Coffee grown worldwide can trace its heritage back centuries to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau.
The most popular legend of coffee in Ethiopia usually goes something like this:
Kaldi, an Abyssinian goat herder from Kaffa, was herding his goats through a highland area near a monastery. He noticed that they were behaving very strangely that day, and had begun to jump around in an excited manner, bleating loudly, and practically dancing on their hind legs.
He found that the source of the excitement was a small shrub (or, in some legends, a small cluster of shrubs) with bright red berries. Curiosity took hold and he tried the berries for himself.
Like his goats, Kaldi felt the energizing effects of the coffee cherries. After filling his pockets with the red berries, he rushed home to his wife, and she advised him to go to the nearby monastery in order to share these “heaven sent” berries with the monks.