Most believe that coffee was initially discovered by mankind in Ethiopia. According to a coffee history legend, an Arabian shepherd, named Kaldi, found his goats dancing jubilantly around a dark-green leafed shrub with bright red cherries, in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
Kaldi soon determined that it was the bright red cherries on the shrub that were causing the peculiar euphoria and after trying the cherries himself, he learned of their powerful effect. The stimulating effect was then exploited by monks at a local monastery to stay awake during extended hours of prayer.
Once local monks had discovered it, they began to dry the berries and ship them to other monasteries. The berries would be refreshed with water, the fruit would be eaten and the water that the berries had soaked in would be drunk as well.
By the time the dried berries made it to the Middle East, there was much interest in them. Yemen was then the first country to start growing coffee. In Turkey, the coffee beans were roasted for the first time and began to resemble what we would recognize as coffee today. The dried beans would be roasted, crushed and boiled in water. This was a simple early version of what so many coffee lovers drink today.
It is thought that coffee was possibly brought to Europe by Venetian merchants. Given its stimulating effect, there seemed to be some criticism among Catholics that the drink was evil. Oddly, the Pope at the time was already enjoying it and informed his constituents that it wasn't evil, it was just misunderstood.
Coffee houses spread across Europe and soon became gathering places for intellectuals who deliberated amongst themselves. Shortly after the arrival of settlers in the Americas, the dark drink soon followed. By the time of the American Revolution, since the patriots had decided not to drink tea in protest, coffee was actually adopted as the national drink. Since that time, it has continued its domination and is the most popular global beverage.
Coffee is a massive worldwide industry and employs millions of workers. For many in growing countries, it is how they earn their living. For others it is a great way to start the day and get a kick start in the morning. Even if you don't like to drink coffee, no doubt you probably still enjoy the smell of fresh coffee brewing. Globally it is the minority that don’t enjoy coffee but for those who love it, they are very grateful for their daily dose of caffeine.