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The Legend of Coffee

The Wild Foods Blog

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The Legend of Coffee

Colin Stuckert

Coffee was first eaten as a food by nomadic mountain warriors of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia sometime between 575 and 850 A.D. This was before coffee was made into a beverage around 1000-1300. Coffee beans were originally crushed and rolled into balls of animal fat and used for quick hits of energy. 

Ethiopian cookbooks often include a form of this ancient recipe, which often calls for fire-roasting beans then mixing them with butter, salt, onion, cumin, basil, cardamom, oregano, turmeric and fenugreek.

The discovery of the coffee bean is shrouded in legend around a goat-ordered named Kaldi who noticed his goats behaving strangely after eating some berries from a nearby bush. Kaldi tried the beans himself and soon after started dancing around excitedly with his goats. 

The legend continues with a monk from a local monetary noticing Kaldi’s new berry-eating habit who then tries the beans for himself. The monk has the idea to boil the beans to produce a drink to sip during long prayers. Soon the news spread among other monasteries and the rest is history. 

The coffee plant has traveled all over the world for many hundreds of years, serving as a centerpiece of reform and controversy every step of the way, until eventually reaching the United States in 1809 when beans from Brazil were imported into Salem, Massachusetts.

To pay homage to the legend of the coffee bean, we choose Sidamo, Ethiopia, as the origin of bean for our medium roast. The Sidamo has the “goldilocks’ effect in that it is always “just right.”

You can buy Sidamo Medium Roast here.