October 1 is a day for coffee lovers, as it’s International Coffee Day! It is the perfect occasion to celebrate and appreciate coffee from around the world.
If you’re still feeling the buzz after celebrating National Coffee Day on September 29, then this is the perfect opportunity to share your love of coffee with the rest of the world!
A brief background of coffee
Coffee is widely believed to have originated in Ethiopia. Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi was the first to discover coffee when he noticed his goats were acting strangely after feasting on little red berries. Curious, he tried the berries for himself, where he too felt the effects owing to the caffeine content.
Coffee, as we know it, is actually the result of processing and roasting the seeds, also known as raw or green coffee, from a coffee cherry. There are two main types of coffee plants: robusta and arabica. Each coffee plant can live up to 100 years and produces on average 10 pounds of coffee cherries per year. South America and Africa are amongst the largest producers of arabica coffee, with Brazil growing more than any other country. Vietnam and Indonesia are among the top producers to grow the robusta variety.
The first International Coffee Day was on October 1, 2015. Coffee lovers, roasters, and cafes use this day to promote fair practices and recognize the hard work of the farmers who produce and process coffee from across the world.
Nowadays, you can find a coffee shop on almost every corner, be it a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, serving espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and filter coffee, among many other options including decaf and iced drinks. Some coffee shops might have special deals or even offer free coffee in celebration of the day.
Recent years have seen a rise in local, independent coffee shops specializing in the craft with a true commitment to quality, sustainability, and transparency. Most serve only Third Wave, or Specialty coffee, which is arabica coffee that has been awarded a score of 80 or above by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). The SCA set the standards for specialty coffee across the world.
To many baristas, creating latte art and a perfectly balanced cup is considered an art. Much like the world of fine wine, coffee is complex with different tasting notes depending on the origin and variety of the coffee beans. The flavor profiles of coffee from Ethiopia or Kenya can vary greatly compared to that of South American coffee from Brazil or Guatemala. Coffee professionals use a tasting process called ‘cupping’ to detect the different characteristics of a coffee.
It’s clear that coffee is loved and enjoyed all over the world, in many different cultures. From Milan to San Francisco, each year there are various expos and events held worldwide to celebrate coffee and educate those thirsty to learn more.
How to celebrate International Coffee Day
There’s no better way to celebrate International Coffee Day than enjoying your favorite coffee beverage! Whether that be a coffee with friends in your local cafe, or simply taking the time to chill and enjoy your coffee ritual at home.
If you usually stick to the same type of coffee preparation, why not use this day to appreciate other methods and discover some of the many different ways of brewing coffee. Some coffee shops and coffee roasters offer courses, so why not try broadening your coffee knowledge and trying your hand at a Chemex or V60 pour-over, or an immersion method such as the AeroPress. Who knows, you might even find a new favorite way of making coffee!