Goats, Monks and Dancing Dervishes...


"Ethiopia claims to be the original home of the Arabica coffee bean. Several legends contribute to the assertion. The most popular concerns the goat herder from Kaffa, where the plants still grow wild in the forest hills. After discovering his goats to be excited, rearing, and almost dancing on their hind legs, he noticed a few mangled branches of the coffee plant which was hung with bright red berries. He tried the berries himself and rushed home to his wife who told him that he must tell the monks. The monks tossed the sinful drug into the flames, an action soon to be followed by the smell we are all so familiar with now. They crushed the beans, raked them out of the fire, and distilled the stimulating substance in boiling water. After sitting up all night, they found a renewed energy to their holy devotions.


The most well documented case explaining the roots of the coffee plant are to be found in Arabic scientific documents dating from 800 A.D., referring to “buna”, the Ethiopian term for coffee. Mufti of Aden witnessed his men imbibing upon the substance in Addis Ababa in 1454 and, partaking in the tradition, it cured him of some ailment. The dervishes of Yemen, acting with Mufti’s approval began to incorporate coffee into their tradition, carrying it all the way to Mecca, where the first controversial coffee houses developed into social meeting places. Once planted in Arabic countries, buna became qua weh, eventually evolving to coffee. Or according to the Ethiopians, the plant derived its name from the Kaffa region.


Ethiopian coffee does not have the excessive pungency or acidity of the neighboring Kenyan brands. It is much closer in character to the related Mocha variety of Yemen. The composition of its delicate and strong flavour is lost if it is high roasted. The coffea arabica strain of Ethiopia is the original bean to have grown there and the only one still grown and drunk there today. The washed beans fetch a high price on the world market, being of the most premium quality."





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Union City, CA 94587

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