The aroma coming from the coffee maker, a favorite cup waiting on the kitchen counter or a heat-retaining mug filled and ready to go. Drinking coffee is a ritual many people follow as regularly as brushing teeth. That fact can be saluted today, Sept. 29, by lifting a cup to National Coffee Day.
Whether plain, fancy, hot or cold, more than half of Americans ages 18 and older start their day with a sip of coffee. We even make jokes about the new terminology some of us learned to order our favorite drinks at Starbucks.
Coffee merchants around the world appreciate our craving for a cup of Joe. The U.S. imports more than $4 billion worth of coffee every year. E-Importz.com indicates 30 million drinkers now prefer coffee in specialty drinks that include cafe mocha, flavored latte, espresso, cappuccino and frappe.
Legend has it that a sheep herder in Ethiopia discovered the benefits of the coffee plant when his flock got an energy boost from eating the "red cherries." According to coffeeresearch.org, historians are more certain about coffee beans originating in Ethiopia and later traveling to Yemen in the 6th century.
Some researchers believe Captain John Smith brought coffee to America when he founded the first English settlement at Jamestown, VA.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Colesville, MD, for this information about National Coffee Day.