Can you believe that behind our coffee there is a…flock of sheep?
Well it is true, according to the legend, we regularly consume this black and energizing drink thanks to an unwitting 14th century Ethiopian shepherd.
Kaldi, that is his name, accompanies his flock as usual to graze when a plant with an original colour attracts the attention of the animals, that were making a scourge of berries and leaves. And it just happened to be the coffee plants. That is why during the night poor Kaldi found his flock of sheep strangely awkward and overactive.
Those colourful berries attracts his attention too; he tries to melt the seeds with the fire and tastes the result.
You can easily guess the end of the story!
Fantasy or legend, what we know it is that coffee started to spread around the 14th and 15th century among the Arab countries. Whereas it arrives in Europe a little bit later between 1500 and the 1600, thanks to an Italian botanist and doctor, called Prospero Alpini, namely from Venice.
It is not surprise that it comes form that city since the Venetian Republic was the centre of maritime trades with the East.
However It reaches its popularity in Europe in 1700. At that time there was a great number of Coffee shops and Literary Cafés, they say that every big city used to have one. Coffee as a cultural exchange, as a time for dialogues and for sharing opinions. The rest is history, actually is success, what brought this drink to be one of the most popular drinks in the world.
But What does the word coffee mean and where it comes from?
Even on this topic there are many theories and legends. It is said to derive from the Arabic qahwa, the name used among the populations to call the juice obtained from some red-colored seeds, with beneficial health effects: nowadays qahwa in Arabic means coffee. Others argue that the term comes from the name of the city of Caffa in Ethiopia, the “home” of coffee, the land where the plant grows most spontaneously.