Frisky goats! Or, so the story goes…
A thousand years ago, an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi was tending his goats. Over time, he noticed that his goats kept eating red cherries off of a certain bush. The goats would begin to jump and frolic, seeming more energetic and playful than normal. Kaldi soon realized that the goats even stayed awake longer into the night after eating the strange red cherries.
Kaldi mentioned his theory, about the red cherries keeping his goats awake, to an abbot at a local monastery. The abbot picked some of the cherries and made a drink from them. During the long hours of evening prayer, the abbot noticed that he was more alert and energized. He shared his drink with other monks and soon the story about the energizing berries began to spread through the area.
From the lush Ethiopian plateau the story of coffee slowly spread across the world. This same area where the first humans originated was also the birthplace of coffee. It is easy to say that the “Cradle of Humanity” can also be credited with being the “Cradle of Coffee” thanks to Kaldi’s frisky goats.
Adapted from an illustration in William H. Ukers, All About Coffee. Credited by Ukers as a “drawing by a modern French artist.”