Coffee originated in East Africa as a wild plant. Its exact origins are a mystery, but one famous story tells of the Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi, who noticed his goats dancing after they ate a particular berry.
After trying some of these berries, Kaldi also felt energetic. He took the berries to a monk, who shared them with his brothers. From there, use of the berry spread throughout the world. The first firm evidence of coffee as a beverage comes from the Arabian Peninsula. There, Sufi mystics drank a broth made from the coffee beans to fuel their long sessions of ecstatic dancing. Use of coffee began to grow popular in secular life as well, spreading across the Muslim world and then, in the Age of Exploration, to Europe and the Americas.