Coffee requires a long production time. It starts with the seed that is harvested from the small coffee plant, which flowers and bears fruit a few years after it is planted. This raw material from distant lands is transformed into a flavor that is distributed across the world.
Yet few actually know the origin of coffee, its history, its social meaning. Just think that, in addition to the Homer’s citation, there are folktales that mention it, the most famous of which is “Dancing Goats and Dancing Dervishes”. The story, set in 8th century AC, tells of an Abyssinian goatherd named Kaldi (or Khalid) who was with his flock outside Mocha, a city in Yemen. One night he saw his flock of goats dance like crazy all night long after foraging on the red fruits of a large bush that grew abundantly in the area. The goatherd, surprised and curious, picked some of the berries and brought them to the monastery in Cheodet to learn their secret. At the monastery, the prior, Abbot Yahia, did not believe the goatherds story. Scared that it was the devils work, he tossed the berries into the fire. Once roasted, the berries unexpectedly released an intense, pleasant aroma. The abbot recovered the berries and put them in water to cool. That is how it was discovered that a black drink with a very pleasant taste could be given to the monks at the monastery so that they regained their strength and could pray all night long without falling asleep. This drink was called “kahwa”.
It is more probable that the Arabic name comes from Kaffa, a region in Ethiopia where a variety of Coffee grows spontaneously.