The history of coffee goes at least as far back as the fifteenth century, though coffee’s origins remain unclear. It had been believed that Ethiopian ancestors of today’s Oromo people were the first to have discovered and recognized the energizing effect of the coffee bean plant. However, no direct evidence has been found indicating where in Africa coffee grew or who among the natives might have used it as a stimulant or even known about it, earlier than the 17th century. The story of Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd who discovered coffee, did not appear in writing until 1671 and is probably apocryphal. From Ethiopia, coffee was said to have spread to Egypt and Yemen. The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee beans were first roasted and brewed, in a similar way to how it is now prepared. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. Coffee then spread to Italy, and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and to the Americas.
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