International Coffee Day calls attention to the plight of coffee growers across the world.
As frequent travelers, coffee remains one of the consistent pleasures in our lives.
We relish the thrill of discovering a neighborhood café or coffee bar the first morning we’re at a new destination; learning about the harvesting, roasting or tasting from a coffee farmer or barista; sipping a cappuccino on a cruise ship or at a hotel or restaurant, and savoring an espresso, the perfect coda to a special meal. Ironically, we are usually just as happy to return home and smell the aroma of our own blend dripping in the kitchen.
“We believe that coffee is more than just a drink:
It’s a culture, an economy, an art, a science — and a passion.”
Coffee plants are cultivated in more than 70 countries around the world. To promote fair trade and the call attention to the plight of coffee growers, the International Coffee Organization has designated October 1 as International Coffee Day. September 29 is National Coffee Day in the U.S., when a number of chains are sponsoring coffee giveaways. My friend and colleague Leah Ingram catalogued 11 of them for Parade Magazine.
Here is a sampling of some of the memorable coffee experiences we’ve had over the past several years.
Visiting the coffee region of Pluma Hidalgo in Oaxaca, Mexico (near Huatulco) to learn about coffee growing
Outstanding hotel coffees
Coffee in restaurants and bars
Coffee can be the perfect dessert in one of its forms. Affogato is made with a hot shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream or gelato. I became addicted to Illy Crema Caffe, a frozen coffee preparation that comes out of a special machine, when I tried one at a local bar in Orvieto. You can find it at many bars and airports throughout Italy.
See an amazing gallery of 3D coffee art on Flickr.
On the web: Interesting Facts about Coffee in Spain
In the New York Times: Is that cappuccino you are drinking really a cappuccino?
Have you had any “peak” coffee experiences? If so, please share a link in the comment section below.