The legends of coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are two world famous beverages consumed by millions of people every day.
Being big consumers ourselves, we wondered how these products had been discovered, how it was known, for example, that the seeds of this tree had to be roasted to obtain such a beverage!
And in our research, we discovered a world of legends, each one more interesting (and crazy?) than the other.
Here is a summary of what I discovered. Let's admit that some legends make you want to believe in them so much they are fun :D
Don't hesitate to comment on your favorites!
The history of tea is rich in legends, which know how to intrigue us and make this thousand-year-old drink precious and mysterious.
Each country, from China to Japan, through India, has old beliefs have maintained the myth around this magical beverage.
Let's take a look at those known:
In 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shennong or Shen Nong (神農) was known as a physician, a fine botanist. He was nicknamed the father of agriculture, or the "divine harvester".
In order to fight against various epidemics of the time, he asked that water be boiled before consumption.
According to Chinese tradition, this emperor had a transparent stomach, which allowed him to follow the different actions of plants on his body.
While he was resting leaning against a tree, sitting next to a cauldron filled with simmering water, tea leaves carried by the wind would have fallen inside the cauldron.
The water would have quickly become tinted, giving an unknown and delicious flavor to the water.
By observing its transparent belly, the Chinese emperor Shennong noticed all the beneficial agents contained in this strange plant.
It is said that he was so impressed that tea became a staple in Chinese culture.
It was a tea tree.
When he woke up, ashamed of his weakness and angry with himself, he cut off his eyelids and threw them violently to the ground.
Scientific point of view
The original stick
Kaldi and his goats
One day, Kaldi, who was peacefully grazing his gentle and obedient goats on the grounds of a monastery in Yemen, saw them eating red berries from a dark shrub.
A few minutes later, the goats were jumping around and seemed much more lively than usual.
Intrigued, the shepherd went to the monastery and told his adventure to the monks, who immediately decided to prepare an infusion.
They found that they could pray much longer without feeling the effects of fatigue.
When he came back to find his branch, he enjoyed the smell of the roasted seeds.
He ground them into powder and brewed them: this was, according to the legend, the very first roasted coffee.
A revealing fire
They gave off such a good smell that the inhabitants, as soon as the fire was out, went to collect the beans.
They crushed them and then infused them in water and thus discovered the very special taste and the virtues of coffee.
Omar and the bird
Omar decided to prepare a drink from the fruit of this tree, drank it and suddenly felt much better.
The people then took him back to the village and carried him in triumph.
Muhammad and Gabriel
Within an hour, Mohammed is said to have defeated 40 horsemen and honored 40 women.
He called the drink "Quava" (pronounced kawa), a word still used in the Middle East for any drink made from a plant or fruit.
Ali Ben Omar Al-Shadili, considered the patron saint of coffee growers and consumers, seems to be at the origin of coffee exportation.