My boss did a random google search on the origins of coffee and found this: The origins of coffee are shrouded in myth and great stories. It is commonly believed that coffee plants were first discovered in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa. Legend has it that a sheep herder named Kaldi noticed that the sheep he was taking care of would become hyperactive after eating red cherries from a plant native to the area. Deciding to see what the effects of these cherries would have on a human, Kaldi noticed that he also became hyperactive. The story also describes how a monk passed by and scalded Kaldi for his actions. Ironically, it would be monks of this period that would be among the first coffee enthusiasts. Monks found that the stimulant qualities of coffee allowed them to stay awake for a long period of time, which was useful during long periods of praying and meditation. This story would seem to confirm the belief that coffee received its name from the Ethiopian province of Kaffa, which continues to be a major coffee growing region in the world today.