This is a lovely story. If only it were true. According to some coffee history legends, “an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously 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 and distributed to other monasteries around the world. Coffee was born”.
More credibly coffee was discovered on the plateaus of central Ethiopia and brought to Yemen where it was cultivated since the 6th century and drunk in Sufi monasteries. Traders then took it to the Middle East, Persia, Africa and then to Europe.
Does coffee have health benefits? Well this is a much debated topic. Some research shows that moderate coffee consumption (4 or 5 cups a day) is in fact perfectly safe. I would say that sounds like an awful lot of coffee in one day! The British Coffee Association has some interesting information on their website.
I went off drinking coffee when I got pregnant with my first daughter. I simply couldn’t stomach the smell I had loved before. Even now I sometimes feel nauseous in coffee shops. I do love the flavour in baking though.
Recipes using coffee