What exactly is this relatively new celebration?
No one knows for sure exactly how or when it began, but the first official records of what was probably the genesis of International Coffee Day started in Japan in 1983 by The All Japan Coffee Association. Created to unify the coffee industry in Japan, they heavily promoted the idea of a national day of coffee. This day was chosen to coincide with the start of their annual peak national coffee usage. It’s from these origins the idea seems to have grown internationally, with at least 26 countries adopting it and now celebrating the humble coffee bean. Though strangely, they don’t all use the same day.
To celebrate International Coffee Day, many businesses offer discounted or complimentary coffee, though this may vary between countries. Businesses in the US seem to take it pretty seriously. In 2014 famous brands like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts gave away free coffee. McDonalds were giving away free coffee for almost two weeks before the official date. Even the massively popular video game Angry Birds celebrated it by dedicating an entire level of the game to International Coffee Day. Whilst some businesses are handing out free cups of coffee, others are taking a more creative approach with their themed events, free coupons, and even coffee drinking competitions.
But it’s not all about actually drinking coffee.
Greeting card companies have gotten in on the act, offering International Coffee Day ecards to send to friends and loved ones.
So when’s your next chance to celebrate International Coffee Day? Well, despite claiming to be an international celebration, different countries celebrate it on different days. China celebrate it sometime in early April, with the exact date changing year to year. Ireland celebrate it on September 19th. The UK, Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand all celebrate it on September 29th. So make a note in your diary!