Whether you celebrate Coffee Day on the Canadian/American date (September 29) or the International Coffee Day mandate (October 1), it’s a great time to for a hot beverage. I can think of no better way to start any Fall day!
I wasn’t able to find any clearly stated reason – by either side in the apparent standoff – as to why there are two annual Coffee Days. But that doesn’t matter. It just means we have a whole long weekend to celebrate this year rather than just a single date!
An oblique reference…
Wikipedia sates: “The International Coffee Organization (ICO) was set up in 1963 in London, under the auspices of the United Nations (UN) due to the economic importance of coffee. It administers the International Coffee Agreement (ICA), an important instrument for development cooperation.”
“The United States officially withdrew from the International Coffee Agreement in June 2018. As of February 2, 2022 ICO Member Governments represent 93 percent of world coffee production and 63 percent of world consumption.” Keep in mind, that was during the Trump administration. And the Donald went on, “a campaign to delink his country from agreements that he [felt did] not have economic sense to its citizens.
“The United States was among the founders of the ICO in 1963. Washington pulled out from the Organization in 1993, in response to the establishment by 29 coffee producing countries of the ACPC (Association of Coffee Producing Countries). [But] [t]he country returned to full membership in February 2005.”
Politics and the barmy doings of the Trump era aside, the aims and objectives of Coffee Day remain steadfast.
International Coffee Day is, “an occasion that is used to promote and celebrate coffee as a beverage, with events now occurring in places around the world,” Wikipedia notes. On that, both the US and International communities agree.
The day is now also used to promote fair trade coffee, and raise awareness of the economic issues facing coffee growers.
A little History…
The documented history of coffee goes back to the 1400s, when Yemen was the hub of coffee trade. Coffee first came to Europe reaching Venice in 1615. As with other strange food that arrived there from abroad (eg.- the tomato), some ‘influencers’ of the day condemned the brew as the ‘bitter invention of Satan.’
But higher authority prevailed, as the National Coffee Association (NCAUSA) records: “The local clergy condemned coffee when it came to Venice in 1615. The controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. He decided to taste the beverage for himself before making a decision, and found the drink so satisfying that he gave it papal approval.”
The NCAUSA also notes, interestingly, that Americans might not have abandoned tea during the Revolutionary War if coffee had not been available as a substitute. Caffeine is as caffeine does…
So, have a cup of Joe today to mark the immense contribution coffee has made to western (and African and Near Eastern) culture. Coffee shops from the major international chains to the neighbourhood independents are celebrating with special offers and free product. Some are even offering special ‘commemorative’ merchandise.
I defy you to imagine a world without coffee!
Muse on that…
~ Maggie J.