The Origin of Coffee

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia doesn’t have recorded documents of the beginning of coffee.The story begins with a legend.

Kaldi was a young goat herder who lived around 850 AD (or, so the legend goes). Every day he would take his goats to different pastures to graze. One day he noticed some of his goats were acting strange and jumping excitedly. He investigated and discovered that the wild goats were eating small berries off a shrub. Kaldi ate a few berries himself, felt elated and energized, and knew he’d found something special. He shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and knowledge of the energizing berries began to spread.

The modern history of coffee in Ethiopia started in the 16th century. Coffee is a pillar of the Ethiopian economy. Around 60% of Ethiopia’s income from foreign trade comes from coffee, and around 15 million of the country’s 100 million people depend on the coffee industry for their livelihood.

Coffee is of great importance in the everyday life of Ethiopians. In the west, the traditional method of drinking coffee in Ethiopia is known as “coffee ceremony”; coffee grounds are brought to a boil three separate times, enjoying each brew of decreasing intensity in the company of others, making coffee consumption a fundamentally community-oriented affair.