You Used To Have To Chew Coffee

For so many of us, the day just doesn't start until we've had our morning coffee. We are hooked on the scent of brewing coffee and that stimulating spark of energy. If you enjoy classic brewed coffee, you may be surprised to learn that your friend who chomps on chocolate-covered espresso beans may actually be keeping it old school.

Before becoming coffee, raw coffee beans are encased in a berry-like fruit known as the "coffee cherry." Each cherry usually contains two coffee beans Modern coffee brewing involves removing the coffee beans from the fruit, drying and roasting the beans before grinding them, then brewing coffee (per Britannica).

You may have heard of kopi luwak which is the most expensive coffee in the world. A civet cat eats the coffee fruit seeds and all, then after the fruit is digested it comes out in the civet cat's poop. 

It also appears that goats inspired coffee trends long before goat yoga came on the scene. Legend has it a goat herder in Ethiopia named Kaldi may have first discovered the effects of caffeine and coffee. He noticed the goats had an extra spring in their steps after eating a specific berry, so he tried it for himself (per Britannica). The National Coffee Association of the USA reports that Kaldi apparently brought the fruit to a local monastery where the monks experimented with it and shared their results.

From chewy treat to the GOAT of breakfast drinks

So, you may ask how we moved from Kaldi's goats to a hot cup of joe. Early on, the Haya tribe of Tanzania and possibly other nearby tribes chewed coffee initially (per John Burton Ltd and Melitta). The fruit was smashed into a pulp and mixed and rolled with animal fat to make a stimulating treat, via PBS.

PBS also notes that people started experimenting with drinking coffee by first making a drink with the whole fruit around 1,000 A.D. Brewed coffee as we know it appeared in the 13th century on the Arabian peninsula. It appears we humans didn't initially know what to do with coffee, but we knew we liked it! Not long after, the coffee shop evolved as a place where people drank coffee, played chess, listened to music, and engaged in stimulating conversation, per National Coffee Association. Today, people all over the world enjoy coffee and each culture creates its own delicious coffee drinks. Some may even argue that coffee is the GOAT of beverages.