While it’s unclear why exactly the holiday started, Mental Floss reports that the java-themed celebration originated in Japan in 1983. Since then, it’s spread into almost 20 countries, and although it falls on different dates throughout the world, the United States, Canada, Ethiopia and Malaysia all celebrate it on Sept. 29.
There isn’t one set way to celebrate the holiday, but that hasn’t stopped Americans from becoming one of the most coffee-centric societies in the world. Americans' average coffee consumption among coffee drinkers is 3.1 cups per day, according to CoffeeResearch.org. While that number only includes regular drinkers, per capita men, drink 1.9 cups every day, while women drink an average of 1.4 cups a day.
A Gallup poll found that two-thirds of Americans drink coffee daily, a number that hasn’t changed since 1999.
The American Heart and Lung Association released a study earlier this summer finding that excessive amounts of coffee can increase someone’s risk of heart failure. There are benefits, however, and drinking the equivalent of two cups per day can actually help heart health and decrease the risk of heart failure.
“While there is a commonly held belief that regular coffee consumption may be dangerous to heart health, our research suggests that the opposite may be true,” Murray Mittleman, a cardiovascular doctor, told the American Heart and Lung Association.
“We found that moderate consumption -- which we define as the equivalent of about two typical American coffee shop beverages -- may actually protect against heart failure by as much as 11 percent … On the other hand, excessive coffee drinking -- five to six commercial coffee house cups per day has no benefit and may even be dangerous. As with so many things, moderation appears to be the key here, too.”
Despite its prominence in the world today, coffee hasn’t always been so popular. Frederick the Great of Prussia banned the hot beverage in 1777 because it was interfering with the country’s beer sales, and in 1511, it was banned in Mecca in fear that it’d stimulate radical thinking, according to Mental Floss. Pope Clemente VIII banned the drink before having a taste himself and baptizing it because he enjoyed it so much.
McDonalds will give away small cups of coffee on Saturday all around New York State, and it has encouraged the caffeine-depleted masses to type their zip code into the company’s store locator.
Dunkin’ Donuts will also celebrate International Coffee Day by unveiling two new flavors, according to Patch.com. Pumpkin Mocha and Pumpkin White Chocolate coffee and lattes will both be available in hot or iced varieties. The national coffee chain, which has been criticized for refusing to stop using Styrofoam cups, will also offer special deals throughout the weekend.