It was National Coffee Day this week and people couldn’t be happier.
It usually lands on a Thursday or Friday, and Dunkin’ Donuts gives out a free beverage when you purchase an item while Starbucks gives out free coffee when you bring in a reusable cup.
People all over social media used the hashtag #NationalCoffeeDay and posted their unique orders. Whether coffee for you is just a “pick me up” to get you through the day or you can’t live without it, the phenomenon of coffee has had a huge impact on different cultures through centuries and pop culture in itself.
Whether you’re a toddler or over 50, coffee makes its way into your life.
Children at young ages seeing their parents make the drink as soon as they wake up for years becomes a daily sight.
Coffee, mugs, creamer and milk — most ingredients that are used for the drink — are sold in children’s toys and kitchen set ups as young as two years old. Friends planning a hangout or adults on a first date ask “Want to grab some coffee?”
No matter where you turn, coffee is one of the largest products marketed at all ages and many types of coffee beans and ingredients are sold for that perfect roast or “to taste” flavors.
When I turned 18, my first job was at a Dunkin Donuts — now known as Dunkin — and working there for almost five years has given me insight on just how important coffee is to people, families, the 9-5 worker and how coffee brings people of all generations together.
Let’s take it back to the history of coffee, how it was made and first sold.
Coffee was first cultivated and traded in Arabia. By the 15th century, coffee grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.
Public coffee houses were popular in the Middle East. Here, people could listen to music, watch performers and discuss the news over coffee.
It became an important centre for the exchange of information that the coffee houses were often referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise’.
Coffee appeared in Europe in the 17th century. The first European coffee was sold in pharmacies as a medicinal remedy. However coffee houses were soon established and quickly became popular.
As coffee houses gained popularity for exchanging information, they were also popular with natural philosophers, antiquarians and historians.
For myself, growing up in a Latino household meant you had coffee whenever you went to someone’s house in the morning or even a friend’s house.
As I got older, coffee was something I made for customers from all around the world. Because of the location of my job, I’ve gotten customers that have never had Dunkin before or have only had coffee from their countries.
Seeing their faces light up was something that always made me smile through the years.
Even traveling to different states and countries, the way people make coffee still amazes me till this day.
When I traveled to Vietnam, I tried the famous “egg coffee” and I’ll never forget the taste.
Coffee is a conversation starter.
Not only is it the most famous drink known to man, but through time it meant bringing ideas and people together as well. Whatever coffee means to you, continue enjoying it.
I know I sure did.
Happy National Coffee Day from an old Dunkin employee.