international coffee day
BY sam meurant, queensland-BASED MEDIA STRINGER
Today is International Coffee Day! This special day was created to bring together coffee lovers in a global celebration to share their love of coffee and support the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on it.
In the outback we celebrate coffee for so many reasons, such as the opportunity to debrief, for the socialisation and so we can pause to enjoy a well-earned break.
As Australians we all love a cup of coffee to wake us up and keep us pedalling through the day. However, in regional Australia the term “put the kettle on” means more than just a flat white, long black, instant or soy cappuccino with a shot of vanilla.
From morning to evening the words “time for a cuppa” is sung out through outback homes. Kelly Churchill from Cunnamulla Qld says, “it’s definitely more than just a beverage!”
“To me, ‘time for a cuppa’ means time to have a mental and physical break and maybe a sneaky bit of choccy cake…if there is any!
“It’s a chance to chat with your partner or family.”
Living in rural and remote areas of Australia can be very isolating. Coffee gives us a reason to visit friends or invite visitors over to connect and chat. In the country, the coffee ritual gives us a chance to be social, so we don’t feel alone.
Tori Kopke, a Texan transplant now living in Cunderdin WA, sees the importance of what ‘having a cuppa’ means despite the fact she’s not from Australia. “When we’re in Texas catching up for a cuppa isn’t a thing,” Tori says.
“You can’t just drop in to someone’s house and expect them to put the kettle on. A cuppa isn’t a good enough reason to see someone.”
“Having a cuppa is one of my favourite parts of regional Australian culture. It’s a tradition that I feel most don’t even realise exists!”
“I also quickly learned I needed to drink tea or coffee, because sitting there with nothing in hand is not acceptable!”
In the bush, saying to your loved one, “I’m just ducking to the neighbours for a cuppa” is not a case of ten steps over the fence, there and back. In rural areas your ‘neighbour’ can live many kilometres away and a big chunk of the day can be spent travelling and catching up. In the city, coffee may be about the quest to get the best cuppa you can possibly find, but for those in the bush it doesn’t matter how good the coffee is: it’s all about the company that goes with it.
With the busy and full days of running a property, having a coffee can also mean time to reflect. Bec Skillington, from Clermont QLD says, “time for a cuppa is a time to finish what's in the race, wash the dust down with a hot beverage and gossip about how beautiful the bullock’s backsides look, or how moody the old cows in the yards are being.”
“It’s a time to regroup and regain mental focus before going back down again. There is ALWAYS something in the bicky tin!”
So, while we celebrate those farmers who grow the coffee that we love to drink, we also thank them for the friendship and break it provides to us all in regional Australia.