Nina Semczuk
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Coffee's had a starring roll in my mornings since I was a teenager, even before I started slinging the stuff as a barista at Dunkin' Donuts at 16. The smell, the taste — and of course, the ensuing burst of energy — had me hooked for years. So even though I now mostly drink decaf, rest assured I'll still be hitting up a number of the National Coffee Day celebrations on September 29. For one, I love a good deal, and nothing is better than the price of free. I also enjoy random holidays that happen to recognize things I love. So, it's a win-win. 

To find out where, when and how to celebrate this caffeine-filled occasion, keep reading. 

When is it?

YearDay of the WeekDate
2019SundaySeptember 29
2020TuesdaySeptember 29
2021WednesdaySeptember 29
2022ThursdaySeptember 29
2023FridaySeptember 29


How to find deals.

Common chains usually offer deals (free or BOGO); just be sure to check for any restrictions, like whether you need to bring your own mug or a coupon, or need to download an app to redeem the offer.

Chains offering deals on National Coffee Day.

Try these:

  • Cumberland Farms
  • Godiva
  • Intelligentsia
  • Le Pain Quotidien
  • Krispy Kreme
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • Peet's
  • Pilot Flying J
  • PJ's Coffee
  • 7-Eleven
  • Dunkin'

Check out coupon sites.

Lucky for me, my mom finds joy in forwarding me every newsletter deal, like Retailmenot's recent free coffee roundup. If you don't have a family freebie finder of your own, check out other bargain-finding sites like Slickdeals.net and Reddit. 

Background and history.

Not much information is available to explain the origin of this "national" holiday celebrating America's favorite hot beverage. While the first of October is cited by some as International Coffee Day, implying the U.S. created its own version of the global holiday, the National Coffee Association (NCA), calls the day an "internet holiday," which means it likely spawned from the hundreds of food-and-drink associated celebration days created by an assortment of random individuals, PR firms and brands. 

3 ways to celebrate the breakfast bean at work.

Time to caffeinate your coworkers.

1. Heat it up: Host a coffee competition. 

Rally your office comrades with a little friendly competition and try one of these ideas:

  • Blind tasting: Brew the same type of coffee using different methods, like a Keurig, French Press, percolator and drip machine. See who can match the method to the coffee, and give that coworker a "coffee connoisseur" award, complete with a gift card to a local cafe.
  • Latte art competition: If your office is fancy enough to have its own espresso machine, take turns seeing who can craft the most creative and convincing milk foam art. Make it more fun with a panel of judges and a time limit, like the show Chopped. 
  • Coffee pong: Carry some old college spirit into the workplace with a game of coffee pong — just be sure to use water cups for the actual game, as no one appreciates the possibility of a hot brown stain on an office outfit. 

2. Spread the deal love: Let everyone know where they can find a free cup.

Every office has at least one coupon clipper. They're the kind of people who use browser extensions to get discounts with internet purchases, know which app to download for freebies and will know the exact route to hit on the way to the office to best take advantage of every offer. Ask yours to share the coffee-related deals with the rest of the office via the company internal newsletter, or through company comms, like Slack

3. Keep it simple: Treat your coworkers to coffee.

On the way to work, why not pick up a box of joe and some pastries for your team. Even if your workplace has a coffeemaker, most people appreciate a hot fresh brew made outside of the office. If your company has the budget, see if the office manager can order specialty coffee for the day; or, maybe a coffeecake or two for the breakroom. 

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