As you sip your cup of morning joe or cappuccino, don't forget to thank goats. Why? Because, legend has it, it's thanks to them that we even have coffee. As the story goes, an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi was minding his own business one day when he found his charges getting super-frisky. They were nibbling on the berries and leaves of a mysterious plant, leading them to dance on their hind legs.
Kaldi decided to take a bite of the berries and experienced a rush of energy. He took the berries to a holy man who tossed them on a fire, emitting the heavenly scent of coffee we know and love today. Someone wise took the roasted beans from the embers of the fire and used them to brew a cup of what we guzzle today! The word "coffee" itself may derive from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa, though Yemenites claim their country as the place of origin.
Look at this gorgeous cup of cappuccino! Thanks, goats.
Whether or not goats actually led humans to discover coffee, Ethiopia was one place with a strong coffee history. The first written reference to coffee came in the tenth century, courtesy of the great Persian doctor named Rhazes, author of one thousand books, though the drink was probably made for centuries beforehand.
Rhazes referred to bunn, as it was referred to in Ethiopia, of which he quipped, “It is a drink that is good for those with hot nature, but it decrease[s] the libido." Unfortunately, this probably wasn't the exact same kind of brew that we drink today, which didn't appear for another few centuries.
Feature image via World on a Fork