Legend has it that a young herdsman from Ethiopia first observed the properties of wild coffee when his goats became hyperactive after eating the leaves and berries. He ate some himself and finding that he too became abnormally excited, ran to the nearby monastery to share his discovery.
To his dismay the monks chastised him for his evil stimulants and threw the berries into a fire, only to be encouraged to try them because of their aroma. Finding that they were unusually alert during nightly prayers, it became practise throughout Christian Ethiopia to chew coffee beans before lengthy prayer sessions. Later it was discovered that the roasted berries could be pounded to a powder to produce what we know as coffee. Continue reading In search of the origin of coffee on the Western Highlands