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What is the International Coffee Day?

By 1st October 2021No Comments5 min read

Today is International Coffee Day, a global event aimed at connecting the coffee community by celebrating their love of coffee.

It was established by the International Coffee Organization, the world’s largest intergovernmental coffee organization, and launched during Expo 2015 in Milan. This holiday is designed to raise awareness of the incredible work of individuals working in the coffee industry and to support fair trade coffee.

A short coffee history

In the 11th century, Ethiopians discovered coffee. According to one of the most common tales, Kaldi, an Arab goat herder, was the first to uncover the potential of these cherished beans. He saw how energetic his goats got after eating berries from a specific tree. He was ecstatic and went on to announce his discovery to the rest of the world. 

Coffee plants were brought to Arabia in the 15th century and began to be cultivated, rapidly becoming renowned as the “wine of Araby.” Coffeehouses originally emerged in Mecca and Constantinople. They were the epicenter of socialization, with men gathering to speak, play chess, sing, dance, discuss politics, smoke, and drink. However, due to its stimulating effects, the Governor of Mecca outlawed coffee in 1511, the first of several attempts. People, however, did not want to give up on this drink due to the popularity of coffee and coffeehouses. As a result, this ban was reversed by higher authorities a few months later.

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Fast-forward to the 17th century, coffee began to gain popularity across the European continent. It was first regarded with skepticism, and it was labeled as the “bitter creation of Satan.” It was even condemned by the local clergy in Venice in 1615. It was so problematic that Pope Clement VIII had to try it and found it to be tasty enough for papal approval. Similarly to the Middle East, coffeehouses started to expand throughout Europe, in the big cities of England, Germany, France and so on.

Although coffee was introduced to New York in the mid-1600s, tea remained the preferred beverage. However, in 1773, the colonists revolted over King George III’s heavy tea tax. The Boston Tea Party rebellion would forever shift the American drinking preference to coffee, and was viewed as an act of American liberty and freedom.

The province of Yemen in southern Arabia supplied the majority of the world’s coffee supply. Eventually, as the beverage became more popular, the plant spread to Java and other Indonesian archipelago islands in the 17th century, then to the Americas in the 18th century. By the twentieth century, coffee production had shifted to the Western Hemisphere, specifically Brazil. 

Coffee was a worldwide phenomenon. It was being exported and consumed all over the world. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, coffee innovation blossomed, with the development of industrial roasting and grinding equipment, vacuum-sealed containers, and decaffeination methods for green coffee beans. Coffee is currently the world’s second-most traded commodity, after only petroleum. Every year, about 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed. Coffee is a staple of our contemporary diet and way of life.

The ability to drink coffee every day is the product of a sophisticated and complex global commitment.It can take four to seven years for a coffee tree to produce its first harvest of beans. Farmers in the coffee supply chain are frequently small-scale and their job involved very time-consuming and labor-intensive procedures. The coffee is then shipped for processing, where the beans are hulled and dry/wet processed – often referred to as “milling”. After the beans have been shelled to perfection, they are sent to suppliers/brokers/roasters/retailers. Finally, we get to have our daily cups thanks to all of the baristas. In this way, the coffee supply chain is made up of many distinct groups, all of which must assure quality.

We often forget how much effort goes into this process. At I’M NOT A BARISTA, we understand that the backbone of the community – farmers, roasters, baristas, etc – are frequently neglected and underrepresented professionals. Honoring this day, we want to show our appreciation for every single person part of this community. Coffee plays a huge role in our society. Most people can’t imagine starting their day without having a cup of coffee. Coffee also stands witness to the many relationships that have been built. From friends to lovers, a cup of coffee is a way to relax, catch up, laugh, talk, or just spend some time together. Our days would not be the same without this drink and everyone behind it. We should take this day to appreciate this little blessing. Coffee has brought humanity together and we hope this community continues to grow forward.