Cafe Jiran

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The Discovery of Coffee


The story of coffee, like all great stories, begins with a legend.
The legend tells of an Abyssinian goatherd, Kaldi, who lived near the village of Jiran in the 9th Century AD. 
Jiran is smack in the heart of Kaffa, the Ethiopian province from which the word “coffee” is derived.

The young Kaldi, noticing the exuberant behaviour of his goats upon eating some berries growing wild on the African plains, decided to try some himself. Excited by a novel sense of elation, Kaldi shared his discovery with the abbot at a nearby monastery.

MonkThe abbot, convinced that anything that made one feel so good must be fundamentally bad, took the goatherd’s berries and hurled them into the fire, declaring them “The Devil’s work!”
And that’s where the story should have ended, but in a poetic twist the fire, rather than consuming the berries, merely released their seductive aroma. This quickly attracted the monks, who were even quicker to rescue the roasted beans from the fire and place them in a pot of hot water.

That night the monks savoured the resulting dark and fragrant brew and found themselves pleasantly alert during their long evening devotions. Soon coffee became the monks’ favoured elixir.
It is not recorded whether the abbot revised his earlier position, though it is strongly suspected that he, too, was unable to resist the temptation of coffee’s infinite charms.
And thus coffee insinuated itself into the civilized world's imagination. 
The rest, as they say, is history . . .