Monday, September 29, 2014

But first, Coffee.

National Coffee Day, huh? Most people like coffee, and those who don't are crazy. College students, employees and bosses alike are equally likely to drink coffee—often in different forms and at very opposing times of day. Cream, no cream. 11 a.m., 11 p.m. Hot, cold. No matter how you like it (or if you don't), it's likely that the word "coffee" isn't going to be escaping the English language anytime soon.

So, whether you use four at-home brewing methods like my barista friends, or you like your Folgers Classic Roast watered down a little bit (because the Classic Roast is just too strong), let's ask ourselves the important questions: Why is it National Coffee Day, and where did this stuff come from?

National Coffee Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 2005, and as is the case with most Hallmark-created holidays, nobody knows where it came from or why it is September 29th. We just do it for the coffee.

The origin of coffee itself is highly debated, but many give preference to the legend of Kaldi. Kaldi was an Ethiopian goat herder who noticed that his goats went crazy when they ate berries from a certain tree. The goats jumped around and wouldn't sleep at night. (Spoiler alert: It was a coffee tree.) According to the legend, Kaldi took the beans to a monk who made a drink using the berries and confirmed that after drinking it, he was easily able to stay alert for his overnight prayer sessions.
If you wanted to go out on a limb here, you could say that drinking coffee is a holy practice. I think that's a logical conclusion from the legend of Kaldi.

According to the LA Times, 1.7 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily, and 35 percent of the world's coffee consumption occurs in the United States. Santa Fe Springs, California, is likely responsible for a good chunk of that statistic, with a whopping 560 Starbucks locations within only 25 miles. Starbucks also claims 87,000 drink combinations. ABC News says that the average American spends $14.40 per week going out to coffee shops, totaling $1,100 each year. That doesn't include the cost of drinking coffee at home, either. The National Coffee Association also tells us (in bold) to "never reheat your coffee." Oops.

Think you might be over-caffeinated? The problem is historical. In the 1730's Johann Sebastian Bach (BACH, guys) wrote a satirical cantata on coffee-obsession. The title is Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, or "Be still, stop chattering" for you non-German speakers.

Translated from German (I didn't translate it… I haven't learned German yet), a stanza in the cantata reads as follows: No suitor comes in my house/unless he has promised to me himself/and has it also inserted into the marriage contract,/that I shall be permitted/to brew coffee whenever I want." Satire or not, I have to agree with this. I couldn't marry a man who won't let me have my mochas!

So the moral of the story is this: Drink and be merry. But first, make sure he likes coffee.


  1. I love these beautiful coffee photos!

  2. Love your coffee cup! So cute! I am also a lover of coffee and did a post in honor of it here: