According to legend, the coffee’s invigorating effect was discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat herder, who noticed that his goats became more energised after eating some red berries. He told this to the monks living nearby. The monks realized that when they roasted the seed, they could make a tasty drink. It seems certain that coffee was first used in Yemen for its invigorating effects probably by Sufi monks who appreciated stimulants. That’s where it started out and from there it became known by every social class. In the 16th century it spread to Syria and Egypt.
According to another legend, Gabriel archangel gave the coffee to Mohammed.
There is a third story, in which an exiled Sufi wiseman found the coffee plant, and its fruit saved him and his disciples from starvation.
Coffee is indigenous in Ethiopia. A drink made of roasted, ground coffee was first recorded in Yemen. In the second half of 15th century consumption of coffee became common among Sufi monks for its physiological effects at vigil ceremonies. Probably these religious practitioners transposed the practice of coffee-drinking to everyday life. Presumably coffee drinking becoming known led to the establishing of coffee houses in the Muslim world.
When coffee arrived in Europe, urbanization and the rise of the middle classes had already begun. Citizen lifestyle was gaining more and more space and this changed our eating habits too. Until then the norm had been two hot meals per day, but later breakfast was introduced and because of the fixed working hours supper and dinner got postponed. This transition speeded up coffee’s gaining in popularity, that was an alternative of poor-quality drinking water, intoxicating beer or wine.
Citizen jobs required sobriety and precision, and coffee was suitable for these requirements than other drinks. To this day cafes’ and other eating units’ most important products are still associated with morning meals.
In the 17-18th century every major city had cafes. Large coffee cultures emerged in Vienna, Germany and Italy. Coffee was available for more and more of the population. In Europe cafes became social institutions.
At the end a 1800s the more resilient Robusta was discovered by members of the Nile expedition along the Equator. Until then coffee had meant arabica. From then on a competition started between the more caffeinated Robusta with its higher yield, and the much higher organoleptic quality Arabica.
The cheaper Robusta was affordable by everyone. So the increased market demanded a faster and more effective method of coffee making. Espresso-technology started to develop. The first coffee bars were opened in Italy.