The story of Budan Beans is the story of the global coffee trade.
Most coffee folklore attribute the origins of coffee as a drink to an Ethiopian goat herder Kaldi. It was Kaldi who first chewed on coffee berries for its extra energy while tending to his flock at night.
From there it was a short step to cooking or roasting the beans, and an even shorter step to boiling them and enjoying the resulting liquid.
It was in the Middle East at the turn of the last millenium that coffee gained immense popularity as a drink. Coffee spread with Islam, as worshippers enjoyed the drink for its ability to enhance their religious experience. Where the religion spread; through African, the Middle East, and into Asia, coffee went with it.
But it was said no coffee trees were grown outside of the Middle East for more than 500 years. All beans exported from the heart of the coffee economy were boiled or otherwise sterilised.
Until that is, Sufi Baba Budan.
Baba Budan was an Indian religious man, who travelled to the Middle East on a pilgrimage in the 17th Century.
Clearly he was also a coffee lover who could appreciate a good cup, because when he returned home he strapped seven fertile coffee seeds to his stomach - risking severe punishment for the chance to cultivate his own coffee.
Not only did the beans germinate into a thriving coffee plantation, but so did the global spread of coffee.
The Dutch smuggled coffee into Europe, then to their colony in what is now Indonesia.
They gifted coffee plants to friends, allies and royalty.
King Louis XIV grew coffee in the Royal Botannical Garden, which inspired a French Naval Officer to try growing coffee in the colony of Martinique.
He was denied permission for this exercise. So, as was becoming a habit among coffee lovers, he snuck in, stole some clippings, and lovingly cultivated them on the long voyage.
The story of the officer, Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu, is a book in and of itself.
Suffice to say, his efforts spawned the coffee industry of Latin America.
Neighbouring Brazil wanted to start growing coffee of its own (you can see where this is going).
After permission was denied, they despatched their own officer to steal enough seeds or clippings to cultivate a new plantation. Theft was more difficult than other routes, so after befriending the wife of the colony's Governor, the officer returned home with seedlings in hand.
So there we have it; intrigue, jealousy, theft, smuggling, more theft, subterfuge and a bit of industrial espionage.
These people really loved their coffee.
But none of this would have been possible without Baba Budan.
His initial success was seen in the hills of Mysore in India. Hundreds of years later we enjoy the fruits of his labour, with the delightfully flavoursome Indian Mysore Nuggets, Indian Monsooned Malabar and Indian Tiger Mountain. All three are some of the most popular beans we have offered.
Budan Beans is about recognising excellent coffee no matter where in the world it is from, sourcing it for our customers and bringing the flavours of the world to you.
Quarantine laws are a bit more stringent since Baba Budan's time, so we have a few more hoops to go through, and we work with local importers who range far and wide to get the best coffees. It's slightly more efficient than strapping coffee to our stomach, seven beans at a time.
The end result: the world's best coffees, fresh roasted and shipped express throughout Australia.