Are you ready for National Coffee Day 2023? While a hardcore coffee lover might consider every day to be a national day of coffee, coffee drinkers around America celebrate once a year at the end of September. Besides grabbing Starbucks National Coffee Day deals or scoring other free coffee, this holiday is about appreciating one of our most important beverages.
And considering the National Coffee Association recently announced a two-decade high in coffee consumption in America—66 percent drink coffee every day—it is not surprising that this holiday has been taking off the past few years. From free coffee samples to completely free hot coffee, coffee houses around the country participate in the celebration. And besides finding a deal for a free coffee or sample, you should also remember that national coffee day is about connecting to coffee farmers’ lives and promoting fair trade.
So if you want to learn all about this holiday and how you might be able to find a national coffee day deal, keep reading to learn everything!
**Note: Do not confuse the national day of coffee in America with International Coffee Day, celebrated two days later on October 1st.**
What Is National Coffee Day?
National coffee day occurs on different days, depending on your country. In the United States, the national day of coffee is celebrated on September 29th. Let’s explore where this holiday came from and how people celebrate it.
National Day of Coffee: History and Culture
There are competing stories that explain how humans first discovered coffee, and it is hard to say which one is true. The most fun would be the ancient Ethiopian myth involving a goat herder named Kaldi.
Remember that a coffee bean is the seed of the coffee cherry, and one day Kaldi noticed that his goats had tons of energy after eating these red coffee cherries. They supposedly danced around all night.
So Kaldi experimented with boiling and drinking these cherries, eventually bringing his discovery to a local monastery.
Whatever the true origin, people were cultivating coffee by the early 15th century on the Arabian Peninsula. Over the following centuries, coffee spread around the Middle East and Europe as coffee houses created a new culture surrounding this beverage. For Americans, coffee was not a popular drink until the Boston Tea Party in 1773.
Now in the United States, each person on average consumes over 20 gallons of coffee per year. For a thorough exploration of the origins of coffee and its long history, check out our article dedicated to the topic:
When Is National Coffee Day?
The US celebrates its national day of coffee on September 29th, a tradition that seems to have started in 2005. As the idea became more popular, coffee houses began offering deals and contests to help celebrate coffee and its culture.
You might want to check out the national day calendar to find out all the other national holidays you might not know about!
National Coffee Day Deals 2023: Where to Find Free Brewed Coffee and Other Promotions
In America, September 29th is a common excuse for many coffee shops to offer a special deal. Some will give out free samples of brewed coffee, iced coffee, or something similar. Other places might have promotions in the form of contests and giveaways. And rewards members as a specific coffee shop might expect something even better.
Generally, expect to find free samples at the more popular chains such as Dunkin Donuts, Peets Coffee, Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread, Tim Horton, Krispy Kreme, and Starbucks. Even a tiny sample of brewed coffee might make your day!
And sometimes, the promotions might be about being in the right place at the right time. In 2019, for example, people in New York City were treated to 2000 cups of free coffee donated by Costa Rica’s Tourist Board.
But every year is different, and some companies restrict their deals to participating locations. So if you want to get the most up-to-date and specific deals as your national day of coffee approaches this year, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.
National Coffee Day USA vs International Coffee Day
National coffee day and international coffee day are often confused, and the murky history of these holidays does not help. But according to the International Coffee Organization, October 1st is the day to celebrate International Coffee Day. With its 77 member states, the ICO officially declared this holiday in 2014. They describe the holiday as follows:
“International Coffee Day is a celebration of the coffee sector’s diversity, quality, and passion. It is an opportunity for coffee lovers to share their love of the beverage and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on the aromatic crop.”International Coffee Organization
How to Celebrate National Coffee Day
If you are a coffee lover wondering how to observe your national day of coffee properly, or even just where to get free coffee, we will cover many ways to celebrate. You probably will not be able to celebrate as amazingly as this NASA astronaut drinking espresso on the International Space Station (they even have a specially-designed microgravity coffee machine named “ISSpresso”).
But we can definitely find ways to appreciate how significant this beverage is to our culture!
Starbucks National Coffee Day Deals
If this coming September 29th is like previous ones, drinking Starbucks coffee on national coffee day need not cost you anything. You can expect to get a free cup of hot or iced coffee from Starbucks (up to 20 oz.). The catch is that you have to bring your own reusable cup—also, do not expect to get refills all day.
The brew will be their classic pike place roast, named after their original 1971 location in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. They do not include cold brew (including Nitro) in this promotion. We recommend going to your favorite Starbucks cafe early since they say their free coffee supplies are limited. And keep in mind that Starbucks will not give out free coffee on any drive-thru or mobile orders.
Meet and Greet at a Coffee House
One way to honor National Coffee Day is to connect coffee’s historical tradition by bringing people together at the best coffee shop you can find. Throughout the 17th century, coffee houses began opening up throughout Europe, quickly becoming the center of intellectual and political life. Coffee houses in England even took on the name “penny universities” because people could learn so much for the small price of a coffee.
So whether the coffee shop organizes it or you choose to host a more friendly meet and greet, sitting down to enjoy stimulating conversation and coffee is what this beverage is all about.
Surprise Someone with a Cup
Whether or not you find a free cup at a local coffee shop, you can always celebrate this year’s national day of coffee by surprising someone with a cup. Buy a few extra coffees for your team at work, or bring one to your friend on your way to visit.
Remember that this holiday is not just about scoring free stuff—it is about appreciating coffee’s crucial role in our culture.
Enjoy Your Coffee with Quotes
One of the most fun ways to appreciate this beverage we rely on so strongly is to enjoy your morning coffee with quotes. Quotes have a particular way of cutting through the normal routine to make us laugh or deliver some wisdom.
So if this sounds like fun to you, check out our article with 61 quotes about coffee—they include themes that are funny, philosophical, inspirational, and much more!
Other National Day of Coffee Deals
If you are wondering about other national coffee day deals besides Starbucks freebies, there are a few other places to keep in mind. Note that McDonald’s has had promotions in the past, but not as much lately. The most you can expect on McDonald’s national coffee day is perhaps a free small coffee when you buy breakfast.
But let’s explore your other options!
If you are a member of their rewards program, any purchase should earn you a free hot or iced coffee on this national holiday.
Wawa has one of the more generous deals to commemorate the national day of coffee. You can grab a free brewed coffee of any size from their self-serve station.
To celebrate caregiving, Panera offers free coffee all day to any parent or caregiver. Any parent knows how crucial an afternoon cup of coffee is to make it through a busy day with kids.
This donut company goes further than a free coffee, they also give any rewards member a free donut. Note that non-members can still enjoy a coffee on the house.
If you are a member of the 7Rewards program, you can snag a free coffee with the purchase of any baked good. Just note that the 7-Eleven promotion excludes iced coffee.
As you can see, there are many ways to celebrate the next national coffee day in America. You can take advantage of one of the big-brand promotions above, or follow your favorite local coffee shop on social media to find out if they are celebrating the holiday.
However you choose to commemorate this holiday, we wish you a wakeful and happy national coffee day!