History of Takeaway Coffee

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How did takeaway coffee begin? Traditionally coffee was made available only to the elite. However, commerce and trading soon made coffee an ordinary commodity. The spread of coffee drinking was so wide it soon became an everyday drink for people all over the world.

The effect of the paper cup
Takeaway coffee would have already been available in cafes and restaurants if the customer provided a sealed container for it to go in. In the early 1900s it was common for people to share tins or other drinking vessels and it was not until a study was released in 1908 about the health hazards of sharing cups for drinking that a call for a healthier practice of drinking produced the first paper cup. The use of separate cups for drinking was strictly implemented with local governments passing a ban on shared use of cups and highly encouraging everyone to use individual, disposable paper cups. But how did this innovation make coffee more available to everyone? Well, quite simply, it allowed workers to just pop into a coffee shop and drink it on their way to work without having to take too much time out of their day.

History of Takeaway Coffee
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The commercialisation of coffee
The mass production of coffee started in the 20th century. The US is attributed to have initialised the commercialisation of coffee. With the continuous development of technology, coffee roasting and production became easier and more available. However for those who wanted to drink fresh hot coffee it was still only possible at home or at coffee shops and restaurants. If you wanted to bring coffee with you at work you would have had to place it in a jug, which unfortunately meant that the coffee would grow cold after a few hours. Workers would have to wait until the end of their shift to enjoy a real, hot, delicious coffee either at home or at stores where coffee drinks were sold.

The practice of coffee breaks
Since the discovery of the drink coffee has always been associated with people gathering and socialising. However as working hours began to demand more production time workers had less time to socialize and coffee breaks were cut short. The first of many coffee vending machines soon appeared after World War II. A military engineer named Cyrus Melikian invented a machine that can dispense coffee as fast as 3 seconds.

blue cup of coffee
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The origin of the vending machine
The vending machine itself is not a new invention. The very first vending machine can be traced as far back as 10AD to a mathematician named Hero of Alexandria. He was a Greek scientist who dispensed holy water to worshippers by having them drop a coin at the machine he invented. The holy water would then pour forth until the coin dropped down and the pan would tilt back and be held in place by a counter-weight. The first modern vending machines actually dispensed chewing gum. It was not until 1946 that the coffee vending machine was invented.

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Richard Woods
About the Author:

Richard Woods is a writer for KLIX, the hot drinks vending division of Mars Inc.

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