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Who Invented The Coffee Break?

Updated on December 10, 2014

Many people begin their day with a hot cup coffee. In fact, many people can not even fathom starting their day without a hot cup of coffee. Seriously, some people you don't even want to be near until they start their day with a hot cup of coffee. That's great. You've started your day with a hot cup of coffee and then you are into your day. But that coffee isn't some kind of magic elixir with unlimited staying power. After you are "into" your day there comes a time when you need to have even more coffee because the coffee you had so you could pull yourself out of bed and into your daily routine is wearing off. If you aren't lucky enough to have coffee with you at all times... then you need an excuse to go get some coffee. Lucky for you there is a wonderful concept called "the coffee break".

"Hey!", you call to a group of disinterested juice drinkers, "I'm going on my coffee break."

They look at you with some disdain but what can they do? The coffee break is a well established ritual and process that is acceptable behavior all over America - if not the world. It is a vague break that begins sometime after you finished your morning coffee and before you need to go back home for your end of the day coffee. It is a break. One you deserve and one you get to have with coffee. It may have gone at one time hand in hand with the smoking break but that break is now evil so all you have left is going to the bathroom or having a coffee break.

"Well, who invented the coffee break?", you might ask.

And I tell you it was Norwegian immigrants from Stoughton, Wisconsin. What? You just thought Wisconsin was responsible for awesome beer, the world's finest cheese and the best team in professional football? No. Wisconsin is also home of the coffee break. If you don't believe me just check here. Would I lie to you? Well, let's not go into that. But I'm not lying now. Did you click on that link? Did you read it? If the Internet says it is true it is true. This is the world we live in so accept it.

So Norwegian immigrants in Stoughton, Wisconsin invented the coffee break in the late 19th century. Everyone in Stoughton knows this and now so do you. We even have a coffee break festival each summer to honor our town and its wonderful gift to the world. Maybe we didn't invent coffee but we created the excuse to drink it shortly after you arrive to work after already consuming several cups of coffee. A person can't get enough coffee - not in Stoughton - not anywhere.

Legend has it that workers were scarce in the late 19th century when the local Stoughton men were called to harvest tobacco. So the wives of the men were asked to work at T.G. Mandts wagon factory during the harvest season. The women wanted to be able to check on their children and so they requested that they receive two breaks - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The women would also have coffee during these breaks and thus the "coffee break" was born!

And YOU too can enjoy a coffee break at the spot where the original coffee breaks were founded. Well, not the exact spot but very close to it - because close to that spot there is a wonderful diner called The Koffee Kup located at 355 East Main Street in Stoughton, WI. They serve your basic diner food fair but most importantly they offer you coffee. Coffee that you can drink within close proximity to where the very idea of a "coffee break" was created. How could the break get any better than that? Well, unless you brought a monkey with you. Other than that - you definitely need to add having a coffee break at the Koffee Kup to your bucket list. With or without the monkey. Maybe without, I'm not sure Marge will let you brink a monkey into the diner.

Where Can I Go To Have A Coffee Within Close Proximity To Where The "Coffee Break" Was Invented? THE KOFFEE KUP 355 East Main Street. That's where!

A markerKoffee Kup -
355 E Main St, Stoughton, WI 53589, USA
get directions

Do You Really Love Coffee?

If you really love coffee - hot coffee... then check out my hub about a super cool coffee maker I picked up from one of the home shopping networks. I think I have about 17 home shopping networks on my TV. Warning... language is colorful so if you don't care for a hub laced with swear words then you might want to avoid that hub. If your are a tad mamby pamby over cursing then you might prefer my hub on Folgers coffee - which I feel is the best part of waking up. Or is it?

If you have some thoughts to share about coffee or my hub please use the comments box below to share them. If you don't like coffee then maybe you should search for a nice hub about tea?


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    • JBeadle profile image

      JBeadle 7 years ago from Midwest

      Good to see you back and writing Tom. I feel bad you don't drink coffee but maybe it is for the best. I wake up with Foldgers most mornings.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 7 years ago from home


      i have never drank coffee- EVER I had 1 sip as a youth and swore it off- I have never drank alcohol either-

      and I get the aortic aneuyism at 36??? go figure I do however- love how coffee smells though- the vanilla bean stuff- mmmm I love the smell not the taste and caffine is not good for the old heart valve anyway-

      besides as iy is I don't sleep last thing i need is caffiene-

      great hub though I liked it a lot very informative


    • JBeadle profile image

      JBeadle 7 years ago from Midwest

      @Robwrite - Indeed. I miss the coffee break. Now I just brew a pot (of Foldgers usually) and drink coffee all day long. Which is why I've gone to half and half. I found out that too much coffee makes my eyes twitch. I was actually searching on "why do my eyes twitch" and one link in big letters just said "STOP DRINKING SO MUCH COFFEE!!!!".

    • JBeadle profile image

      JBeadle 7 years ago from Midwest

      I certainly wouldn't call you mamby or pamby Charlie... But Stoughton Wi is recognized by Wiki as the originator of the coffee break and that is what people go by now. Plus all my neighbors say it is true too - how could they be wrong? I think the monks just had "another cup of coffee" as there was little else to do. :-)

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 7 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Things like coffee breaks and siesta time show just how civilized life can be.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      I am not a mamby pamby and I thought the monks created the coffee break way back in the middle ages. I know the Pope banned coffee because of the loooong breaks they took. All they wanted to do was drink coffee and chant poetry. there ya go, they also invented the poetry reading in a coffee house too. Open Mic.