THE SHRUB FROM FOLKLORE
The magic of coffee begins with its legendary origins. In a tale taken from The Arabian Nights, the story goes that one evening a young shepherd, surprised to see his goats become highly excitable after feeding on red berries, decided to taste them for himself. Finding them very bitter, he threw them in the fire. The aroma emanating from the roasted beans gave him the idea of preparing a black beverage which came to be known as “coffee.”
Native to Ethiopia, this evergreen shrub is covered with ephemeral white flowers whose sweet fragrance is reminiscent of jasmine. After blossoming, they produce green fruit, that turn first yellow, then red, before forming “cherries,” known as “drupes,” These bunches of cherries each contain two flat-sided seeds, which are the coffee beans.
Harvesting must be done with great care; to produce a top-quality coffee, only firm, red, newly ripe berries must be picked.