YAY! It’s International Coffee Day!

black coffee

Photo credit: chichacha / Foter / CC BY

How I would love to sit in a cozy café and celebrate this day face-to-face with you! We could share fun stories, life struggles, and work at solving all the world’s problems. We could talk about what we are learning, how we are leading, and how we are growing and changing through our experiences and community influences.

… and we could talk about International Coffee Day!!

Many of us are enamored with coffee! (I hope you tea and juice drinkers will bear with me today!) We drink coffee in the morning to come alert; in the afternoon to keep momentum going through the day, and into the evening as dessert after a great meal. We drink coffee with family, with dear friends, with fellow students, colleagues and clients, and with new acquaintances to “break the ice”.  Coffee brings comfort, memories, and energy to life!

iced coffee

Photo: isriya: Foter / CC BY-NC

We savor our coffee in all kinds of ways: espresso, americanos, lattes or cappuccinos; iced, decaf, instant, filter, and pressed; with and without additional flavorings and syrups, sugars, sweeteners, and creamers.

I began my coffee addiction habit with the strong aroma of percolating coffee daily announcing to me that morning had arrived in my childhood home. In college, I began to drink huge classes of iced, heavily and artificially sweetened coffee as I studied long into the night. I sacrificially cut back to decaf during my pregnancy and nursing years, but today I drink it black and bold and all day long.

International Coffee Day celebrates the long history of this awesome drink. Historians believe the properties of coffee beans were first discovered in Ethiopia. Coffee beans are actually the pits of the berry grown on the coffee plant. Tradition claims a 9th century goat herder noticed their stimulating effects on his goats and began experimenting. Coffee became popular in the Arab world around the 15th century, then spread to Asia, then to Italy, across Europe, finally arriving to the Americas.

Countries that celebrate International Coffee Day on September 29th include: Australia, Canada, England, Ethiopia, Hungary, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.

Where are you drinking your coffee today?  How do you like your coffee?

Happy International Coffee Day!

coffee cup and beansI love my coffee. Bold and black – no cream or sugar or flavors or whipped topping for me. There is something special for all my five senses… the warm feeling of the cup between my hands, the soothing aroma and the delicious flavor for my palette. I love comfortable coffee shops and collect coffee mugs from around the world. I also have sweet childhood memories of the percolating coffeemaker sounds in the kitchen in the morning. 

My favorite thing about coffee is how it is the catalyst for invigorating and/or vulnerable conversations with friends.

International Coffee Day is celebrated in various countries around the world (Japan, Nepal, Taiwan, Indonesia, and the US to name a few) on September 29. In some places, the day is also used to promote fair trade coffee and to raise awareness for coffee growers around the world.

Here are a few of the great benefits we obtain from coffee:

1. Coffee is a great source of antioxidants! Antioxidants can help protect your body from heart disease, cancer and premature aging!

2. Coffee helps you learn better and stay more alert at work! Studies show that people who drink coffee are relaxed and more interested in their work. The caffeine stimulant in coffee helps restore and maintain alertness and helps improve attention, memory, and wakefulness.

3. Coffee also enhances your physical performance! According to research, caffeine plays a role in providing energy for better athletic performance and can also reduce post-workout muscle pain.

4. Zero calories in every cup! (As long as you don’t add sugar or milk or creamer!)

5. Coffee can help protect your skin! The antioxidant-rich properties of coffee can help your skin fight the damaging effects of the sun and prevent wrinkles as well.

6. Coffee can help ease headaches! Caffeine constricts blood vessels and helps counter the painful effects of blood vessel dilation that cause headaches.

And a few (very important!) points of coffee trivia…

  • Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world! (The first is oil.)
  • Starbucks is the largest coffee-house company in the world. (No big surprise here.)
  • We drink A LOT of coffee. Everyday the world consumes over 1 billion cups of coffee.
  • Finland is the #1 coffee drinking country in the world (Would you have guessed that?!) Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland round out the top 7. America, is number 26.

Happy International Coffee Day to you!

Just for fun… how do you like your coffee?