To understand 'why goats' we must go back to ancient times, specifically to Abyssinia, now known as Ethiopia. This land of deserts, highlands and forested plateaus, perched on the edge of East Africa, is where the most prized species of coffee trees, Coffea arabica and the origin of our own Kona Coffee trees grew wild for centuries before the revered properties of the beans were discovered and revealed by none other then goats.
While experts believe coffee cultivation may have begun as early as A.D. 575, and as to who made the discovery, there are no facts, only legends, and the commonest of these is the one of Kaldi, a young Abyssinian goatherd, and his dancing goats
Pualei & Leilani
Used to seeing his goats behave in a normal fashion, namely casually grazing and mostly lounging about whilst chewing the cud under a shady tree, Kaldi was astonished when, after waking from his own nap, he found the entire herd cavorting and dancing about the field.
Following them, he noticed that they appeared partial to the red berries of a short bushy tree, and being curious by nature, Kaldi chewed on a handful of berries himself.
He did not have to wait long when an unexpected wave of energy overtook him, and he too started to dance about the field.
An Imam passes by.....
At this time, a passing imam, or monk, observed the dancing goatherd and the frolicking goats, and stopped to ask Kaldi to explain this behaviour.
Kaldi showed the curious holy man the berries and explained their effects.
The monk, having battled forever with trying to keep his congregation from falling asleep during sermons, immediately saw the usefulness of the berries.
He decided to boil the fruit and served the beverage to his flock, and to his delight found it kept his audience from dozing and allowed more time for prayer.
News of this wonderful elixer spread to other monks, and soon all the iman carried the drink throughout the kingdom, and with the demand from the monasteries the earliest cultivation of coffee began.