The History Of The Energizing Berries
Coffee, as a beverage, draws back its origin to 14 centuries ago and has come a long way with its cultural legacy. The discovery of coffee was supposedly a Middle-East doing and has been an important part of both Yemenite and Ethiopian history.
However, to date, nobody can say it with complete certainty, whether the Ethiopian legends about the discovery of coffee are true or the stories weaved about Yemen being the first place that introduced coffee to the world is true.
This is why we are going to trace back the coffee heritage to the insides of both the legends of Yemen and Ethiopia. Regardless of “who discovered it first”, these beloved beans remain the best-kept secret of both Arabs and Africans.
Ethiopian legends of coffee
Somewhere around the Abyssinian plateau, a goat herder named Kaldi had an astonishing encounter with an eccentric kind of shrubs. While grazing, some of his goats savored the bright red berries and were instantly energized. The goats were pumped up to the extent that they began dancing and even refused to sleep at night.
This strange behavior of the goats took Kaldi off guard and he decided to try the berries and felt the intense amount of energy himself.
Amazed by the findings, Kaldi decided to report the berries to the monks of the Abyssinian monastery. Ironically, the monks did not showcase the positive response and tossed the beans into the fire, considering them as the “Satan’s work”.
Only when the beans started to get roasted, the aroma caught their attention and they took the beans off the fire. They put the roasted beans inside hot water in an attempt to save them. The bowling water brewed the coffee bean and formed this beautiful concoction that the monks tried and were able to stay awake longer during the prayers.
Since the magic potion helped the monks in their religious devotion, the word about the energizing berries and the hot drink spread to lands of the Arabian Peninsula within days.
Yemen's Coffee Origin Myths
Yemen also has a couple of origin tales for coffee that attributes the beverage’s actual history to the Arabian Peninsula.
One of the popular myths about the coffee origin in Yemen centers around Sheikh Omar who was exiled to Ousab. After having to starve for days during his exile, Omar found the red berries and tried to eat them raw. He found the berries too raw and bitter for his taste and decided to roast them into the fire. The heat hardened the berries and made them unsuitable for chewing. They were later put inside the boiling water in an attempt to soften them.
Once the water was set to boil with the berries, the pleasant aroma made the concoction irresistible to drink. Omar decided to drink the water instead of the berries and felt instantly revitalized.
The story of mystery beans reached his hometown Mocha and his exile was lifted, provided he brought the berries back to Mocha. On returning, he spilled the beans about the curing effects of the beverage, making it a miracle drug amongst the locals.
The mocha latte that we dearly love today, traces its name back to this little town of Yemen who gradually became a major trade center for Mocha style of coffee beans. They even began exporting to the USA, Europe, India, and more. This is how Yemen became the epicenter of the most delicious and one of its kind coffee in the world.
Haraaz coffee from Yemen is one of the most superior and expensive coffees in the world. This Haraazi coffee comes from the mountains in Haraaz which houses the ancient coffee-growing northwest highlands. Grown and cultivated at the altitude of 9000 feet, the coffee is all-natural flavored and intense in taste.
Haraaz coffee is produced in the most organic way using the ancient methods of dry-processed coffee. They do not use any synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for the coffee plantation. The age-old method of coffee cultivation has not changed for centuries.
The local farmers handpick every berry and place them on rooftops for the sun drying process. Once the beans are dry, these are exported throughout the mountain region and then to the collection center in Al-Hutaib. From there on, these beans are distributed to various parts to make them ready for international buyers.
The best-kept secret of the ancient village in Yemen is now exporting to all over the world. The coffee is priced at a higher rate as compared to regular coffee and for all the right reasons.