The Legend of Kaldi
18 Jun 2008
The Legend of Coffee
Travel back to the ancient land of
Abyssinia in 800 A.D. The people were farmers, herders and traders
under the rule of the last of the Aksumite
kings. All of southern Africa was united under his rule and the
country flourished; the envy of its neighbor Egypt and its trade
mountains of Kaffa
sprang up between dense forest areas. A palate of cool green greeted
the eye and the land was awash in contentment. Even the goats danced
with abnormal exuberance. The goatherd Kaldi observed his joyous
charges and smiles.
thought to himself, Ack!
It’s hot out here! What’s with the goats today? So
he watched carefully as they ate the bright red cherries from a
cluster of bushes. Kaldi knew that goats would eat almost anything
as long as it was not poisonous so in curiosity he picked several of
the pretty fruits and ate them himself. They had an interesting
taste but were otherwise not very remarkable. So on they moved
climbing higher and higher up the mountainside.
was not long before Kaldi was dancing down the path alongside of his
goats. They frolicked the afternoon away and spent the night under
the stars high up on the mountain.
found Kaldi stiff and a bit sore as they made their way down the
mountainside toward their home. The goatherd did not fail to notice
the goats again stopping by to eat from the ‘cherry’ bushes.
Being hungry he helped himself to several handfuls as well. The
bright energy and happy feelings returned to Kaldi confirming what he
suspected the day before.
sure it would surprise no one to know that Kaldi returned to eat the
cherries every morning there after!
was a gracious man and shared the delights of the Kaffa bushes or so
the legend goes. The story says that there was a monastery in the
town near where Kaldi lived. Upon hearing that some of the monks had
problems with staying up all night and praying he brought them a
small basket of the coffee cherries. It was said that from that time
forward the monks were “uncannily alert to divine
inspiration.” These monks were eager to share their finding with
others and it was through their travels that the grace of the kaffa
plants spread the world over.