Author: Julie Terebkov

Hello beautiful people, and welcome to a week with us here at Fourscore. This week we are going to venture back many years to take a look at where coffee came from. Now I must preface with the fact that we can’t be sure if this is the true origin of drinking coffee but, this is one of the most widely shared stories out there on the topic. So, let’s just start from there and have fun with our imaginations. Gather ‘round a campfire and pull out the smores because it’s story time!

He walked out, searching for the noise and origin of all the chaos. There were strange sounds of prancing and loud joyful cries. When his eyes caught the eluding noises, the sight was shocking. His goats were dancing and running around in the night. To think about it, they were doing this all day. He saw one of the goats eating berries and leaves of a new tree he had not seen before. Examining it, he decided a taste was in order. What came next was the beginning of the life-giving, joyous and wonderful beverage we all so desperately crave each morning.

This drink was shared from the very start of its origin somewhere around the 11th century. When the goat herder from Ethiopia discovered the effects of the berries, he shared it with a passing monk. He was overwhelmed with joy and knew it was the solution to stay awake during his prayers. However, he decided to boil the berries to create a beverage to drink rather than just eating the berries themselves. There began the infamous shared drink we all so love and adore.

By the 15th century, coffee moved east from Ethiopia and eventually reached the Arabian peninsula. From there, it spread to the rest of the world as it was traded on the road. People reacted very differently to the drink in each country and time period. Unlike the dancing goat herder, the Europeans were more hesitant to love the new drink. Coffee brought on a lot of controversy in the early 17th century, Italy. At one point even the pope was brought into the debate.To decide whether coffee was evil or truly a good thing, he decided to try it for himself. Delighted with coffee he decided it was good, and from then on the drink was shared in coffeehouses all over Europe.

Coffee became more than a drink, it brought a space for community and communication. It replaced beer and wine as the main beverage people enjoyed throughout the workday. The masses were now filled with energy and eager to finish their work. Just as we drink our morning cup of coffee before starting our workday, so did hundreds of years worth of working individuals before you.

There is history in all corners and spaces of coffee including, the community we find in coffeeshops. Everything started from the mysterious berries found in Ethiopia that gave energy to the herder, the goat, and the monk. Now coffee is grown all around the world in the coffee belt that lies between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The coffee bean is now the second most traded commodity in the World. I don’t think the goats knew what they discovered all those years ago. 

When your heart starts beating a little harder and your mind is that much clearer, you should thank the goats that were curious enough to try the magical berries. Curiosity is the grandest of qualities when it comes to the innovations and the history of coffee. As the pope tasted an unfamiliar drink, he decided to go against the masses to create his own opinion and his own story. A brave stance and the curiosity to match it are what brought us our favorite drink.

Stay classy coffee tribe.