Tales and legends
Worthy of a puzzling and philosophical Oriental tale, the history of coffee is obviously a subject on which historians are divided, although they unanimously confirm that it all started in Abyssinia, the kingdom of the Queen of Sheba. It is said that the first coffee-lovers ever recorded were...goats!
Indeed, after having observed the perky, energetic behaviour of the goats in his herd, who loved to eat the little red berries that grew on trees with glossy leaves, the shepherd Kaldi discovered what is commonly thought of as the ancestor of coffee.
In order to understand its mysteries, this red berry was used to make an infusion that the monks in the neighbouring convent tasted. They discovered that it enabled them to stay awake for part of the night.
But fate also intervened, thanks to an absent-minded monk who brought a branch of these cherries too close to the fire. It caught fire and the scent it released was enchanting, so they tried a new infusion made with these burnt berries. The idea of roasting was born...
But people also say that coffee was sent to earth by Allah via the Archangel Gabriel, who was summoned to fly to Mohammed’s bedside. After drinking a brown potion called “kahwa”, the latter was soon back on his feet. This coffee or “black wine” of the Prophet became the official drink of Islam, and soon sparked controversy, but one thing is sure: the first coffee rooms opened in Mecca.