Baba Budan’s Beans

While coffee flourished in Arabian lands, the legend of its powers of sobriety and mental clarity quickly spread far beyond Arabian borders.

While its historic roots are still shrouded in legend, by the middle 15th century the people of Arabia were roasting and brewing coffee to enjoy a beverage much as we know it today. Wine was forbidden to Moslems, so coffee became an integral part of Arabian society. Sharing coffee became ritual, and should a man of Arabia to fail to provide his wife with coffee, it was grounds for divorce.

Venetian traders were introduced to coffee by Arabian merchants, who’d insist on a cup as they bartered and bargained for hours. Soon coffee was offered by apothecaries in Venice — by prescription only. Some feared the power of “the devil’s cup” and brought coffee before Pope Clement VII, hopeful he might condemn it from Christendom. To their dismay, Clement immensely enjoyed the beverage, and baptized it, so that all could enjoy the beverage without guilt… and without a prescription.

While Arab traders were keen to ship boiled or parched seeds the entire world over, they were careful tobaba budan coffee beans never allow beans or cuttings that could create new coffee plants to leave Arabian borders… coffee had become so precious to them, it was made illegal to export fertile beans.

On pilgrimage to Mecca in the middle 1600s, Baba Budan, a revered holy man from India, discovered for himself the wonders of coffee. In his zeal to share what he’d found with his fellows at home, he smuggled seven coffee beans out of Arabia, wrapped around his belly. On his return home, he planted the beans in the hills of Mysore, India, and nurtured the young coffee bushes that resulted. Coffee flourished in the hills of India – hills now named after Baba Budan.

In short order, enterprising Dutch traders bought some of these coffee plants, and shipped them to faraway colonies in Indonesia and Ceylon. The Arabian monopoly of the coffee trade was over, and the Western world was waking up to a new aroma… one that would play a fateful role in Europe, and beyond.
(Source: Green Mountain

The Legend of Kaldi’s Dancing Goats

Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Ethiopia —or maybe Abyssinia, it was a very long time ago, after all— there lived a young goatherd named Kaldi.

By all accounts (and there are many, as the story has been retold many, many times) Kaldi was a very responsible young man, and not one to do foolish things. Every day Kaldi would set his goats to grazing in the hills that surrounded his village, and every evening his loyal goats would return home. This, of course, would suggest that the goats were the responsible parties. How foolish is it, after all, to just turn your goats loose into the hills every morning? But, back to our story…

One evening, Kaldi’s goats did not return home. The young man, no doubt feeling a little foolish by now, searched for his herd all through the night, and as morning broke he found them, leaping and dancing with reckless abandon and apparent glee round a stand of shiny, dark-leafed shrubs with bright red berries. Kaldi took in the scene before him, amazed. He soon decided it must be the berries that caused such reckless behavior in his otherwise responsible goats, and — forgetting everything his mother told him kaldi dancing coffee goatabout eating strange foods from strange places — Kaldi sampled the berries, himself. In no time, he too was dancing gleefully with his goats around the green-leafed shrubs.

Soon, we are told, a wise and learned man passed by —an imam, or monk— trudging sleepily on his way to prayer. The imam rubbed his eyes and took in the scene before him —Kaldi and his goats— dancing gleefully about a stand of shiny, dark-leafed shrubs with bright red berries.

Being both a curious and learned man, the imam gathered some of these berries, himself, and on returning home he studied them. In his experiments with the bright red berries, he roasted them, boiled them and sampled the resulting beverage. He shared what he found with the rest of his fellow monks, and soon none fell asleep at prayers! And so coffee spread from place to place, creating a more gleeful, and wakeful, world.

So what of Kaldi? Perhaps he and his goats are dancing, still.
(Source: Green Mountain