The coffee legend
A legend says that an Ethiopian goatherd, named Kaldi discovered that his goats were over excited after eating a mysterious fruit of an unfamiliar tree. After overcoming his hesitation and tasting this coffee seed he quickly felt the unusual sense of excitement that came from it.
From Ethiopia coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen. By the 16th century it spread throughout the Middle East, Turkey, Persia and Northern Africa. In Mecca and Cairo they were making a beverage called “qahwa” (that which prevents from sleep), by placing green coffee beans into into a vessel of boiling water, known as ibrik.
Later in Yemen they would begin roasting the beans to improve the drink’s quality and effects. In fact The first coffee houses appeared in Arabian villages (were called qahwehkaneh) and were places for singing, religious meeting and storytelling.
It was not until the 16th century that the introduction of coffee to Europe took place.
Once the beverage was accepted by the Islamic law, it followed the spread of Islam to Eastern Europe. Venice, which relied heavily upon trade with Muslim East, introduced the revitalizing liquid first in the 1570’s.
The first appearance of a European coffee shop was in Venice in the 17th century. Coffee spread quickly and other coffee houses were launched throughout Italy. Turkish style coffee almost certainly dominated the early menus, but experiments lead to the processors of the milky espresso beverages, popular today.
Nowadays, nearly 120 million bags of coffee are produced annually, making coffee the second most important legal global commodity behind oil.