Legend has it that sometime late in the first millennium, an Abyssinian goatherd named Kaldi noticed a discerned up-tempo to the frolic in his herd as they grazed on the berries of a certain bush. Not wanting his herd to get away from him, adventurous Kaldi sampled the ruby red berries and soon discovered that he too had added a certain hop to his step. Word of the stimulant properties of the local berries spread and, much as Yemeni laborers chewed khat leaves, and Andean messengers coca leaf, the local native tribes fueled up on protein rich coffee and animal fat balls for an early African highland version of a power bar.

The beans made their way across the Red Sea to the Arabian Peninsula where many authorities believe that actual cultivation of coffee trees began. Word of the fruit with a punch spread and Sufi mystics and monks, used to nodding off under candle light while in meditation and prayer, realized they could rip through their recitations with renewed determination once they had indulged in the ruby red delights. The wise men decided that it was indeed sacred medicine and coffee became a ceremonial drink for the Sufi mystics.