RIYADH: Oct. 1 is International Coffee Day, a celebration aimed at promoting awareness and support for coffee lovers and farmers, particularly highlighting the quality and passion behind this beloved beverage.
In Saudi Arabia, local coffee shops can be found in every neighborhood, catering to the high demand for the drink in all its variations, from V60 to traditional Saudi coffee.
Badr Khashogji, the owner of the local coffee shop Mariam, said that International Coffee Day was a special occasion to appreciate the cultural significance of coffee.
He said that it brought together coffee enthusiasts from around the world to acknowledge the importance of the beverage.
Khashogji said: “International Coffee Day offers a platform to showcase the rich history, diverse flavors and social impact of coffee. Whether you prefer an espresso, cappuccino or a simple black coffee, this day is a perfect opportunity to savor and celebrate the magical essence of coffee. So, grab your favorite mug, take a moment to indulge in the aroma and taste of coffee, and join the worldwide celebration of International Coffee Day.”
The Saudi Coffee Festival 2023, organized by the Culinary Arts Commission in Riyadh since Sept. 28, provides visitors with a cultural experience showcasing the growth of the coffee industry in Saudi Arabia. It highlights the beverage’s deep-rooted significance in Saudi culture as a symbol of hospitality, warmth and authentic traditions.
Mohammed Al-Amer, a Saudi coffee server, frequently travels worldwide with Saudi businesses hosting events to emphasize the significance of serving Saudi coffee on Saudi occasions.
“I travel to several countries, such as the UK, China, India and more, for work, and one of my responsibilities is serving Saudi coffee and dates to the guests,” Al-Amer told Arab News.
“Saudi coffee is an essential part of our tradition, and we have unique standards for making it.”
According to local farmer Ahmed Al-Malki, the techniques for cultivating and harvesting coffee have been passed down from generation to generation in Jazan for more than 800 years.
“The ancient tradition of transferring knowledge from one generation to another has preserved the legacy of Arabica coffee within our Kingdom. We deeply appreciate this knowledge and are committed to preserving its value as we strive to establish the Kingdom as a global leader in Arabica coffee production,” Al-Malki said.
On International Coffee Day, coffee companies in Saudi Arabia, including Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Urth Cafe, Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Overdose and LEFT cafe, offered promotions to encourage coffee purchases. These included free coffee at select locations and discounts of up to 50 percent. LEFT cafe offered coffee for SR1.
Saudi Arabia, one of the top coffee-consuming countries, is focused on increasing coffee cultivation to achieve self-sufficiency and boost the domestic economy. The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is working toward this goal in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.