UK Coffee Week begins from October 17 to 23 this year. It’s a week dedicated to learning more about the coffee industry and the people who cultivate it. Hundreds of coffee shops, restaurants, roasters, and their customers get together this week to raise funds for Project Waterfall. Working to end the water crisis faced by coffee-growing communities worldwide, donations come from every cup served and every coffee bag sold. Running competitions, raffles, and other fundraisers also contribute to the worthy cause. Over £800,000 has been raised since 2011, funding 13 projects and changing more than 45,000 lives in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Tanzania, and Uganda.
History of UK Coffee Week
Some of the first accounts of coffee beans being ground and mixed with animal fat came from the Galla tribe in Ethiopia before 1000 A.D. Arab traders brought back the plant to Yemen, cultivating them in plantations. They boiled the beans in water to create a drink called ‘qahwa,’ which meant ‘that which prevents sleep.’ The Turks brought coffee to Constantinople in 1453, and by the 16th century, its enticing aroma had spread to the rest of Northern Africa, Persia, and the Middle East.
Italian traders brought coffee to Venice in 1600. Pope Clement VII Hi even baptized it and declared it a Christian drink! Its popularity spread across North America in 1607 with the arrival of Captain John Smith, one of the founders of the Virginia colony. The first coffee houses started sprouting up in Italy, England, and France in the mid to late 1600s. Not to be outdone, the Dutch smuggled a coffee plant out of the Arab port of Mocha in 1690 and became the first to commercialize coffee cultivation in Ceylon and Java. Brazil’s coffee industry started in 1727 when the wife of the governor of Guiana gave Lt. Colonel Francisco de Melo Palheta a bouquet with hidden cuttings of coffee plants.
In the 20th century, coffee progress continued. In the U.S., Hills Bros. started packing coffee in tins. Decaffeinated coffee brand Sanka was introduced in 1903. Today, many countries in Central America and Africa depend on coffee bean farming as a primary source of income. More than one hundred million people in developing countries work to produce one of the world’s favorite drinks.
UK Coffee Week timeline
Kiva Han opens in Constantinople, along with many other shops that become hotspots for lively discussions and debates
Edward Llyod opens a coffee house in England frequented by merchants and maritime insurance agents that eventually becomes a well-known insurance company.
Frenchman Louis Bernard Rabaut develops a brewing machine that uses steam to force hot water through coffee grounds.
English chemist George Constant Washington invents the first mass-produced coffee while living in Guatemala.
UK Coffee Week FAQs
Can coffee make you fat?
Coffee alone doesn’t make you fat. It’s the amount of milk and sugar added to it that can sabotage your weight-watching efforts.
Is coffee a fruit?
The coffee bean is a seed of the coffee plant. The beans themselves aren’t fruits, but they’re part of the fruit.
Why should you not drink coffee on an empty stomach?
It could cause heartburn, indigestion, and damage to your stomach lining. It may even increase anxiety. Try to have a cup mid-morning or early afternoon when you’ve had a snack or lunch.
UK Coffee Week Activities
Tip your barista generously
It’s also a time to show appreciation for the ones in your local coffee shop who make your coffee. Let’s not forget that cute coffee foam art.
Buy coffee from participating stores
Visit a participating local coffee shop in person or online. They’ll likely be donating a portion of the sales to the cause.
Pay for someone’s coffee
While in line at your favorite coffee shop, spring for someone else’s cup. Pay it forward, coffee-style.
5 Times You Should Be Cautious With Coffee
Only one cup a day if pregnant
Anything you ingest while pregnant may affect the fetus and a developing baby will be very sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
Bad coffee can be toxic
Even one overripe or ruined bean can cause coffee to go bad and impurities from a bad batch can cause headache, sickness, or a general unsettled feeling.
Skip it if you’re prone to heartburn
It’s highly acidic and can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
Filtered coffee for high cholestoral
Two ingredients in coffee beans that appear to raise L.D.L. cholesterol levels are cafestol and kahweol: filtering the coffee traps most of the bad cholesterol.
Too much can trigger a gout attack
A big dose of caffeine may cause a gout attack in people who suffer from it.
Why We Love UK Coffee Week
It helps you appreciate cultures
There are as many varieties of coffee, almost as many as there are places in the world. You can taste Brazil, Colombia, or Ethiopia in a cup. It’s fascinating to learn where your coffee comes from and how it was processed.
It smells amazing
Nothing else can help jumpstart your day or get you over a mid-afternoon slump quite like the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Better yet, the aroma of roasting coffee beans.
It’s a conversation-starter
Coffee and conversation are a perfect pair. Meeting friends for coffee, and going on casual coffee dates are great ways to appreciate the day.
UK Coffee Week dates