Coffee, sweet (or black) coffee! The dark nectar of sunrise and wisdom. Odes could be sung to honor it, since it is one of the most loved beverages in the world. From 16th century Ottomans to 21st century corporate employees, people have loved and needed their cup of coffee. “The coffee machine is out of order!” is actually a phrase that scares and ruins the day for many of us. It’s easier to count the people in our lives that don’t drink coffee than the ones that do.
Coffee has its own culture and is a symbol that has changed its meaning in time, but has stayed just as powerful over centuries. So, naturally, it had to be celebrated. International Coffee Day (October 1) is a relatively new holiday, established in 2014, although national coffee days have been celebrated for many years on different days in certain countries. Wondering how you can celebrate it? Here are a few ideas:
- Check out the offers of your local coffee shops. Some of them, especially the large chains, offer free cups of coffee on this day.
- Even if no free coffee is available where you live, make sure you have at least one celebratory cup today.
- Enjoy your cup together with coffee flavored cake, candies, or chocolates.
- Take a longer, more meaningful coffee break. Escape the office for a few minutes of peace and quiet or get together with a friend for a heartfelt chat.
Espresso, ristretto, americano, latte macchiato, cappuccino, ice coffee, Irish coffee… You name it. There are over forty different types of coffee drinks, depending on how the coffee is prepared and what other ingredients are added. Here are some more coffee fun facts, to spice up your day:
- The first coffee house opened in 1530, in Damascus.
- On average, Starbucks opens 2 new stores each day. The famous brand is currently present in 29,000 locations in over 75 countries worldwide.
- Seoul has the highest concentration of coffee shops in the world, with more than 10,000 cafes.
- Coffee trade financed the Brazilian Olympic team’s journey to Los Angeles in 1932. Since the government couldn’t pay for their trip to the Olympics, the athletes were sent on a ship that sold coffee along the way to LA. However, the money they got was not enough to cover the expenses for the entire team, so 15 members remained on the ship and could not compete.
- In ancient Arab culture, a woman could only divorce her man if he didn’t like her coffee.
- Beethoven was one of the greatest coffee lovers in history and counted exactly 60 beans per cup each time he prepared one.
- The world’s most expensive coffee can cost more than $600 a pound. This is, of course, the famous coffee obtained from the feces of certain cat-like mammals called Asian palm civets, who eat the coffee fruits, but cannot digest the beans.
- The people that consume the most coffee in the world are the Finns.
- Decaf coffee is not caffeine-free, it just contains a much smaller dose of caffeine (2-12 mg as compared to 95-200 mg in a cup of regular coffee).
- Coffee drinks range from 1 (black coffee) to 600 calories (venti Java Chip Frappuccino at Starbucks).
Craving a cup of your favorite coffee already? Grab it and raise it to coffee itself, on its special day. Happy International Coffee Day!