love the legends about the origin of things, and in this case, I love the legend of the origin of Mocha mainly because I'm a coffee lover, but the best one so far is the origin of how the name of mocha or coffee was created.

The story goes that Arabian was sent to the desert with his followers to die of starvation (not very nice). Well, the Arabian was so desperate that he had his friends boil and eat the fruit from an unknown plant. (yes, you guess it already, didn't you? Coffee) Not only this fruit save the exiles, but their survival was taken as a religious sign by the residents of close by town, Mocha.

The plant and its beverage were named Mocha to honor this event. So every time you order a Mocha , think of this. Nice story isn't?

The ironic thing of the history of coffee is that the plant grew naturally in Ethiopia, but once transplanted in Arabia the Arabic business men took control and make a good profit from the coffee idea, but it took a long time for a country to adapt it as a proper drink. And that was until the Turks started drinking coffee in their everyday life, often adding spices such as clove, cinnamon, cardamom and anise to the brew. That's why we have Turkish coffee !

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