After oil, coffee is the next most valuable product that is legally traded in the world. The world loves it, depend on it and consume it in great quantities. From estimations, about 2.25 billion cups of coffee are ingested every day across the world. The people in New York alone consume seven times the amount of coffee than any other people in other cities in the US consume. This explains why you have Starbucks just about everywhere in Manhattan. Taking coffee is a daily practice in the lives of millions of people all around the world. The question now is where did all this caffeinated habit start from?

The Ethiopian Account

Just like other foods and plants that have existed for many centuries the way coffee started is still wrapped in mystery and beliefs. In Ethiopia, there is a tale that is told about coffee being discovered by a goat herder known as Kaldi. He found his goat playing and full of vigour after chewing the red fruit of the coffee plant. He then tried the fruit himself and experienced a similar effect. After observing their weird behaviour, a monk had taken some of the fruits and tried it out with his fellow monks. That night they had remained awake and vigilant. If only they knew they were probably reacting to the high dose of caffeine in the fruit. This natural drug also works as a natural plant insecticide, guarding the coffee fruit against insects attack.

Coffee in Its Original and Different Forms

Prior to coffee becoming that every morning drinks of choice, it was prepared in different ways. In its unprocessed original form, coffee fruit is like cherry that turns red when it is ripe. The coffee bean is found in the middle of the red coffee fruit. In the earlier days, the fruit in combination with animal fat was used to make a snack bar that was rich in protein. At a certain time, the fermented flesh was used to make concoctions that were like wine and a related beverage of sort was made using cacao fruit. This was before the introduction of chocolate. At about 1000 A.D. another drink was introduced. They made this drink using the complete coffee fruit, including the hull and beans. Then in the 13th century, people started roasting coffee beans which were the beginning step towards the process of coffee making and consumption as we do it today.

The Development of Coffee Trade and Consumption The root of the word 'Coffee' came from different languages. In Yemen, it was known as 'Qahwah', which was initially the term used for a romantic wine. Subsequently, it became the Turkish 'Kahveh,' then 'Koffie' in Dutch and lastly 'Coffee' in English. The present version of roasted coffee was invented in Arabia. In the 13th century, coffee was very common with the Muslim community because of its stimulant effects, which was beneficial for them when they did their lengthy prayer sessions. They dried and boiled the coffee beans, making them bare and in that way cornering the market on coffee harvests. According to tradition, there was not one coffee plant that was found outside of the Arabian or African nations until the 1600s. It was then that an Indian pilgrim named Baba Budan left Mecca with rich beans attached to a band across his stomach. Baba's beans became the new and competitive coffee trade in Europe. In 1616, Ceylon was founded by the Dutch which was the first coffee estate in Sri Lanka owned by Europeans. In 1696, Java was founded.