Coffee from legends to truth

The origin of this exceptional beverage with a very complex aromatic structure is surrounded by numerous legends and myth.

The legend of the Ethiopian shepherd who lived in times impossible to place is believed to be one of the most well-known. The shepherd noticed that his sheep were really excited after eating some red berries. Thus, it is impossible not to believe this legend for its captivating charm.

In fact, we don’t know when exactly the coffee started to be served as a beverage. However, the archaeologists found writings dating back to 900 years before Christ, which strongly support the idea that the coffee had been used as a medicine in the ancient Arab world.

Probably, its origin is much older.


Indeed, even in Sumerians civilization (4000 years before Christ) the use of medicinal plants waswidespread. In fact, the herbal medicine was more developed then than at present. Actually, we have only discovered beneficial, nutritional values contained in coffee, obviously already known in ancient days.

Thus, it would be logical to believe that the medicinal coffee beverage (including coffee beans roasted or not, but necessarily crushed and mixed with water) appeared with the Sumerians civilisation.

In comparison

It’s interesting to note that the beer, as complex as coffee, also stems from the ancient Mesopotamia, the land of the two rivers; Euphrates and Tiger. It’s there that a stone plate, dating back to approximately 4.000 before Christ, was discovered. It’s a primitive illustration of the first beer-making process.

Moreover, written in the form of hieroglyphs and pictograms recipes were submitted by primitive civilizations of the Mediterranean – Sumerian and Egyptian.

So much the worse, for fans of legends and stories.

The origin of the beverage as noble as coffee, could not be left any longer in this state of obscurantism distressing for all enthusiast coffee lovers.

We don’t claim here an absolute truth, but we simply want to put into a realistic perspective in the enthralling coffee story from its origin.

Patrick CHABERT – President