It has been determined that the coffee bean, Coffea Arabica, was discovered by a goat herder named Kaldi in 11th century Ethiopia. His goats would be happy and active and jump or ‘dance’ around after visiting a certain mountaintop and eating a red fruit that held coffee beans. That simple discovery lead to tremendous growth and trade of a little bean that produced a craft beverage that swept the world.
By the 16th-century public coffee houses, or gahveh khaneh, were the gathering places for social activity and were commonly known as the “schools of the wise” for the dialog and debate that would take place. In those days the morning beverage of choice was wine or mead (early day beer) and once people begin to start their day at a coffee house employers saw a significant improvement in productivity! People were then encouraged to start their day in a gahveh khaneh. By the 18th century, coffee was the world’s most profitably traded commodity and shaped entire empires.
Today we are in the 3rd wave of evolution of the bean and what it produces, and the local coffee houses are still social gathering places. Coffee, and all of its derivatives continues to grow and gain followers and build community. There are no limits to what a curious mind and a few well-roasted beans can accomplish. From hot drip coffee and espresso drinks to cold brews and now keg nitro coffee, the industry keeps innovating and growing and creating evangelists of the bean.