There are many legends about the origin of coffee, the most popular says that a Pastor named Kaldi who, in Ethiopia, used to bring his goats to graze. One day they began to eat the ripe berries of coffee and chewing the leaves of the coffee plant. The Pastor noticed that after eating the berries, the goats showed signs of excitement, and failing to explain what had happened, he spoke with the Abbot Yahia. He, sensing that this was due to the substances inside the plant, used the berries to make a drink that could warm up the body, invigorating it and freeing it from sleepiness and fatigue.
The exciting abilities of coffee were soon exploited in the religious sphere for night prayers and the drink was immediately adopted by the Sufi mystics in Yemen, around 1450. The accounts of various travelers testify that the use of coffee was available throughout the Islamic East already in the late sixteenth century.
In the West, coffee spread through Venice, where, it is thought it was opened the first “Bottega del Caffè” in 1640. Coffee shops soon became the place where people gathered to discuss and talk about liberal ideas and they were frequently visited by writers, politicians and philosophers. Many more coffee shops opened throughout the rest of Europe. At the beginning of 1700, every European city had at least one coffee shop.
The presence of coffee developed in the world not only as a drink to consume, but also as a plant to grow. The first were the Dutch, who began growing coffee in Java through the East India Company using seeds from Yemen.
In 1720, a French naval officer, sailed to Caribbean with some coffee plants. In the following years the coffee plants spread rapidly throughout Central America: Haiti, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In the same period the Dutch carried coffee into their other colonies and from there went to French Guiana, and then in Brazil, where, in 1727, they opened the first coffee plantations.
Today, coffee is the main crop for more than 20 million farmers in the world, the production area spread all around the equator and tropical countries. The world's largest producers are Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia. With a global production that reaches every year approximately 5,9 milion tons of beans, coffee is, after oil, the second most traded commodity in the financial markets of our planet.