I wondered when coffee turned into the all consuming need that it represents for many in society. I can no longer drink caffeine other than a tiny bit, where I once would sit and have two vent lattes and a couple of double espressos, but that would now send me into a frantic deranged mess. And I can pretty much master that character on my own. But there are a lot of people that can’t start their day without their coffee fix and I wondered where it all started…
According to Wikipedia there’s three stories of its origins. “One account involves the Yemenite Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili. When traveling in Ethiopia, the legend goes, he observed birds of unusual vitality, and, upon trying the berries that the birds had been eating, experienced the same vitality.”
Ok, let’s examine this one. Um, birds fly constantly, I think they have the vitality built into them. So this Ghothul guy was maybe just trying to imitate a bird and wanted to fly. Since the description goes no further, I wonder if he got buzzed and tried to fly off a cliff.
“Other accounts attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheik Abou’l Hasan Schadheli’s disciple, Omar. According to the ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the beans to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the bean, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint.”
So Saint Coffee was exiled into the desert, found the only thing he could eat and was revitalized. Wouldn’t that pretty much happen with anything you eat if you’re stuck out in a desert cave? I don’t know about this one.
But my favorite is:
“Another story involves a goat-herd, Kaldi, who, noticing the energizing effects when his flock nibbled on the bright red berries of a certain bush, chewed on the fruit himself. His exhilaration prompted him to bring the berries to a Muslim holy man in a nearby monastery. But the holy man disapproved of their use and threw them into the fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed and the holy men came. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world’s first cup of coffee.”
Ok, now we’re talking. Goats will pretty much eat anything. Eventually so will humans. So Kaldi gets a buzz on, the holy men take over cause they know better and pretty soon we’re getting buzzed every morning only to crash at noon.
And like I said, humans will pretty much eat anything, so then we go to fast food restaurants for lunch.