In the early 1900s, coffee began to gain popularity in Europe as soldiers drank it for its stimulating properties during World War I. By the 1920s, coffee had become a popular social beverage in cafés and households alike. The rise of percolators and French presses allowed people to make coffee at home easily and quickly. The availability of pre-ground coffee and espresso machines further contributed to the growth of the coffee industry. Coffee advertisements portrayed it as a fashionable and cool beverage to drink. By the end of the decade, Americans were drinking an average of four cups of coffee per day.
The popularity of coffee houses emerged in the 1900s, with over 500 in New York City alone by 1910. They provided a cozy atmosphere for writers, artists, and intellectuals to socialize and create. Melitta Bentz’s invention of the paper filter in 1928 made brewing coffee at home easier and more affordable.
The emergence of automobile culture in the 1920s also contributed to the popularity of coffee. With more people having access to cars, it became easier to grab a cup of coffee on the go. The rise of coffee culture as an alternative to traditional pubs also played a role. Coffeehouses provided a relaxing atmosphere for people to socialize without alcohol being involved.
While we may not be consuming quite that much today, it’s clear that our love affair with this beloved beverage is here to stay thanks in part to its popularity in the 1920s (and beyond!). Whether you’re an espresso fan or just like your morning cup black, there’s no denying that our love affair with coffee has only grown stronger over time.