What makes a nation? For that matter, within a nation what makes something national? By the definition of nation, its a large body of people, associated with a particular territory. That body becomes national when it’s territory spans well an entire country like the United States of America.
It’s National Coffee Day in America. And It will be International Coffee Day for the world this Sunday Oct 1. On this day/these days those who drink coffee and/or the culture will do what they would do even if their wasn’t a day earmarked for it. They’ll wake up, brew a cup at home to the morning sun, they’ll plan a little extra time to go to their local shop and order their regular, talk to their barista, dance with their barista – me – linger a little longer, check on this day the trending hashtags for something of note, that might add to the awareness that the day will inevitably bring.
But maybe, maybe they’ll explore something new, that coffee shop they’ve wanted to try, or, order a coffee that’s out of their standard wheelhouse, or, give to a cause to support those in coffee farming communities because a friend informed them of an origin story that now has personal meaning for them, or support a crowdfunding platform of someone with a dream, an American dream.
No matter how the day is spent, coffee lives in a culture with nations which unto themselves, can’t be divided. There isn’t a line, an idea, a community, a movement that coffee can’t hinge itself to. Coffee finds itself in the hands of women marchers, on desks whose lamp lights never turn off; in the cusp of fathers parenting their children, between hands of pottery makers that will imagine the wildest settings that their work will be an audience to and even among a spread of trending culinary delights while laughter finds leisure among the loitering kind. There is a place for coffee, everywhere.
Coffee is national, even international because where every man and woman can journey, it can almost undoubtedly meet humans where they are. It doesn’t look for a reason to unite people, ifs rituals make sure of that by their very existence, in a village, in a cafe, at a coffee shop and around tables of all woods and metals and legs.
National and International Coffee Day are days to celebrate the hands that craft what more than a billion people drink daily. It is also a day to collectively remind us of the fragility and future of the cherry, which is in danger by rust, climate, and lack of farmers. Coffee needs us as much as we need it.
I’m often asked, ‘why coffee?’ Why am I so into coffee? I often reply, ‘Why not?’ And on days like today, I add, “Coffee is from the motherland. It’s culture is ours, and the people’s birthright.” I am The Coffeetographer, cartographizing coffee as a culture. Happy National Coffee Day today and always.