Breaking News About the Coffee Break

Written by Lori Thiessen

Well, it’s not really breaking news but I think it is an interesting bit of trivia you can wow your friends and relations with.

Stoughton, Wisconsin is taking credit for being the birthing place of the coffee break in the late 1800’s. The story goes that the wives of the workers at the wagon factory were asked by Mr. Osmond Gunderson, to help sort out the tobacco inventory. The wives agreed but only if they would be allowed to go home, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, to see to their housework. Being good Norwegian women, they all kept a pot of coffee on the warm so when they went home they could have a – you guessed it – cup of hot coffee. Thanks to these Norwegian women of yesteryear, so Stoughton boasts, most workers are entitled to a 15 minute break morning and afternoon.

Stoughton is so proud of this claim to fame that for the past 11 years the town hosts a Coffee Break Festival which provides free coffee to all festival goers, and includes an arts and crafts show as well as an automotive and motorcycle display, entertainment and stuff for the kids.

It seems that people from the Scandinavian countries really enjoy their coffee. I guess if you live in a cold climate, hot drinks are bound to be a hit. But I wonder why coffee in particular and why it became so popular with them. I sense another topic for a post coming on.

My grandmother was Swedish and boy, did she like her coffee. It was devastating to her when her arthritis medication played so much havoc with her stomach that she could not drink coffee anymore. I can’t say that that particular gene has been handed down to me but I do enjoy a well-made cup of coffee after a good meal.

Q: Do you enjoy a cup of coffee at a particular time of day or setting?

Until Next Time,

May Your Coffee Always Be Freshly Brewed!


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