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A coffee plantation in the mountains


Great coffee since 1938



In 1929, Nestlé was challenged to help preserve the surplus coffee beans in Brazil that resulted from the Wall Street Crash. And Nestlé accepted the challenge.


Our coffee specialist, Max Morgenthaler, was on a mission to create a delicious cup of coffee simply by adding water. Max and his team worked hard to find a new way to make instant coffee that would retain the coffee’s natural flavour. In 1938, they found the answer, and NESCAFÉ was born. Named by using the first three letters in Nestlé and suffixing it with ‘café’, NESCAFÉ became the new name in coffee.



Find out more about our history.

Great Coffee Since 1938

We’ve been through so much since 1938, so let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see our highlights throughout history.

Tin of Nescafe instant coffee from 1938

The Founding Factory

Here’s a picture from 1959 of our factory in Orbe, Switzerland. This factory has been with us from the start, producing our products since we started it all back in 1938.

Man inspecting roasted coffee beans in Orbe factory in 1959

Classy Glass

Up until the 1960s NESCAFÉ was only available in tins. Then in 1961, we launched our very first glass jar, in Japan. It was a huge success and helped position NESCAFÉ as a premium product. So in 1962, we decided to launch the glass jar in Europe too.

Nescafe First Coffee Jar

Going For Gold

Here’s one of the original adverts for NESCAFÉ GOLD BLEND, one of our classic premium blends of instant coffee. It was first launched in the mid-1960s in Germany, France and here in the UK.

Nescafé Gold Blend advert from the 1960s

Instant Success!

This 1930s Swiss newspaper advert played on the speed and ease of making a NESCAFÉ. And it worked. NESCAFÉ was an instant success. Never before had making coffee been so convenient, fast and easy.

Nescafé Swiss newspaper advert from 1930s

The World’s Favourite Coffee


When we first launched NESCAFÉ in Switzerland on 1 April 1938, it was predicted to be a huge success. But then WWII started in 1939. During the war, NESCAFÉ was a staple in the food rations of the US forces, and they loved it. Quick, easy and delicious coffee.


After the war, NESCAFÉ was exported to France, UK and the US, and the American troops became our brand ambassadors, spreading their love of NESCAFÉ.


During the rest of the 1940s, the popularity of NESCAFÉ grew.


Today, NESCAFÉ is enjoyed in over 180 countries and has become the world’s favourite coffee.

On Top of the World

This photo was taken in 1953, during the record-breaking expedition to Mount Everest with Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, and a trusty little tin of NESCAFÉ.

On Top of the World

To the Moon and Back

In 1969, NESCAFÉ joined the crew of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, in their pioneering mission. The first coffee to land on the moon.

To the Moon and Back

Coffee Grown Respectfully

We’re here to help coffee lovers everywhere. So we created the NESCAFÉ Plan. It’s a way to help coffee farmers make a better living; support local communities; inspire the next generation of farmers; and do so without damaging our planet. It’s a long journey, but we’ve got the roadmap and we’re already on the way.

The Nescafé Grown Respectfully logo