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National Coffee Day shall be celebrated with lots of free coffee and many, many apps

Woman drinking giant coffee
The next best thing to injecting it straight into your veins
Photo: Klaus Vedfelt (Getty Images)

There are but a few fake food “holidays” that are worth a damn, and the holiest of them all is National Coffee Day because, well, coffee is extremely important. This year it falls on Tuesday, September 29 and, as always, it shall be celebrated across the land with sweet deals on coffee and many hours of deep, intensely personal reflection. Though tomorrow we officially celebrate its magnificence, we should take the time to appreciate coffee every day and thank our lucky stars for the blessing of life-giving beans that make our mornings brighter, and makes our brains more functional. God bless us, everyone!

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Starbucks began its celebration during Coffee Advent on September 15, when it launched an updated version of its Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, and today, on Coffee Day Eve, it kicks off the monthlong “Starland” augmented reality game, giving loyal customers chances to win 2.5 million prizes like free coffee, free breakfast, and bonus stars. Then tomorrow, to celebrate the big day itself, members who order a grande or larger “handcrafted” (read: more expensive) beverage through the Starbucks app will get a free drink offer loaded on their app to use another day. But the party doesn’t stop there, folks! On Thursday, for the first time ever (!!!), Starbucks Rewards members will get triple stars on almost every order. Who said 2020 was a festering cesspool of darkness and despair?

Though this holiday is meant for one and all, Dunkin’ has decided to make National Coffee Day all about itself, renaming it “National Dunkin’ Day.” Though this is an extremely bratty thing to do, free coffee makes all things forgivable, and Dunkin’ will be giving away free medium hot or iced coffees with any purchase. Tuesday will also see the release of some very special merch in the official Dunkin’ Shop. What will these things be? Who knows! Surprises are and important part of National Coffee Day, and spoiling them would ruin the magic.

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Not a fan of Starbucks or Dunkin’? There are plenty of other deals to be found at convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and smaller coffee chains. Here are some highlights:

7-Eleven: Get any size coffee for $1 by using the official 7-Eleven app.

Caribou Coffee: Buy any large beverage, get 50% off any bag of prepackaged beans.

Circle K: Use the Circle K app, get any size hot or iced coffee for free.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Get a free regular size coffee with any purchase over $2.

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Jack in the Box: Get a free regular hot or iced coffee with any app purchase.

Krispy Kreme: Everyone can get a free brewed coffee, no purchase necessary, but if you (surprise!) download and use the official Krispy Kreme app, you’ll also get a free doughnut.

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Panera Bread: Sign up for the MyPanera+ Coffee Subscription, and the first month of unlimited premium hot coffee, iced coffee and hot tea is free. Once your free month is up, you can continue getting all-you-can-drink coffee and tea from Panera for $8.99 a month.

Tim Hortons: From Monday through Oct. 26, customers who use the Tim Horton’s app can get any size hot or iced coffee for $0.99.

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Wawa: Wawa Rewards members get one free any size coffee.

Wendy’s: The fast food chain is keeping its National Coffee Day promotion going until November 4; participating Wendy’s in select parts of the country are giving away free hot coffee with the purchase of any breakfast sandwich. This offer applies to people living in and around Boston, Massachusetts; Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; Springfield and Holyoke, Massachusetts; and Cleveland/Youngstown, Ohio. If you don’t live in those areas, well, sucks to be you. While you can’t get any free coffee, the company wants to let you know that you should, of course, keep checking the Wendy’s app for offers.

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Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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If you don’t live in those areas, well, sucks to be you.
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