Friday, January 26, 2024

What Do Goats Have to Do With Your Morning Pick-me-up?

 By Cindy Regnier

Coffee is important in my house. I would venture to guess that if we had to get along without it, we would become quite grumpy. Pondering on this made me wonder–who was the first person to see some weird looking berry thing, find a brown thing inside and think, “I’m going to roast this then pour hot water over it and drink whatever happens”? 

 So, it probably didn’t really happen like that and I’m not sure anyone knows who really discovered coffee or its benefits, but the most popular (and fun) legend I could find was about a goat herder named Kaldi. As the story goes, Kaldi lived in Ethiopia around 800 AD. One day he was out with his herd of goats and noticed they were behaving somewhat strangely. Energized and excited goats are obviously a mysterious site, so he examined what they were eating. To Kaldi, it looked like red berries growing on a small tree.
Naturally, (and who wouldn’t do the same?) Kaldi decided to pick some of these berries for himself. He also felt rather excited and alert after eating the berries (I’ve gotta wonder how they tasted?) so Kaldi picked some more and took them to a nearby monastery. He told the monks how the goats had reacted and how he had felt after eating the berries, hoping they could explain the odd effects. 

The monks didn’t take well to his story. They called it “the work of the devil” and threw the berries into the fire. But wait – what was that wonderful aroma coming from the fire? They raked the berries out of the fire finding they now easily crushed into fine pieces. The pieces were placed into a jug and covered with hot water for preservation, thinking perhaps they could study them more later.

This is the part that baffles me. The monks then went on to drink this lovely new concoction. Maybe it just smelled so good they had to try it. Don’t know if I would have been that brave. The monks realized it helped them stay awake during nightly devotions and prayers. (Apparently that was a problem?)

Coffee cultivation and trade began on the Arabian Peninsula. By the 15th century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. Coffee was not only enjoyed in homes, but also in public coffee houses — called qahveh khaneh — which began to appear in cities across the Near East. The popularity of the coffee houses was unequaled and people frequented them for all kinds of social activity.

To make a long story short, coffee came to Europe from the near east traders and then into the New World during the mid 1600s.The growing popularity of coffee did not come without controversy and opposition, but nevertheless, coffee drinkers won out and it is an American staple today as well as in many other parts of the world.

What’s your opinion? Do you drink coffee? Do you like coffee? (Those two questions don’t necessarily go together). And wouldn’t you love to see Kaldi’s goats on their coffee high? 


   Rand isn't looking for true love. What he needs is a wife to help care for his orphan nieces. Desperate, he sends an advertisement and hopes for the best.
  Fleeing her former employer who would use her to further his unlawful acts, an advertisement reads like the perfect refuge to Carly. Hiding herself on a Kansas cattle ranch is her best shot for freedom.
  But its sanctuary comes with a price. While marrying a man she doesn't know or love means sacrificing her dreams, it's better than being caught by the law.
  Or is it?



  1. Thank you for your post today, and Happy New Year to you and your family! I was interested to read of the origins of using the coffee bean. I LOVE coffee, though I have to be careful of the caffeine. I love the smell of coffee, and oh! that first sip of a new cup of it!

  2. Hi Connie - Right? I could get a little on the grouchy side without that first freshly brewed cup. Good job to Kaldi's goats!