Kaldi the Goat Herder

Wednesday August 17, 2011 // By Tia Peck

Coffee Beans


As I was surfing the net trying to find inspiration for my next blog I noticed that “Kaldi the Goat Herder” was mention quite often throughout the world wide web as of late. Many of us in the coffee industry have heard the story about Khaldi, a goat herder from Ethiopia that discovered the coffee plaint in the sixth century, but for anyone who has not heard this tale here is a recap:

Noticing his goats acting in a strange and spirited manner after they ate the berries and leaves of a shrub found on a nearby hillside, Kaldi, curious about this phenomenon, ate the berries himself. He found himself motivated with renewed vigor. He told his friends, and the news of this energy-laden fruit spread throughout the region.

It was said that the nomadic Galla tribe of the Ethiopian Highlands was the first group of people to recognize that consuming coffee beans had a sustaining effect. So they would gather up coffee beans from local trees, ground them up, and mix them with animal fat to form a small ball that they could carry around for a snack.Black Coffee

Coffee has come a very long way since its discovery, and although snacking on a coffee ball was probably very nutritious I am not so sure it was very tasty. So thanks to Ethiopian monks, Arabs in Yemen, and of course the Europeans we get to enjoy a great tasting beverage instead.   

Coffee didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1700s after it was declared the national drink by the continental Congress, in protest of the excessive tax on tea levied by the British Crown (the Boston Tea Party in 1773). Today coffee is a giant industry and gourmet coffee sales have reached the multi-billion dollar level in the USA alone. The coffee industry has defiantly changed in the last fifty or so years, becoming faster and more efficient. It is a lot easier to get your coffee on the go and now there are more drinks to choose from. With this competitive coffee market cafés across the country have been coming up with new innovating ways to set themselves apart like using different pour methods and latte art. Coffee history is also becoming more and more popular thanks to the Internet and books like “Coffee Talk” by Morton Satin.

BPS Brew TableThe coffee industry is changing every day and it can be hard to keep up so Barista Pro Shop’s Training Café is offering different classes to help cafés and baristas keep up with the new trends and refresh on some of the old like latte art and coffee 101.

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