Ready for your coffee break?
Did you know that the iconic coffee break wasn’t really a “thing” until 1952? In that year the Pan-American Coffee Bureau began to create an association between drinking coffee and high productivity! It’s a concept that seems intuitive to us now, but previously a coffee break was, well, just a break.
Further, in the 1950’s coffee’s image was used to fight communism! The thinking process was “Drink coffee, be more productive and support American trade.”
Coffee drinking, then, was practically an American duty!
Post WW II America turned to automation and efficiency in production as innovations designed to capture the consumer’s eye. Coffee went through the automation boom as well: “Kwik Kafes” became the rage. Kwik Kafes were coffee vending machines that seemed to symbolize the optimism and certainty that life in the future would be easy, revolutionary and labor free! The country was getting ready to head into the space race, the era of Pop Tarts and Tang and the automation of The Jetsons cartoon. Coffee from a vending machine? Of course!
Well, we might not be able to get too excited about coffee from a vending machine -- has anyone ever gotten a good coffee out of a vending machine? -- but we are fully behind the idea of the coffee break as a symbol of free labor and the fruits of capitalism.