Updated: Jul 11
One of the first legends of how coffee came to exist is of the myth of Kaldi, the Ethiopian goatherd and his dancing goats. The legend states that while Kaldi was pasturing his herd, they ate some seeds of a bright green plant (the Coffea). The flock became energized and began to dance. Kaldi then tried some himself, and after feeling its effects, brought some berries to an Islamic holy man. The holy man was not pleased with Kaldi, and his use of the berries, and threw them into the fire. The berries roasted and gave off the amazing aroma of coffee. Changed by the aroma, the hardened berries were scraped from the embers, ground and brewed in hot water giving us our first cup of coffee.
Despite this amazing story, many refute this legend to be just that, a legend. It does not appear in early Arab sources and seems to have originated in Western history. Regardless, it is a great origin story, and since there are few references to how coffee originated, it is one that can live on in our imagination.