Caffeine comes from several places. The most common source of caffeine is coffee beans which are used to make coffee
itself. Caffeine can also come from cocoa beans, as well as other vaious plants, which are used to make many products. An
example of one of these products would be chocolate bars. Caffeine can also be found in several soft drinks. Several different
teas also contain amounts of caffeine (eg. green tea).
According to one story, the effect of coffee beans on behavior was noticed by a sheep herder from Caffa Ethopia named Kaldi
as he tended his sheep. He noticed that the sheep became hyperactive after eating the red "cherries" from a certain plant
when they changed pastures. He tried a few himself, and was soon as overactive as his herd. The story relates that a monk
happened by and scolded him for "partaking of the devil's fruit." However the monks soon discovered that this fruit from the
shiny green plant could help them stay awake for their prayers.
Another legend gives us the name for coffee or "mocha." An Arabian was banished to the desert with his followers to die
of starvation. In desperation, Omar had his friends boil and eat the fruit from an unknown plant. Not only did the broth save
the exiles, but their survival was taken as a religious sign by the residents of the nearest town, Mocha. The plant and its
beverage were named Mocha to honor this event.
Originally the coffee plant grew naturally in Ethopia, but once transplanted in Arabia was monopolized by them. One early
use for coffee would have little appeal today. The Galla tribe from Ethiopia used coffee, but not as a drink. They would wrap
the beans in animal fat as their only source of nutrition while on raiding parties. The Turks were the first country to adopt
it as a drink, often adding spices such as clove, cinnamon, cardamom and anise to the brew.
Coffee was introduced much later to countries beyond Arabia whose inhabitants believed it to be a delicacy and guarded
its secret as if they were top secret military plans. Transportation of the plant out of the Moslem nations was forbidden
by the government. The actual spread of coffee was started illegally. One Arab named Baba Budan smuggled beans to some mountains
near Mysore, India, and started a farm there. Early in this century, the descendants of those original plants were found still
growing fruitfully in the region.
Coffee was believed by some Christians to be the devil's drink. Pope Vincent III heard this and decided to taste it before
he banished it. He enjoyed it so much he baptized it, saying "coffee is so delicious it would be a pity to let the infidels
have exclusive use of it."
Coffee today is grown and enjoyed worldwide, and is one of the few crops that small farmers in third-world countries can