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Coffee Origins

The fascinating history of NESCAFÉ®

5 mins

NESCAFÉ® is found on shelves and countertops around the world. It’s a reliable source of inspiration, one you can turn to time and time again to make the most of your mornings with or without friends. It’s almost as if NESCAFÉ® has always been there, ready to deliver its wonderful rich taste, known and loved world-wide. But it was not always this way; NESCAFÉ®'s history is as inspiring as any great cup of coffee.

NESCAFÉ® history

The idea of instant coffee

The story begins in 1929, when Louis Dapples, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nestlé received a very special request from Brazil. In order to combat the enormous coffee surplus in the country, it was proposed that Nestlé create a coffee product that was quick to make and also reduced the amount of unnecessary waste from Brazil's coffee bean harvests.

Initially, the idea was to manufacture a cube-shaped coffee tablet, one that simply needed hot water added for an instant brew. However, after a significant amount of research, the iconic flavour couldn’t be retained, meaning the tablet format wasn’t viable. With this idea ruled out, the chemist Max Morgenthaler went back to the drawing board.

NESCAFÉ® coffee history

The NESCAFÉ® brand is born

Morgenthaler had the idea of creating a powder rather than a cube, and he discovered that the flavour was best retained when carbohydrates were added to the product, producing a result much more similar to that of coffee beans. After 7 years of careful development, this soluble coffee was launched in Switzerland under the NESCAFÉ® name. The new product was an instant hit so to speak, with the yearly reserves selling out in a mere 2 months. By 1940, NESCAFÉ® was sold in more than 30 countries, on every continent. But this was just the beginning of NESCAFÉ®’s story and exciting developments were still ahead…

NESCAFÉ® coffee history

In the early 2000s, NESCAFÉ® began a journey to be one of the most sustainable coffee brands in the world, leading to the launch of Fairtrade certified NESCAFÉ® Partners Blend in 2005 - a world first.

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World War II brought a different battle

With the outbreak of World War II NESCAFÉ® instant coffee was included in the emergency rations of every US soldier. When the war came to an end in 1945, NESCAFÉ®, was added to CARE packages for populations in need across Europe and Japan, which was a key turning point in NESCAFÉ® history.

nescafe coffee history

Rise of competitors

It was only natural for competitors to emerge, due to the increased popularity of the product. In order to stay ahead, NESCAFÉ® continued to innovate. In the early 1950s, the discovery was made that the flavour-protecting carbohydrates – previously found in glucose solution – could be extracted straight from the coffee bean, resulting in a much richer product.

The fascinating history of NESCAFÉ®

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