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National Coffee Day

Updated on September 29, 2010
Photo by Pam Roth
Photo by Pam Roth | Source

Celebrate Your Cup of Joe

Today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day!

So here, for your entertainment, are a few fun facts about coffee!

1. According to the National Coffee Association of the USA, Inc.,legend has it that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia by a goat herder named Kaldi. Some of Kaldi's mischievous goats ate berries from a tree, and that night instead of sleeping decided to have a dance party. 

2. In 1615, after coffee had made its way from Africa to the Arab penninsula and finally to Venice, the church actually condemned the drink! (HORRORS!) It created such a hullabaloo that Pope Clement VIII was asked to step in, but he decided to taste it before giving his verdict. God bless the maker of that cup of coffee, because the Pope liked it and gave it his approval!

3. On Stumblerz, it says that over 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide. That's a lot.

4. IndyPosted states that "only two types of coffee tree are widely cultivated: 70% of the world drinks coffee from Arabica trees, and the rest drink coffee from Robusta tress." Arabica is a bit milder tasting, while Robusta is more robust (shocker) and has more caffeine.

5. According to Heritage Coffee, coffee is the second most traded product in the world, second only to petroleum.

6. Another tidbit from Heritage, is that "people who buy coffee primarily at drive through windows on their way to work will spend as much as 45 hours a year waiting in line." Imagine if people spent time time doing pushups. We'd all look like Popeye.

7. Coffee is often referred to as a "Cup of Joe." There are a couple theories about this - one (from Stumblerz) is that in 1913 the secretary of the navy named Joseph Daniels prohibited alcohol from being drunk on any American Navy ship. The men took to drinking more coffee, nicknaming it "Joe" after the one who gave them coffee instead of rum.

The other theory, that I've heard somewhere in urban passing, is that during World War II American soldiers were nicknamed "Joe," and noted for their preference of a regular cup of coffee over the more European style of espresso or cappuccino. That's also where we get our term "Americano," which is espresso and hot water. Our fightin' boys were tough but couldn't take their coffee that strong!

Photo by Ryan Smart
Photo by Ryan Smart | Source

A Word About Fair Trade

Fair Trade is not just some marketing scheme to get you to feel good about the coffee you buy. To be certified Fair Trade, importers have to meet the following criteria when hiring coffee growers:

  • They have to pay a minimum price per pound of $1.26 ($1.41 if organic)
  • They need to provide credit to farmers
  • They also provide technical assistance such as help transitioning to organic farming.

Fair Trade coffee is not necessarily organic, but according to Trans Fair USA 85% of it is.

When you buy Fair Trade coffee, you are paying someone adequate wage for their work. Over 50% of the world's coffee is grown by small family farmers, and those who sell Fair Trade make 3-5 times what conventional growers make.

And THAT, you can feel good about!

Cup o' Joe?

What do you drink in the morning?

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    • Windclimber profile image

      Windclimber 6 years ago from my boat somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay

      I thought EVERY day was National Coffee Day . . .

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 6 years ago from Deep South, USA

      It may not be National Coffee Day today, but every day is a good day for drinking coffee! I couldn't vote in your survey because my coffee fave is a blend of coffee and chicory. I've been drinking it all my life, and "a regular cup of Joe" seems bland beside it.

      Enjoyed the hub. Jaye

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I do love expresso too! Never knew my only drug - caffeine had a national day - great Hub!