Africa And Arabia
By most accounts, coffee originated in Africa. Legend has it that coffee was discovered around 800 AD when an Ethiopian goatherd, Kaldi, noticed his herd dancing from one coffee plant to the next, eating the red, coffee cherries. Kaldi tried a few himself and was soon dancing with his goats under its wonderful influence. In Arabia from about 1000 to 1600 AD, the coffee traditions we now share began to take shape. Arabia took great efforts to protect and control the production of coffee. No viable seeds were allowed, and all were made infertile before being exported. It was not until the 17th century that coffee seeds were successfully transported out of the Arabian peninsula. Here again, legend has it that Baba Budan, an Indian, left Mecca with fertile seeds strapped to his belly. This would mark the beginning of coffee’s proliferation throughout the world to the growing regions we know today.
There are numerous growing countries in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula; however, some of the finest coffees come from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanznia and Yemen.