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The Significance of International Coffee Day

  • 2 min read

Every October 1st, coffee lovers around the world come together to celebrate International Coffee Day, including us here at Moccamaster USA! While we believe that every cup of coffee is a cause for daily celebration, there’s a special reason we commemorate this particular day.

History of International Coffee Day: From National to Global

You might be surprised to learn that International Coffee Day is a relatively recent addition to our calendars. Coffee celebrations began nationally as early as the 1980s; In 1983, Japan appears to have been one of the first countries to celebrate a Coffee Day. Fast forward to 2005, and the United States joined the celebration with its National Coffee Day on September 29. The idea of a unified, global celebration was first proposed in London during an International Coffee Organization (ICO) meeting in 2014. With the backing of the ICO’s 77 member states, this proposal became a reality. And so, in 2015, coffee enthusiasts worldwide raised their cups for the inaugural International Coffee Day, fittingly launched at Italy’s prestigious Expo Milano coffee show.

The Mission of International Coffee Day

This first celebration in Milan included a photographic exhibition by Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado featuring images of workers on coffee plantations across the coffee belt. Salgado’s evocative photography set the tone for International Coffee Day’s primary and profound mission - to “celebrate the coffee sector’s diversity, quality and passion... and to support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on coffee.”

Annual Themes: Celebrating and Supporting the Coffee Community

With this mission statement to guide the day’s purpose, the ICO approaches each year’s festivities by bringing awareness to different aspects of the people who make up the coffee supply chain. 

  • 2021 - “Coffee’s Next Generation”: Targeting young talent in the coffee sector, this initiative shed light on the future leaders of the coffee world.
  • 2022 - Circular Coffee Economy: This campaign underscored the dual importance of supporting coffee farmers’ prosperity and reducing the coffee industry’s environmental impact.
  • 2023 - A Safe Coffee Supply Chain: Partnering with the International Labour Organization (ILO), this year’s focus is on “sustainable, responsible, and inclusive workplace practices” in the coffee industry. Join the movement with the #CoffeePeople social media challenge on October 1, 2023. Celebrate your love for coffee and stand in solidarity with the workers who allow us to enjoy it every day. Learn more about the challenge and how to participate here.

Celebrating in Your Own Way

Social media challenges are just one way to mark International Coffee Day. Perhaps you’ll delve deeper into coffee’s rich history, share a memorable cup with someone dear, or explore a new brewing method. Or, maybe, as the day dawns and you savor that first sip, you’ll simply bask in the aroma and cherish the world of stories and hard work contained in your cup.