How did coffee come to be?
The origins of coffee are lost to time. All that is left are faint whispers and stories. The tale starts off with a young goat herder named Khaldi. He was supposedly the first person who discovered the energetic effects of caffeine. High up in the Ethiopian mountains, he noticed his goats were acting a little strange. They were unusually active and energetic. They were so active that they were up all night and kept poor Khaldi up all night as well! Eager to discover the reason for this all-nighter, Khaldi began his investigations, which led him to the plant that his goats had been munching on. After trying some berries for himself, Khaldi experienced a surge of energy and couldn't stop dancing and hopping all over the place!
The talk about the berries and their mystical properties spread around like wildfire, and soon the tale of Khaldi and his red berries reached a monastery. There resided a monk, who was sick of falling asleep through his prayers and decided to try Khaldi's magic berries. When he saw their effects, he created a mixture of the berries and created the drink we know as coffee.
All about International Coffee Day
International Coffee Day is a day to celebrate Khaldi and his beautiful discovery. While unofficial coffee days can be traced and dated back to the 1980s, when the All-Japan Coffee Association promoted an event related to coffee, it didn’t really stick. There have been attempts to revive International Coffee Day multiple times since then, mainly in the late nineties. For example, in 2009, the term ‘International Coffee Day’ was mentioned in public by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum to celebrate the day and to announce the first New Orleans Coffee Festival.
The International Coffee Organization was set up in 1963 in London, with the support of the United Nations, due to the economic importance of coffee. It developed the International Coffee Agreement, an essential treaty for developing cooperation between coffee exporters and consumers. The International Coffee Council is the highest authority of the organization and is composed of representatives of each member government. It meets twice every year in March and September to discuss coffee matters and consider the recommendations of advisory bodies and committees.
Officially the international coffee organization first designated October 1st, 2015 as International Coffee Day, and it was first launched in Milan as part of the world expo. It’s a day to celebrate and promote coffee and coffee products.
International Coffee Day and fair-trade practices
Coffee has gone from being a strange exotic drink from a distant land to one of the most widely consumed beverages in the whole world. Even though coffee was discovered long ago, it has only exploded in popularity in the last five hundred years. Due to the discovery of the new world, rising popularity, and the thought process of the times, the rise of coffee was fueled by the exploitation of the native populace and the native environment. To ensure the environment and farmers are not harmed further, they need to be treated fairly and equitably, and thus efforts are being made to grow coffee sustainably and pay the growers and roasters fairly for their efforts.
Various counties which celebrate coffee day
Incidentally, many national coffee days also fall closely around the same date. The majority of national coffee days are in or near September, including some big coffee producers such as Peru, which holds its National Coffee Day on August 22nd, and Costa Rica, which has its National Coffee Day on the second Friday of September.
However, most national coffee days take place two days before the international coffee day on September 29th. Coffee crazy countries like Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ethiopia, Iceland, Indonesia, Sweden, and Norway and some unlikely contenders in Hungary, India, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, the United States, Pakistan, and Poland would fall in that category.
Themes and events
The International Coffee Organization has different themes each year, where it celebrates the coffee industry, roasters, farmers, and associations in its member countries. In 2021 the ICO gave presentations and workshops depicting the conditions and constraints faced by the coffee industry in Indonesia, Laos, and Brazil, among other workshops and seminars.
A lot of coffee chains also share coupons and special deals with loyal customers and the public. So the next time you look at the calendar, and it’s almost October 1st, remember to go out there and get your free dose of caffeine goodness.
How coffee brands celebrate National Coffee Day
Here’s what different brands offer on National Coffee Day. Be sure to pay them a visit for these deals and discounts on coffee day!
- Caribou Coffee, a premium coffeehouse that launched its subscription coffee business in 2021 where it provides its subscribers with craft roasted coffee, ground to the customers' exact specifications, was offering the first 100 subscribers on their platform a free bag of coffee for international coffee day 2021.
- Biggby Coffee, a relatively small coffeehouse with around 250 locations in the state of Michigan, was giving customers a free 20 oz hot or iced coffee with any purchase all day on international coffee day.
- Bulletproof coffee, which kick-started the trend of creamy butter coffees that keep you full throughout the day, celebrated the holiday by offering a 30 percent discount off its entire product line leading up to the national coffee day. It also gave its shoppers the opportunity to avail free shipping on any orders above 35 USD.
- Chameleon Organic coffee also joined in the fun by giving away prize bundles of coffee and coffee-themed merchandise through their own sweepstakes.
- Dunkin offered its loyal customers a chance to redeem a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase on National coffee day.
- Krispy Kreme turned it up a notch in 2021 and showered its vaccinated customers with a bunch of freebies, along with giving its patrons one free coffee and donut throughout the national coffee day. All they had to do was download the app before making a purchase.
- MAPCO went above and beyond to help their customers “espresso themselves” with a complimentary 16-ounce coffee for all guests. Without needing to show coupons or download an app. However, patrons who downloaded the app were showered with additional rewards throughout the weekend in the US southeast.
- Tim Horton’s kicked it up a notch and celebrated a national coffee month! All the way from September 28th through to October 26th, guests could purchase any size of hot or iced coffee for just a dollar through the Tim Horton’s app or website.
- Super Coffee offered its patrons a 20% discount on its variety bundles for a week, which ranged from pre-made canned coffee drinks to bagged coffee grounds and super pods for Keurig. The discount was applied automatically through all their distribution channels, whether the products were bought online via amazon or in-store at Target, Whole Foods, Walmart, Kroger, or CVS.
- Circle K offered a free hot or iced coffee of any size to customers at participating locations. All the patrons had to do to get their free coffee was text “FREE” to a number and present the coupon at checkout.
- Defy, the black, veteran woman-owned brand, which combines caffeine and their proprietary immunity-boosting electrolyte blend made from elderberry and beetroot, gave a coupon with a 25% discount on the entire order while buying through their website.
All of this was just last year! As you can see, even though the National and International Coffee Day is extremely young, it’s being picked up with great enthusiasm by both new and established coffee chains all across the globe. The discounts, freebies, and merch provided are amazing, and all you need to access these awesome goodies is just a love for coffee and being at the right place at the right time.
This year, come celebrate with Era of We, as we employ fair trade practices and satisfy your coffee cravings with sustainable and ethically-sourced coffee.