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Weird Facts about Maxwell House® Coffee

  • Maxwell House coffee is named after the Maxwell House hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • In 1873, Joel Owsley Cheek, a 21-year-old farm boy, left his home in Burkesville, Kentucky to seek his fortune in Nashville. After a short stint as a traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery firm, he set up his own grocery firm in Nashville and began experimenting to originate his ideal coffee blend, which he began selling in 1882. Among his clients was one of America's top-ranked hotels, the Maxwell House of Nashville. When the elite hotel guests raved over the new "Maxwell House coffee," Cheek named his blend Maxwell House Coffee.
  • Legend has it that Theodore Roosevelt tasted the coffee while a guest at the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's old Nashville home. When asked if he wanted another cup, Roosevelt purportedly responded, "Will I have another? Delighted! It's good to the last drop!" thus giving birth to the catchy slogan and the trademark depicting a tilted coffee cup with one last drop.
  • Maxwell House coffee's slogan, "Good to the Last Drop," ignited a controversy over the proper use of the word to. Pundits asked, "What's wrong with the last drop?" A renowned English professor at Columbia University finally decreed that the word to is good usage and includes the last drop. The word until would preclude the last drop. The slogan was first used by Coca-Cola in 1908.
  • Coffee, native to Ethiopia and cultivated and brewed in Arab countries for centuries, was not introduced into Europe until the seventeenth century.
  • The coffee bean remains the world's most valuable agricultural commodity. Latin America and Africa produce most of the world's coffee. The United States is the world's largest coffee buyer, importing over 2.9 billion pounds of coffee in 2014 alone, according to the International Coffee Organization.
  • The most flavorful coffee beans are grown between 3,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level, especially on volcanic soil.
  • The average coffee tree, grown from seed, bears its first fruit after five to eight years and yields approximately one pound of coffee beans each year.
  • While the coffee plant has many varieties, two species, Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta, provide 99 percent of world's coffee.
  • Coffee trees grow fifteen feet high with fragrant, white flowers that give way to pulpy "cherries" containing the bean. The cherries must be harvested by hand, and, after the pulp is removed, the beans are dried and shipped to be roasted, ground, and packaged.
  • Instant coffee accounts for approximately one-fifth of all coffee sold. To prepare instant coffee, an atomized spray of coffee extract is either freeze-dried or forced through a jet of hot air to evaporate the water and leaves dried coffee particles.
  • Coffee is decaffeinated by processing the bean in a bath of methylene chloride to remove the caffeine, followed by steam to remove the methylene chloride. Newer, more environmentally sound methods require using steam only.
  • 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink a cup of coffee every day, according to the Harvard University School of Public Health. Americans now drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee a day, with the average size of a cup at 9 ounces.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. “Maxwell House” is a registered trademark of Kraft Foods, Inc.
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