The Unique Origins of Coffee

As many people will be aware, coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed on the planet. Regularly seen as among the most powerful beverages around, coffee has established itself as one of the most important beverages but also one of the most commonly traded items on the planet.

For that reason, coffee easily stands out amongst the crowd as a truly special product; the kind of item that makes a genuine difference to the quality of life that we lead. However, what are the origins of coffee? What is its background and origins?

Today, we want to look at the origins of coffee in one of the most important places for its harmonious development: Africa. Coffee is one of the most powerful drinks in the world, for sure, but it’s often no longer associated with Africa and instead is seen as a drink that hails from places like Brazil. Since the leaves of the coffee cherry was first brewed all those years ago in Ethiopia, then, how has the plant changed how the world looks at arguably one of its most delightful beverages?

How did the unique African origins of coffee come to be in the first place?

Africa: The Birthplace of Coffee

While we should always be open to looking at the global origin of coffee, the presence that it holds within African life and culture is extremely important. For example, coffee was found to be ‘discovered ‘in Africa due to the fact that it was first located and then cultivated in Kaffa, Ethiopia. It was in the south-western part of the nation that it was gathered, when a goatherd who supposedly went by the name of Kaldi found his goats acting strangely around these specific cherries.

Investigating further, he found that these cherries were not the normal kind of cherry, but instead were something far more dynamic. Inside these rich, bitter cherries was the tremendous coffee bean that, today, is such a vital part of global commerce. The goats showed an obvious increase in their stamina, and when he began to share the cherries with friends and locals they all noted that they got that boost in energy and alertness.

As you might imagine, they were soon to be declared the ‘work of the devil’ by religious types and were denounced quickly. When they were thrown on the fire in a bid to ‘purge’ them by the religious heads of the region, that wonderful coffee aroma erupted into the air from the smoke – immediately, he declared them the work of God, not the devil!

That instant change in formation and understanding of how we view and use coffee beans has played a leading role in the development of coffee as a substance that we take all the time. Whether this story is merely a nice way to promote the rapid discovery of coffee or not, we’ll never know. 

What is not arguable, though, is that Africa is arguably the continent with the best natural resources for growing high-quality coffee. 

Africa’s Love Affair with Coffee

Look around the coffee aisle in any supermarket, and you’ll soon notice just how many blends come from Africa. It’s no longer just something that people think is true; it’s 100% the case. Africa has a rich history in coffee production, and shows no real signs of slowing down.

Indeed, there’s something very important to note about African coffee and that is the prevalence of where it comes from. Nations like Kenya, Burundi, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo are all common for top quality coffee. This has been the case for many years, and is likely to continue to be the case as their rich habitual cultivation continues en masse.

Arabica coffee is arguably the most commonly drunk coffee from Africa. Most of the time, these coffees are known for their limited levels of caffeine. The other most popular form of coffee is known as Robusta coffee, and is known to have at least twice the caffeine content of your average blend of Arabica coffee.

It’s also usually more flavoursome due to this. Coffee that is created in these very specific circumstances tend to come with a particular aroma and taste. This makes them easiest to give you a cup of coffee that holds that meaningful and fruity richness that you were looking for.

It’s for this reason that many people turn to Arabica coffee. The other coffee mentioned, Robusta, is very popular and comes from places like the Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Uganda and Togo. These forms of coffee are naturally more bitter in taste than the Arabica, and for this reason they tend to be pretty popular with some people.

That being said, African coffee is very different and robust compared to other locations.

What Makes African Coffee So Special

African coffees are typically special on the basis that they stem from such a wide ranging range of profiles and tastes. For example, African coffee often holds a much richer and sweeter taste than coffees from Asia and from Europe. They are usually diverse and almost acidic, giving you a much different kind of taste to what you might have normally been looking for.

Add into the fact that African coffee is enjoyable for the fact it has such a tremendous variety, and you can find a coffee blend for just about any personality type. From the sweet and the sickly to the sour and the bitter, you can easily find the coffee taste that perfectly tallies with your own choices and decisions as time goes on.

That being said, you also get to enjoy a wonderfully refined single origin brew reange. This makes it easy for you to find high quality coffees that come with a very rich blend of tastes. This should make it a bit easier for you be able to delve into African coffee with an open mind. When you look around their coffee styles, you’ll find Africa produces the biggest quantity of options.

Quality, too, is usually very high. It depends on where you buy from and various other factors, but Africa holds a huge amount of pride for the quality of coffee that it produces. For that reason, you might wish to look a bit closer at the art of coffee and decide for yourself what style suits your own needs.

Just know that if you like to experiment and want to appreciate the art of variety that African coffee makes perfect sense. It’s by far and away the most enjoyable kind of coffee for all manner of reasons.

Choosing the Correct Coffee

Of course, nobody can truly tell you what kind of coffee that you should or should not like. Choosing the coffee that you like is down to personal taste and opportunity. If you want to make sure that you can find coffee that is enjoyable to drink, and is quite diverse in taste, be sure to look at African coffees.

They are some of the most historically powerful options, and usually provide you with some of the most enjoyable coffee that you can get. For that reason, you might find that choosing the correct coffee is very important.

As time goes on, you should find that you get used to the sheer variety in coffee styles that they have. Over time, you’ll be sure to find something spectacular that perfectly fits with your own taste buds and your own personal enjoyment with regards to flavour. 

Paul Mason

coffee blogger

Interested to know more about Hot Coffee? Got a question about our content or perhaps want to make a suggestion? The feel free to contact us today.

We’ll be more than happy to take a look at any comments, requests or queries that you may have. Thanks for your time, and we hope that your next cup of coffee that you enjoy is the best one that you’ve had, every time! 

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