Caffeine and ice cream lovers unite for National Coffee Ice Cream Day this September 6! Celebrating a combination that has swept the world by storm since at least 1919, this day recognizes a particular flavor that often goes unnoticed. Not anymore! Coffee ice cream lovers, today is your day in the sun, and those who have yet to expand their frozen dessert palette, get ready to taste decadence!
History of National Coffee Ice Cream Day
Ice cream is the ultimate comfort food. It’s a perfect conclusion to a great meal — and so is coffee. So why not combine the two and make something incredible? It takes time! While gelato and sorbet can be traced as far back as 3000 B.C. and people have been drinking coffee since at least the 15th century, it took quite some time for coffee-flavored ice cream to come about. Coffee may have been discovered in the Middle East in the 9th century, however, it wasn’t considered a household beverage until after the 17th century — that’s when the drink started gaining traction in Britain. The French’s relationship with the Ottomans paved the way for high society to bring coffee to the world. Venetians eventually figured out how to make coffee sweeter and, voila, the drink skyrocketed to fame.
The first flavored ice cream was invented at the request of Roman emperor Nero. His servants went to the mountains and collected snow to make a frozen dessert flavored with honey, nuts, and fruit toppings. The invention of gelato is mostly credited to Bernardo Buontalenti, a 16th century Florence native who served it to the court of Catherine de’ Medici. By 1770, Giovanni Basiolo made his success in New York selling semi-frozen coffee and milk products popular in Genoa. Finally, in 1869, coffee ice cream was first used in a parfait and then appeared again in a cookbook in 1919. Today, it’s become a staple in most ice cream shops’ flavor lists and is a perfect pick-me-up with a side of sweet, creamy goodness.
National Coffee Ice Cream Day timeline
Asian cultures discover the roots of sorbet in the form of crushed ice and flavoring — 500 years later, in Egypt, this same practice is emulated when Pharaohs offer visitors a cup of ice mixed with fruit juices.
Coffee is used by Sufi circles to stay awake for their religious rituals in Arabia.
English memoirist Lady Anne Fanshawe documents the first ice cream recipe, suggesting flavoring with orange blossom water, mace, or ambergris.
Nancy M. Johnson patents a manually operated machine to make iced products, the basic principles of which are still used today.
Jacob Fussell, the owner of a dairy shop, pours leftover cream and milk into the artificial freezer at the end of the day, and shortly afterward opens the first ice cream factory, in Seven Valleys.
National Coffee Ice Cream Day FAQs
Can coffee ice cream keep you awake?
Typically, anything with caffeine has the capacity to keep you awake. The average half cup of coffee ice cream contains 29 mg of caffeine — which is roughly equivalent to drinking a whole can of Coca-Cola.
Who invented coffee ice cream?
There’s no information on who invented the specific flavor of coffee ice cream, but it is said to have come about with the development of early flavors.
What is affogato?
Affogato is an Italian coffee-based dessert that usually contains some form of gelato or ice cream. It means “drowned in coffee.”
National Coffee Ice Cream Day Activities
Get a scoop!
Most local ice cream parlors offer a coffee flavor ice cream and may even have a discount on this special day. Stop by and grab yourself a cone-full!
Make your own
If you’ve got a knack for making magic in the kitchen, maybe try making your own ice cream! With today’s technology, making ice cream is considered relatively easy. There’s plenty of DIY recipes online you should totally try out.
Do something similar
Maybe coffee ice cream isn’t exactly your thing, but you can still appreciate a good coffee dessert. Find an awesome coffee cake or parfait recipe that you think you’ll like and give it a go — or maybe even affogato!
5 COFFEE ICE CREAM FACTS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND
The big joe
400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide, making it the world’s most popular alternative beverage to water.
But first, coffee
65% of coffee is consumed during breakfast.
United States of ice cream
The U.S. is the second-largest consumer of ice cream in the world, just after New Zealand.
Ice cream pinch
Ice cream waffle cones were accidentally made when a vendor ran out of ice cream cups and turned to a waffle seller to meet the demands of customers
The sale of ice cream significantly increases in times of wars and recession.
Why We Love National Coffee Ice Cream Day
We love coffee
We drink coffee every day, it’s nice to switch things up and enjoy something slightly different that we’ll still love just as much.
We love ice cream
Yea, it might sound the same as the above but if it’s wrong to love both, then we don’t want to be right! Ice cream is the ultimate comfort food, and it's a perfect conclusion to a great meal.
It’s the perfect end to a meal
Desserts are considered a common delicacy one generally enjoys following a meal. When coffee came about, it began to follow that same trend. Coffee and ice cream together give you the best of both worlds on one plate. What’s not to love?
National Coffee Ice Cream Day dates