09/28/2012 09:00 am ET Updated Nov 28, 2012

Saturday Is National Coffee Day

by Marisa Miyasaki, Community Manager for

For many Americans, coffee is a natural part of their day-to-day routine. Mornings are powered by a hot cup of joe, and it plays a pivotal role in getting the day started off the right way. With the US importing over $4 billion in coffee a year, Americans' java addiction is showing no signs of decline. As such, the foodie powers-that-be have dedicated a special day out of the year to coffee. September 29th is National Coffee Day, and we'd like to pay homage to one of the world's most popularly consumed beverages. Read below to learn about coffee history, and to gather ideas on where you can go to get your caffeine fix!

The name "coffee" derives from the Arabic word qahwah which means "to put one off." In the context of "putting off" sleep, the name is quite suitable. Coffee's history dates far back to the early ninth century in the highlands of Ethiopia. Legend has it that a shepherd named Kaldi noticed that his goats experienced a higher level of energy after consuming wild coffee berries. After sampling the berries himself and experiencing the stimulating effects, he shared his findings with a monk at a local monastery. Impressed by the re-energizing effects, the monk shared the berries with the other monks at the monastery. Word of the astonishing effects of the coffee berries quickly began to circulate, spreading east to Arab regions where coffee was first roasted, brewed and cultivated. With alcohol consumption forbidden by the Muslim religion, Arabs found great satisfaction in coffee's stimulating properties and it quickly became a part of the Arab social fabric.

Through trade with the Europeans, coffee became a popular import by the mid-17th century in Europe. Upon its arrival in America, it didn't experience much success until the Boston Tea Party, when colonists who were rebelling against tea taxes developed a fondness for coffee. Drinking nearly 400 million cups of coffee per day, Americans now consume the most coffee in the world.

How do you plan on celebrating National Coffee Day? If you're looking for awesome freebies, McDonald"s, 7-11 and Krispy Kreme will be offering free coffee from September 23rd -September 29th.

Looking to try a new coffee shop? Get your caffeine fix at one of Menuism's favorite coffee spots below:

Caffe D'melanio Gourmet Coffee - San Francisco, CA

Café Corsa - Los Angeles

Cafecito - Chicago, IL

9th Street Espresso - New York, NY

Related Links from the Menuism Coffee Blog:
Interview: Jeff Power of Pangeo Coffee
Infographic: Comparing International Cooking Habits
What's the Difference Between a Caffe Americano and a Caffe Mocha?

Saturday is National Coffee Day originally published on the Menuism Blog.

Marisa Miyasaki loves to mix and match different cuisines and believes Korean Tacos are just about the coolest thing ever invented. She is a devout foodhist and has a borderline-crazy obsession with taking pictures of nearly everything she eats. As Menuism's Community Manager, Marisa hopes to share her passion for food with the world- one hungry foodie at a time.