Coffee, The Great Literary Stimulant

Ed Simon at The Millions:

Maronite priest Antonio Fausto Naironi once claimed that the greatest of miracles happened in ninth-century Ethiopia. It was then and there, in the province of Oromia, that a young shepherd named Kaldi noticed that his goats were prone to running, leaping, and dancing after they had eaten blood-red berries from a mysterious bush. Kaldi chewed on a few beans himself, and suddenly he was awake. Gathering handfuls of them, he brought them to a local abbot. Disgusted with the very idea of such a shortcut to enlightenment, the monk threw the beans into a fire, but the other brothers smelled the delicious fragrance and gathered. Naironi is a bit scant on the details, but for some reason the grounds were filtered into water, and the first cup of coffee was brewed.

Such a perfect creation myth. Coffee, from the highlands of Ethiopia (still one of the largest producers), that ancient land which was home to the Queen of Sheba, the Ark of the Covenant, and where humanity first walked. The youthful innocence of Kaldi. And of course, the dancing goats, so perfectly Dionysian, so exquisitely demonic.

more here.