Know your coffee beans

The discovery of coffee.

There are a few stories as to how coffee became to be with the most prevalent being the story of the Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. In 850AD, he noticed that his goats would dance about after eating a red berry off some trees, so he took these berries and threw them into his camp fire and coffee was born as these berries were coffee cherries.


With Ethiopia being the birth place of coffee, it soon spread to neighbouring Kenya and across the Gulf to Yemen where it was known as Qahwa, or that which prevents sleep. Qahwa originally meant wine but it is where we get the word café and coffee from. It was a punishable offence to export coffee from the country but it was smuggled out by the Dutch and it was planted in Indonesia and from there was cultivated and exported to central and South America. The story of How Brazil got coffee is an intriguing legend. The first coffee bush in Brazil was planted by Francisco de Melo Palheta in the state of Pará in 1727. According to the legend, he was looking for a way to make money out of the coffee market, but could not buy seeds from French Guiana due to the governor’s unwillingness to export them. Palheta was sent to French Guiana on a diplomatic mission to resolve a border dispute and on his way back home, he managed to smuggle the seeds into Brazil by seducing the French Guiana’s governor’s wife who secretly gave him a bouquet hiding the coffee seeds. Brazil went on to become the worlds’ largest producer by a huge distance (about one third of the worlds’ supply).

Fun Facts:

In 1457 in Constantinople, it was law that a woman could divorce her husband should he not supply her with a daily quota of coffee…

The name cappuccino comes from the resemblance to the brown cowls or hoods of the Capuchin monks. In Italian, it literally means hooded.

The word Espresso in Italian means “When something is forced out”.

Coffee was the first ever food to be freeze dried.

The top 3 world’s biggest producers are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia in that order.