If it’s September 29, then it’s National Coffee Day
(Curiously, there is no information on why or how Sept. 29 became so blessed.)
Your coffee addiction? Well, you can probably thank Baba Budan for that. I say “probably” because there are differing views on the origins of the bean. In one version, back in 1670, Baba Budan strapped seven coffee seeds onto his chest and smuggled them out of the Middle East. (Seeds being beans, really.) He brought seven beans because the number 7 is considered sacred in Islam. The first plants grown from these fateful seeds were planted in Mysore. After that, the bean spread quickly to Italy, to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and the Americas. The rest is history.
Another version has it that in the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen (Southern Arabia), coffee seeds (i.e., beans) were first roasted and brewed, very similarly to the way they are prepared today. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and started cultivating the seed (er, bean). Mokha, Yemen would become a large coffee marketplace and where the sought-after Mokha beans, which today we call mocha, were found.
That’s all fine and dandy, but someone had to discover what made the bean so irresistible in the first place, right? So, here’s another legend for you: a 9th-century Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi (yes, he has his own Wikipedia page) noticed that his flock “became energetic after eating the bright red berries.” Of course, he had to try them for himself and was pleasantly surprised by the burst of energy he experienced. He then brought some of the berries to a local monk, who disapproved of their use and threw them into a fire. And thanks to that jerk of a monk, we now know that heat roasts the beans with aromatic results. The roasted bean was plucked from the fire and soaked in hot water. Voila! Coffee.
Cool beans, for sure, but the important thing is that Thursday, September 29 is National Coffee Day, and there are several sources of great deals on coffee in Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids.
Here’s where you can cop a free — or greatly reduced price on a — cuppa (and other goodies):
Ferris Coffee, 227 Winter Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504, is celebrating with an ArtPrize Latte Art Throwdown on Sept. 29. Baristas from all around the Midwest will compete in this single elimination, bracket-style throwdown. The grand prize? The coveted La Marzocco – Linea Mini. Go here for details.
Krispy Kreme is giving away a free 12-oz cup of coffee and you also get a free Original Glazed Doughnut to go along with it. Click here for a list of locations.
Starbucks is celebrating National Coffee Day by donating a coffee tree for every brewed cup of México Chiapas coffee you buy on Thursday, September 29. “Today’s cup can help a farmer’s future.” Go here for a list of locations in the area.
Eight O’Clock Coffee — Log on to www.EightOClock.com to receive a free sample of Coffee Thins, while supplies last. The thins are edible treats crafted from 100% whole coffee beans.
There are probably other hidden gems that have deals, too, so feel free to explore. But you only have Thursday, Sept. 29 to find them.