For most coffee aficionados, every day is coffee day – but did you know National Coffee Day and International Coffee Day are actual dates to celebrate our favorite drink?
What Is National Coffee Day?
National Coffee Day is a celebration of everyone’s favorite caffeinated beverage (or decaffeinated, if you prefer). Around the nation, coffee shops and vendors have events and offers to entice new customers and encourage existing patrons in through the door.
Wondering how coffee became the favorite drink of the USA?
Well, it pretty much dates from that little skirmish in Boston Harbour between English officials and American colonists back in 1773. While coffee had already reached the New World at the time of the Boston Tea Party, levels of taxation on tea and other imported items in the 18th century had become prohibitively expensive. Drinking the rather more affordable coffee became almost a patriotic duty for many Americans.
National Coffee Day is now promoted in the USA by the National Coffee Association, which runs conventions, maintain information about coffee trends, and even offer webinars for those interested in the real hard-headed business of coffee.
When Is National Coffee Day?
In America, National Coffee Day takes place on 29 September every year – in 2019, it’s on a Sunday. Many coffee outlets will offer free or discounted coffee or specials – maybe a new blend or a new way of preparing and serving everybody’s favorite beverage, or pop-up cafés in unexpected locations.
The date of National Coffee Day does, however, vary around the world. Brazilians, for instance, celebrate on 24 May, while in many parts of the world, the day is celebrated on 1 October, to tie in with International Coffee Day.
What Is International Coffee Day?
In an effort to standardize the date globally, the International Coffee Organization launched the first International Coffee Day in Milan in 2015. Each year has a different theme – in 2018 it was women in coffee, and we’re waiting eagerly to see what the 2019 theme is going to be.
The International Coffee Organization describes itself as “the main intergovernmental organization for coffee”. It has trade figures and serious, well-researched reports, as well as facts and figures to help you stay informed about the trading of coffee.
When Is International Coffee Day?
Every year, the member states of the ICO celebrate coffee on 1 October.
National Coffee Day vs International Coffee Day: Which Event is Bigger?
Well, that’s up for debate, really. There’s no doubt that coffee is big business, after all. Did you know it’s actually the world’s second most traded commodity, right after oil? And Americans drink a LOT of coffee, and coffee shops are often the heart of a community these days.
Recent research, however, shows that Americans don’t drink quite as much coffee as Canadians – Canada was the only non-European country to make the top ten coffee-drinking nations, in terms of cups per capita: Finland was at the top of the list.
Finns drink an astonishing 12kg of coffee each per year. In case you’re wondering, America came in at number 25 on the list, drinking a very respectable average of 4.2kg of coffee per head per year.
On balance, then, with over 77 countries participating in International Coffee Day, we think it’s the bigger celebration, certainly in terms of numbers of participants, outlets, and sheer population.
How To Celebrate National Coffee Day
Well, you could take a trip to your neighborhood coffee shop and see what’s on offer: many coffee shops run special deals and events for National Coffee Day, and International Coffee Day too. Some may offer behind the scenes tours, background information on their coffee, or workshops on how to make particular coffees or recognize really good beans.
Or you could try a different type of coffee – if you’re normally an energized espresso drinker, how about a luscious latte instead? Or if you usually opt for coffee made from Arabica beans, why not try a Robusta-based blend instead? If your favorite blends normally come from Columbia, why not give a blend from, say, Ethiopia a try?
Since sustainability is a topic on everyone’s lips right now, you might also check out what Fairtrade options are on offer. If you would like to enjoy a new coffee taste from unique coffee beans, go for Kopi Luwak or Kauai coffee.
Some people go much further and try to drink crazy amount of coffee. We obviously do not recommend it!
And if you’ve ever wanted to try all those different kinds of milk that are now out there as an alternative to cows’ milk, now might well be your opportunity. You’ll find some of them change the flavor of your coffee, some in a subtle way, and some more obviously – coffee with added coconut milk tastes very different from one with, say, rice milk.
Kaffee Und Kuchen? Yes Please!
Coffee adds such a great flavor to so many recipes, you could also try a slice of coffee or mocha or cappuccino cake or trifle. At this location, we have to confess to being particularly partial to a slice of moist and luscious coffee and walnut. If we’re feeling extra decadent and we don’t need to drive anywhere for a little while, we might indulge in a serving of tiramisu.
Obviously, we’ll wash down any sweet delights we might try with our current favorite coffee. We definitely reckon Germany and Austria have the right idea on this one – the Kaffee und Kuchen ritual is pretty much an afternoon institution.
Get Cooking With Coffee
We also know coffee makes pretty great mocktails or try out one of the recipe ideas out there for yourself. We’ve also found that a blend of brewed black coffee and maple syrup can make a tasty glaze or marinade for stir-fry dishes, bacon, pork, chicken, barbecue ribs, and some vegan alternatives like the new meatless burgers and sausages on the market.
The ICO has some excellent creative ideas for ways to celebrate – everything from information workshops to art competitions. In 2018 the ICO’s photography contest attracted thousands of online votes.
Anyway, however you decide to celebrate, raise a (latte) glass, and here’s to International Coffee Day and National Coffee Day too!
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado and passionate traveler from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans that make you feel like you are in heaven. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can find only in Indonesia. Welcome to my coffee world!