International Coffee day

So it’s over to me to cover another ‘International Day’. On the saturated calendar of “days”, sandwiched in between “International paint your armpits orange day” and “Coat a neighbour’s fence in rhubarb day” there lies International Coffee day.

How many “days” are there in a year now?

It was the morning after “Help a duck find a Volvo day”, so most of us were exhausted from chasing waterfowl and haggling with car salesmen. The perfect excuse for a caffeinated perk-me-up, and what do you know? It was International Coffee day.

Joke’s over

I mock these “International days” a bit. But it’s all in good humour. Some “International days” provide a huge benefit to society broadening minds and aiding charity. There are many worthy causes. But in the case of coffee we’re talking big business. Let’s have some coffee facts:

  • Google “coffee” and you get over 1bn results. Try that against other Google searches and you’ll see just how many that is. “Justin Bieber” doesn’t even return 100m results.
  • The number of people searching for coffee online has doubled in the last 9 years.
  • The number of coffee shops in Britain has doubled in the last 10 years.
  • The British spent nearly 8bn on take-away coffee last year. 2.2bn cups were consumed.

Some impressive stats there. You’d think the stuff was addictive!

Coffee at Virgin Wines

Coffee is probably a big thing in your office too, but no place I’ve worked at before has had a coffee-thing quite like VWHQ. It must be our love of wine transcends to other liquids because we’re fond of a lot of different beverages here. Alcoholic or not. Hot or cold.

Hipsters we be

But it’s coffee that we’ve all really bought into over the last few years. We’ve gone from freeze-dried big brands to having a couple of bean-grinders around – the Wine Buyers always have one in their room and everyone has a personal cafetiere and their own coffee stash.

I really enjoy coffee. With me owning a Nespresso machine and my wife’s ability to whip-up a mean cafetiere, we have it covered. But I can’t pretend to know as much as some of the guys here. I just contribute to the blog, guv’nor. So I went around the office this week and asked the guys who seem to know what they’re doing, what they’re doing?

A subjective subject?

They all agreed on two things. 1) A cafetiere is the best thing to use to keep things simple and easy without compromising too much on quality. 2) If the industry is worth that much money, go fair-trade and make sure the workers aren’t being shafted.

But they’re the only similarities, everyone’s taste preferences were all completely different and from all over the world. From Columbia, to Guatemala, Italy, Ethiopia, some from supermarkets, some from local coffee shops, and some from companies like Pact who deliver regularly to your door in a similar fashion to how our Discovery Club does.

Like space, but bigger

The vastness of the coffee world shouldn’t be underestimated. From just two different types of bean (Arabica and Robusta) such an amazing array of choices are available. I’m starting to realise that International Coffee day is a lot to take on. I’m absolutely shattered from forcibly chaperoning ducks into Volvo dealerships and I’ve taken on the task of writing about something that I could be writing about for the rest of my life without even breaking the surface. Luckily there’s over a billion websites to read relating to coffee so I can rest my pen hand and go get an espresso.

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