“Give yourself a Coffee-Break—
and Get What Coffee Gives You.“
The sentence was invented in 1952 as an ad campaign by Pan-American Coffee Bureau
A little bit later, the United Auto Workers and the Big Three
managed to implement a 12-minute coffee break
to national discourse and soon enough it was spread worldwide.
But it’s not as simple as it seems.
In the early 20th century, employees were entitled to coffee breaks
and many companies were actually fighting
who was the inventor of such a great benefit?
Here are 4 different, yet accurate stories about How Coffee Break Was Invented.
The origin of coffee break dates back to the early 1900s
It was associated with the eight-hour working days
implemented by a firm based in San Francisco, called Hill Brothers.
The rise of unions meant more workers
were required to take a break in the middle of a shift,
and the majority of them used that time
to drink their favorite beverage filled with sweeteners.
It was only a matter of time before coffee breaks
became a staple of the workplace.
Newspapers reported that America has adopted a new German cultural tradition,
Kaffeeklatsch – a popular expression for sipping coffee and exchanging gossip over it.
Those with more experience had claimed
that having a coffee break during working time
wasn’t a waste of time.
But instead, they pointed out that
it could even establish professional relationships.
The concept of a coffee break has gone through
many changes over the centuries.
According to some statements,
the coffee break was an escape from
the Medieval Catholic Church’s strict religious services
where people were expected to work for six hours a day.
With this in mind, the break was used as a way to replenish energy
and mental strength before returning to work.
In more recent history,
the coffee break became associated with leisure time during work hours
– which could be seen in how unhealthy and
inactive it had become by then.
Today, its meaning has changed yet again
as companies realize that employees
are becoming more productive because
they are recharging their energy
which results in more productivity during working time.
Its first appearance was in 1902 in Buffalo, New York
This was the time when coffee break made history.
The manufacturing company Barcolo
that soon enough became Barcalounger,
really did care about its employees and
stated that they were the first company that implemented
two coffee breaks for their employees.
Workers were negotiating about having short breaks
during mornings and afternoons on working days.
Then, while the conversation was going on,
one of the employees was voluntarily preparing coffee
on a kerosene-fueled hot plate.
It was a time when they realized that this way
workers can get to know each other over their favorite beverage,
gain more productivity plus boost their energy due to caffeine intake.
Nowadays, the majority of employment contracts
provide at least one coffee break.
Therefore, most businesses have found that
implementing free coffee breaks for their employees
can be a valuable, long-term, and low-cost perk.
Psychologist Waston and Maxwell House Coffee Created the Coffee Break
J.B. Watson was a popular psychologist from America
whose ideas were conceived on behaviorism.
While working as a psychologist,
he also worked in an agency for advertisements.
During his time working there,
he came up with a great idea about using special-psychological methods
of brainwashing to attract people to buy a certain product.
Therefore, he started working
with Maxwell House Coffee where he created a commercial
which included the concept of a coffee break.
“If you were going to have a coffee break you had to be drinking Maxwell House coffee. “
Pretty good, isn’t it?
It is, because Maxwell house was
one of the most popular coffee brands up to the late 1980s.
Well, psychology is a strange thing.
A lot of stories have been made in the last century,
and we cannot certainly know which one is 100% accurate.
That doesn’t mean they are falls,
it means we get to choose whichever we like the best.
Would you like to discuss it over a cup of coffee?