It is still unclear where in Africa was coffee discovered or which people were the first to make out that coffee was a stimulant. Although there are indications that coffee originated in Africa but there does not exist credible evidence to show where in Africa it originated. It is believed that the ancestors of Oromo people in Ethiopia were the first to have discovered that.
There is also a legend associated with who the first discoverer was. The legend goes: long ago, there was a goat herd that lived in Ethiopia…. One day he came across some frenzied birds and goats that were jumping… He found out that they had eaten mysterious beans from a bush. Kaldi, the goat herd, was a holy man. He threw them into a fire, from which an enticing aroma arose… the beans were then dropped into a pestle, ground and dissolved in hot water – world’s first cup of coffee! The legends are, however, mere legends! There is no good reason why this legend should not be taken with a pinch of salt. The story didn’t appear until the 17th century, so there is no way to ascertain its credibility.
But it is certain that coffee first spread from Africa to the Middle East. Islam prohibits the drinking of alcohol and the Muslim travelers needed some stimulant. Coffee, much like alcohol, performed the job wonderfully. This need made coffee popular, first among the travelers and then through out the region. From there it spread to Europe and the Arabic name ‘qahavah’ was translated as coffeum in Latin. It is from Latin that the modern English name for coffee comes from.