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History of coffee (legends to read about this fragrant drink)

History of coffee
History of coffee
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What is the history of coffee? What do we need to know about the coffee of this dark but magical drink?

In this article, we want to introduce you to the history of coffee, so stay tuned.

Drinking a cup of coffee and its production process

Coffee is a delicious drink that you must know the principles of brewing it well to achieve this desirable drink. Roasted coffee beans are needed to brew coffee. Coffee beans will turn into a plant that will grow enough after planting. At this stage, the coffee beans are separated from the flowering plants to complete the rest of the process.

Coffee beans are inside the coffee fruit, and it is necessary to separate the beans from the fruit. At this stage, the coffee is still raw. This step will be the last process of green coffee production. You can use green coffee for drinking coffee, but most people drink coffee after roasting. So the next step is to roast the coffee beans.

Red coffee beans on a tree branch
Red coffee beans on a tree branch

The beans will then turn into a roasted coffee when roasted. Roasted coffee beans provide a delicious cup of coffee after grinding and brewing. Drinking a cup of freshly brewed coffee will give you energy during the day, and you will enjoy being able to take care of your work in a relaxed manner.

History of coffee and the purpose of serving it

The 15th century is considered the beginning of the history of coffee. In the 15th century, Somali traders first exported coffee from Ethiopia to Yemen.

Coffee was served in Sufi monasteries in Yemen at that time. The purpose of the drink was to use it to increase concentration during prayer and mystery and need with God (The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug, 2004b).

After a while, coffee reached Mecca and Medina. In the early 16th century, this delicious drink became very popular in the Middle East, South India and Iran, Turkey, India, and North Africa. After a while, you could find and enjoy coffee in the Balkans, Italy, and the rest of Europe and Southeast Asia.

Do you know the origin of the word coffee? In 1582, the word entered English through the Ottoman Turkish language.

A man preparing coffee beans
A man preparing coffee beans

The word coffee is from the Ottoman Turkish kahve and the Arabic language.

The word coffee in Arabic is a kind of wine. It is interesting to know that if you search for the root of this word in the etymology of the Arabic language, you will find the verb qahwah, meaning lack of hunger. 

For this reason, it refers to the reputation of coffee as a beverage that suppresses appetite.

Fascinating legends about the history of coffee

The ancestors of the Oromia people in Ethiopia have been the first to cultivate the coffee plant and realize that coffee was an energy source. 

There are several myths about the origin of coffee that we will describe below to enjoy reading these myths.

Discovery of coffee by goats and its owner in Ethiopia

One story goes back to a goat herder in Ethiopia. This person named Kaldi lived in the ninth century. One day he noticed that his herds were feeding on bright red berries and were very active. He realized that these red seeds had energetic effects on livestock and decided to taste these red fruits.

Goat owner next to the herd
Goat owner next to the herd

After eating coffee beans and chewing them under his teeth, he felt happy and decided to take some of these red fruits to a monk in a nearby monastery.

At first, the monk refused to test them and threw them into the fire. After these red seeds fell into the fire, they smelled good. This good smell brought the other monks together, and they wanted to know more about these seeds, so they started researching.

After removing the roasted seeds from the heat, they separated them from the shells and dissolved them in hot water after grinding the seeds. They saw the first cup of coffee in the world at that time.

Of course, researchers’ research shows that this story is not very trustworthy and can not be considered an essential document for the first cup of coffee in the world. However, it is one of the main myths about the history of coffee among people worldwide.

The history of coffee and its discovery by a Moroccan Sufi mystic

There is another story about the discovery and history of coffee that dates back to the 13th-century Moroccan Sufi mystic.

When he traveled to Ethiopia, he saw happy and unusual birds. When he looked more closely at the bird’s behavior, he noticed that they ate red fruits. Red fruits were attractive to him, and he decided to taste some of these bitter red fruits. After tasting the red fruits, he found the same vitality and happiness.

A group of people cleaning coffee beans
A group of people cleaning coffee beans

History of Coffee and Omar, a student of al-Hasan ash-Shadhili

There is another story about coffee. This story is about Omar, a student of al-Hasan ash-Shadhili.

Omar was able to heal the sick through prayer, and that is why he was famous.

One day he went from Mecca to a desert near the city of Ethiopia. After a while, Omar felt hungry and found bushes near him with red fruits.

He picked some of these red fruits from the tree and put them in his mouth. After chewing them, he noticed the excessive bitterness of these fruits. He made an effort, and he tried to roast the red fruits and taste them again; Maybe in such a way, it can improve their taste a little and reduce the bitterness of these seeds.

But after the coffee beans were on fire, he noticed that they were very hard.

In such a situation, Omar tried to boil the coffee beans to soften them and make them easier to eat.

As a result, he smelled a fragrant brown liquid from roasted beans in boiling water. He felt refreshed after drinking this liquid and survived for days by consuming these red seeds. When the people of Mecca heard the fate of Omar and the description of this miraculous drink, they asked him to return to Mecca (Ekblaw & Ukers, 1925).

Several coffee bags and a ladder next to it
Several coffee bags and a ladder next to it


According to the history of coffee, Muslims were among the first to consume this drink. The use of coffee to better perform religious practices was with full awareness (Grigg, 2002).

Muslims used coffee to help them fast and worship during the day and to be able to stay awake during Ramadan night celebrations. 

We hope you enjoyed the article on the history of coffee. This article told you the history of coffee and the myths that existed about this fascinating and fragrant drink.

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  1. The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World’s Most Popular Drug. (2004a). Routledge.
  2. Ekblaw, W. E., & Ukers, W. H. (1925). All about Coffee. Economic Geography, 1(1), 124. https://doi.org/10.2307/140101
  3. Grigg, D. (2002). The worlds of tea and coffee: Patterns of consumption. GeoJournal, 57(4), 283–294. https://doi.org/10.1023/b:gejo.0000007249.91153.c3
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