It’s National Coffee Day today here in America, which seems like it should be something of a high holiday for coffee fanatics such as those who make the Sprudge, ranking up there with National Cold Brew Day (April 20th) and International Coffee Day (October 1st). But what are the origins of National Coffee Day? Is it really just a day for coffee companies to offer deals or is there more to it? We dug into the history of the various national and international coffee days to find out what’s really going on.
There are currently 39 countries around the globe that have a national coffee day. The vast majority, 18 in total, fall on September 29th, the day America celebrates its National Coffee Day. These include countries like Australia, Canada, Ethiopia, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, and a majority of the Nordic countries, save Denmark. Most other celebrating countries have theirs on October 1st, which falls in line with International Coffee Day; Germany, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and four other countries claim the first of October as their official day. Other dates include January 3rd (Mongolia), May 24th (Brazil), June 27th (Colombia and North Korea), the second Friday of September (Costa Rica), and September 28th (Switzerland), amongst others.
The origins of the first national coffee day are murkier than a fine-grind French press. The first instance of an organized day comes from the All Japan Coffee Association back in 1983, who noted that “coffee consumption is higher in the Autumn and Winter period” and that October 1st would be declared National Coffee Day.
In America, National Coffee Day isn’t mentioned publicly until 2005 by the National Coffee Association, but according to Google Trends, the event didn’t really start to gain any sort of traction until 2010.
Interestingly enough, International Coffee Day didn’t come around until much later. In 2014, the International Coffee Organization declared October 1st as the global holiday and was meant as a day as a “celebration of the coffee sector’s diversity, quality and passion” and as “an opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love of the beverage and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on the aromatic crop.” On International Coffee Day this year, the ICO is kicking off Coffee’s Next Generation, “a global initiative targeting talented and motivated young people and entrepreneurs in the coffee sector.”
And really, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says: you should live every day like it’s National Coffee Day, to say nothing of International Coffee Day; it’s a global product after all, so any time you celebrate coffee, you’re celebrating across borders and boundaries. All that’s left to do is brew another cup.