We have many things to thank Ethiopia for – perhaps the most important is for it being the cradle of humanity. The oldest human remains have been found in Ethiopia – we are all Ethiopian!
Ethiopia is also the home of coffee and it has a lovely folktale about how it was found
A young Abyssinian goatherder named Kaldi who lived around the year AD850 noticed to his amazement, that after chewing the bright red berries from a certain tree, his goats were becoming unusually frisky, dancing and jumping around. Kaldi realised that there was something unusual about these berries and, filling his pockets, rushed back home. On his way back he passed a group of monks sitting in a circle, praying around a fire.
On hearing the story and the cherries’ extraordinary properties, one of the monks threw them onto the fire denouncing them to be the work of the devil. Within minutes, the monastery began to fill up with the heavenly smell of roasting beans and the other monks gathered to investigate. Raking the spitting and popping beans from the embers, they were placed in a ewer and covered with hot water to preserve their freshness.
That night, the monks sat up drinking the rich and fragrant brew and vowed that they should drink it daily to help with their nightly prayers. Word of the cherries’ magical properties spread far and wide. It was not long before the monastic folk across the realm became accustomed to drinking the invigorating beverage as an accompaniment to their nocturnal devotions…
On International Coffee Day we will be meeting with Coffee Link to take forward our exciting coffee project working in partnership with small coffee farmers in Ethiopia. This initiative will give them a great income and you a really great cup of organically grown coffee.