What is International Coffee Day?
International Coffee Day
Coffee is undeniably the world's most loved hot beverage. The caffeine-laced drink is a staple in many people's morning routines. Whether it's a latte, cappuccino, espresso, or a foamy macchiato, coffee has etched an indelible place in people's hearts. In recognition of coffee, October 1 was set aside to commemorate International Coffee Day and celebrate this most beloved beverage.
The Origins of International Coffee Day
The International Coffee Organization (ICO) officially established International Coffee Day on October 1, 2015. However, the concept of creating a whole day dedicated to coffee goes way back. In 1983, The All Japan Coffee Association pushed for an event to recognize coffee. Fourteen years later in 1997, the ICO marked International Coffee Day in China, with countries such as Taiwan and Nepal commemorating the day before 2015. Different countries mark International Coffee Day on various dates, but it was only after the ICO's official announcement in 2015 that the October 1 date was formally set.
What is the Significance of International Coffee Day?
International Coffee Day was primarily established to create awareness of the challenges faced by coffee farmers globally. It's a day dedicated to voicing inequity within the coffee sector and shedding light on the plight of coffee growers. Aside from awareness creation, the day also celebrates the millions of farmers involved in coffee production.
Several activities take place on International Coffee Day. People typically gather and get to know more about the culture of coffee through trivia and documentaries. Coffee shops, cafes, and outlets organize several events to promote the day, with many businesses offering free or discounted coffee drinks and special deals with their faithful customers. People also bring out their inner baristas by learning and attempting to prepare their favorite drink.
The theme for 2021's International Coffee Day centered around Coffee's Next Generation. The theme was aimed towards providing better access to knowledge, training, skills development, finance, and network creation among various industry players.
Varieties of Coffee Beans
International Coffee Day is always associated with gaining more knowledge about coffee. In honor of the day, it's fitting to explore the four main types of coffee beans. These are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.
Arabica is the most common coffee type, particularly in North America. Characterized by a sweeter, more delicate flavor, Arabica coffee is often less acidic. The beans come from high-elevation regions with ample rainfall. The Arabica plant species are more prone to disease and require quite a fair bit of pruning, pushing up the cost of the bean.
Robusta beans are well-liked in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The bean is known for its high caffeine levels that give it a robust flavor. The tree's elevated caffeine levels act as a natural repellent to insects, eliminating any major entomological threats. Thanks to its "burnt" flavor, Robusta remains a less favored option among a majority of coffee drinkers who prefer a milder taste.
Liberica beans are a rather rare commodity. They only grow in highly specific climates, making their production too limited to meet global market demands. The beans feature a moderate "woody" flavor with a fruity or flowery aroma. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, coffee rust obliterated large tracts of Arabica plants, paving the way for Liberica as a suitable alternative. However, following post-independence economic sanctions by the U.S. on the Philippines (which was the sole global supplier), Liberica beans suffered a massive downfall.
Excelsa was initially classified as a distinct coffee type but was reclassified as a variety of Liberica by British botanist Aaron P. Davis in 2006. The Excelsa bean represents a small fraction (about 7 percent) of the globe's total coffee production. Its tart and fruity flavor give it the perfect attributes to create a distinctive profile when blended with other coffee types.
According to the British Coffee Association, daily global coffee consumption is approximately two billion cups. These figures point to a near-insatiable appetite that so many have developed for their delightful caffeine-lased drinks. With so much love and affection towards coffee, it's only proper to honor this irreplaceable beverage with a day of celebration. May International Coffee Day live long to give coffee the attention it so rightly merits.