The discovery of coffee

It is not known exactly when the first person discovered the effects of the coffee plant and brewed a drink from the berries. Already in very early writings (about 900 BC) Arabian doctors mention coffee as a medicine.

There is also a story about an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi (around 300 AD). He found that his goats were very active after eating certain red berries. He tried it himself and he felt very energetic, too. He told his story to the monks in a nearby monastery, and they started eating the fruits so they could stay awake during their evening prayers. The monks learned that they could make a tasty drink, with the same energizing effect, if they roasted the berries and then brewed them.
  Spreading of coffee across the world

The coffee plant originates from Ethiopia, and from there the use of coffee spread to the Near East, with help of the Islamic pilgrims going to Mecca and Medina. The first coffee plantations were started in Yemen. Later the cultivation spread to Arabia and Egypt, where drinking coffee (or "Kahweh") soon became a daily habit. Only from the early 17th Century did coffee become known in Europe but its popularity grew very quickly. Coffee houses sprang up everywhere, especially in Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Early in the 18th century, the Dutch spread the cultivation of coffee to Indonesia; the French took some plants to Martinique while the Spanish started plantations in the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil.

Coffee Today

Today Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer, followed by Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia. There are many other coffee-producing countries, but whose output is considerably smaller. And as for consumption? Well, all of us drink coffee, from North to South, from East to West, from morning till night. We have many recipes and many rituals, but everyone knows coffee! Also, more than 20 million people are estimated to work in the coffee- industry or related businesses.