Ethiopia & the Origins of Coffee

A land like no other

Have you ever travelled somwehere and found it difficult to get a decent cup of coffee? This is a common dilemma to travelling coffee lovers such as myself! Thankfully, you can rest assured that a lack of good coffee will not be an issue in Ethiopia, for this is the land where coffee was first discovered and cultivated for human consumption around 1,000 years ago!

According to legend, a gost herder from the Ethiopia province of Kaffa noticed that his goats became very energetic and excited after they eat the red berries from a certain tree. The goat herder decided to try these berries for himself, and soon realised the stimulating effects they had on his body and mind. He gathered some of these special berries and took them home to his wife, who in turn encouraged him to share his findings with the monks at a local monastery. The monks were initially not impressed, and they concluded that the use of these berries was a sin. The berries were then thrown into the fire. However, it didn't take long for everyone in the vicinty to smell that pleasant aroma of roasted coffee that we all know and love. The coffee beans were promptly retrieved from the fire, crushed and mixed with hot water. The monks found that this new drink gave them the energy they needed to focus on their prayers all night long.

Coffee rapidly became popular around the rest of Ethiopia, and the beans were exported to many other parts of the world. In fact, geneticists have found that all of the Arabica coffee plants in the world are descended from the coffee trees of Ethiopia, which still grow wild in many places around the country today. Ethiopia currently produces some of the most excellent coffee beans in the world, and the exportation of those beans is of great importance to the Ethiopian economy.

Coffee is also of great cultural importance to the Ethiopian people, who often consume it in a unique ceremony. These coffee ceremonies allow the participants to spend quality time and engage in meaningful conversation with one another - Just like we do when we meet friends at a cafe in Western society.

I don't know about those of you reading this, but I feel rather compelled to go make myself a coffee now!

Written by: Todd Henry

Todd brings to our hard working team robust enthusiam for travel and exploring the world. He is an experienced traveller with a photographer's eye for beauty and detail. On a daily basis he takes care of all those tricky parts which can be such a hassle when travelling.

He is also a coffee addict and can be found hanging around the best coffee shops in town.

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