Make Your Coffee Habit Count

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Purchase coffee, chocolate and snacks through Catholic Relief Services partner Equal Exchange and make a difference in the lives of farmers. With every purchase, Equal Exchange donates a generous percentage to the CRS Fair Trade Fund, which is then invested in farmer and artisan groups around the world. By supporting ethical businesses like Equal Exchange, you support farmers, artisans and CRS. Plus, you can enjoy a great cup of 100% fair trade coffee.

As we celebrate International Coffee Day on October 1, grab a cup of your favorite joe and sit back as we share with you our favorite coffee facts.

12 Coffee Facts

  • The word coffee, in Arabic, is derived from “qahhwat al-bun,” or “wine of the bean.”
  • Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee by accident when he noticed his goats eating the red berries of the coffee shrub and then dancing around.
  • In the 1600s, there was great debate over whether Catholics could drink coffee.  Luckily, you can thank Pope Clement VIII for giving the beverage his blessing.
  • It takes approximately 2,000 cherries—4,000 beans—to produce 1 pound of roasted coffee.
  • Brazil and Colombia are the world’s leading coffee producing countries. The United States imports and consumes more coffee than any other country.
  • Coffee plants reached the New World during the early 18th century, though the drink wasn’t really popular in America until the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when making the switch from tea to coffee became something of a patriotic duty.
  • The National Coffee Association’s National Coffee Drinking Trends finds that 59% of Americans say they drink coffee every day, while 71% reported drinking it at least once per week.
  • About 35% of all coffee drinkers prefer their coffee black.
  • A recent Nielsen survey found that 66% of respondents are willing to pay more to coffee companies committed to positive social and environmental impact.
  • Daily consumption of espresso-based beverages has nearly tripled from 2008 to 2016, according to the National Coffee Association.
  • We drink more than 500 billion cups of coffee worldwide a year.
  • Coffee is the second most traded legal commodity—after oil—in the world.



Learn: Find out more about CRS' Coffeelands projects.

Learn: Brazil Battles Slave Labor

Act: Find out more about Equal Exchange and get involved.

Pray: Say a prayer for farmers and their harvests.

Advocate: Follow Pope Francis' call to take action on climate change.

Learn: Fair Trade brings new perks to coffee's homeland.

Learn: Preserving dignity in the Amazon: Brazil and slave labor.

Learn: Restoring Coffee Farms in Guatemala

Learn: Coffee Cooperatives Strengthen Farm Families

Learn: Colombia’s Golden Coffee Beans

Learn: A Hand up for Kenyan Coffee Farmers