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Salariées Kabioca s'accordant une pause-café

Coffee break: where does it come from?

What are the origins of coffee breaks?


It’s back to school time ! After a long summer break, it’s time to get back to the office. And with the office comes the traditional coffee break in the company cafeteria. But do you know where this famous coffee break, an essential element of team cohesion, comes from ? Let’s discover the origins of the coffee break ! 


The origin 


Today, three-quarters of the world’s workers drink at least one coffee during their working day, and almost half of us start our working day with this famous beverage ! A popular moment for all employees, the coffee pause is an opportunity to discuss issues with office colleagues and pass on information in a relaxed atmosphere. In short, the coffee break is good for employees and management alike. So, while many French people indulge in this little gustatory and social pleasure every day, let’s take a look back at the beginnings of the coffee break.


The early days


The coffee break, which originated in Stoughton, Wisconsin, dates back to the 19th century. Although coffee is now the second most widely consumed beverage in the world after water, it didn’t always have good press (unlike tea, which was associated with the aristocracy). Initially considered a popular drink, brought by Norwegian immigrants, its advent dates back to 1952.

It was at this time that the Pan-American Coffee Bureau boosted the beverage’s popularity with a vast advertising campaign and its famous slogan “Give yourself a coffee-break and get what coffee gives to you”. In its advertising, Pan-American Coffee Bureau used the short break taken by factory workers and renamed it “Coffee break”.

This campaign, like the one initiated by the American psychosociologist John B. Watson (who had worked with Maxwell House), had a very positive effect and encouraged many companies to give their employees a coffee break.

Initially, it was factory workers who benefited from short coffee breaks, but these became a trend in American companies as trade unions gained ground in granting employees moments of relaxation.


Coffee break in France


In France, 7 out of 10 people drink coffee every day at the office. This proves that coffee breaks are an important part of the working day for employees.

Various statistical studies have been carried out on this subject. For example, a study carried out by IFOP for the Nespresso Business Solutions brand shows that employees in France consume at least 3 cups of coffee a day, and that for 84% of them, the coffee break remains a ritual essential to their well-being. What’s more, “90% of employees surveyed believe that a quality coffee is proof of the attention the company pays to their well-being“.

In addition, the study on employee drinking habits carried out by LH2 and Market Vision, also for Nespresso, explains that 44% of those surveyed can’t do without the morning coffee pause, compared with 40% for the early afternoon post-lunch coffee. The mid- or late-afternoon coffee break, on the other hand, wins only 23% of votes.


The benefits of Coffee Break in the workplace


You’d think that these breaks would be detrimental to productivity, but the opposite is true ! In fact, these 5-10 minute breaks boost efficiency, creativity and well-being at work for many employees. It’s also worth noting that these moments shared between employees help to strengthen social bonds and thus team cohesion. What’s more, coffee breaks also play a role in the transmission of skills and know-how, through the exchange of ideas that can take place during these periods of the day.

What could be more convivial and energizing than getting together with colleagues, in a less formal setting, to discuss current assignments over a good cup of coffee? What’s more, while caffeine provides a significant energy boost to optimize attention, a coffee break with colleagues allows you to clear your head, discuss your hobbies and talk about anything and everything. It strengthens the sense of belonging to the company and breaks down hierarchical barriers, while providing an opportunity for decision-making and problem-solving.

If you have a Nespresso coffee machine, make the most of the back-to-school season by trying our organic Daily Espresso or our organic Ristretto Intenso. As well as acting as an eco-citizen, you’ll be introducing your colleagues to Kabioca coffees.

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