Coffee was first discovered in the country we know today as Ethiopia. Of course, we don’t know exactly who brewed the first cup but there is a popular legend about its discovery. Apparently, a goat herder called Kaldi, noticed that his goats acted unusually friskily after eating berries from a bush. Curious about this phenomenon, Kaldi tried eating the berries himself and found that the berries gave him a renewed energy. The news of this energy laden fruit quickly spread throughout the region. Monks heard about this amazing fruit and dried the berries so that they could be transported to distant monasteries. On arrival, they reconstituted these berries in water, ate the fruit, and drank the liquid to provide stimulation for a more awakened time prayer time. Coffee first arrived on the European continent by means of Venetian trade merchants. Coffee houses spread quickly across Europe becoming centres for intellectual exchange and political activity.
These days there are two main types of coffee grown, Arabica and Robusta coffee. Arabica is generally more highly regarded but Robusta has a role to play too. Robusta can sometimes be bitter and have less flavour but it has better body. Robusta strains also contain about 40–50% more caffeine than Arabica. For these reasons, about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide is Arabica.