“…If I buy a cup of coffee, that’s karma. I now have that memory that might give me the potential desire for having cappuccino, and I walk into Starbucks, and there’s karma all over again.” Deepak Chopra
Happy International Coffee Day! My cup above is a Java Chip Iced Frappuccino w/ whipped cream from my local Starbucks (currently in 65 countries and territories). Craving satisfied. My cup is a special treat (they also have a Starbucks Secret Menu for more exotic combos) and not the norm. I typically drink very hot coffee at home with cream and sugar; never black and rarely iced. What’s your favorite coffee extravaganza? Why International Coffee Day? I know… You are probably wondering why there is a day to celebrate coffee drinking and all the romantic and mundane ideas we attach to the practice.
Why the coffee buzz? Well, you should know there is a huge contingent of coffee sellers, buyers, drinkers and haters. Coffee is somewhat like beer – you love it or hate it – and that’s okay too. International Coffee Day was first celebrated in 1983, in Japan. The International Coffee Organization promoted and celebrated it in China in 1997, and then officially declared it an annual event in 2001. The point is that most people who drink coffee are not aware that it is a multi-billion dollar industry, or that it is also a day to promote fair trade coffee, and raise awareness for the plight of coffee growers around the world.
“Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis — a good hot cup of coffee.” Alexander King
Do you know where your coffee comes from? How about that last cup of Joe you just inhaled? Do you know where your coffee beans comes from? Mine above was bought at Starbucks, but I also love Blue Mountain (Jamaica), Kona (Island of Hawaii), Cafe Bustelo (Cuba), and a slew of other coffee brands that I reach for when the urge calls. One thing I know is that Starbucks source their coffee from all the regions mentioned below including their farm in Costa Rica.
According to The International Coffee Organization, which was established in London in 1963, and “initiated in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) to enhance cooperation between nations that consume, distribute and produce coffee“, there are 45 Member Nations made up of 39 Exporting nations (Africa: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Central African Republic, Dem. Rep. Congo, Rep. Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Americas: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador Guatemala , Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela. Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.), 6 Importing nations (Australia, Japan, Norway, Switzerland, Tunisia, and United States), and 1 Importing Community (the European Union). So where did your last cup come from again?
“Strong coffee, much strong coffee, is what awakens me. Coffee gives me warmth, waking, an unusual force and a pain that is not without very great pleasure.” Napoleon Bonaparte
Listen to the Above Mp4 link from NPR
While Starbucks and some fine coffee distributors swear they maintain Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices and collaborate with Conservation International (CI), there are others that might not treat coffee farmers well or source their coffee under stringent conditions. What are C.A.F.E. Practices? They are a comprehensive set of measurable standards focused on four areas: Product Quality, Economic Accountability, Social Responsibility, and Environmental Leadership; essentially covering concerns around standards, transparency, fair and humane conditions, and compliance. Follow the link to read more on the practices.
Personally, I don’t know any companies that don’t treat coffee farmers well or don’t source their coffee under stringent conditions, but I think before you reach for that next cup of coffee, do your homework and make sure you are drinking coffee that not only satisfies your cravings, but that is also procured in a fair, safe, and equitable manner. There are millions of workers employed by thousands of CI participating farms and their efforts should be compensated fairly. Enjoy your hot drink and have a great week ahead!
Positive Motivation Tip: Coffee can be enjoyed at any time… do you know where yours comes from?