Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Thoughts On Coffee. . .anybody remember Sanka (TM)?

I was reading a novel the other day by Carl Hiaasen entitled "Star Island" when it mentioned that someone had Sanka (TM) coffee in their pantry.

When was the last time you've heard that brand mentioned? I mean we're so fancy now that we don't drink anything instant much anymore, unless we're stuck at a motel or visiting someone who just doesn't know what real coffee is, right? So, it got me to wondering if Sanka even existed anymore. Turns out it does. And then being my usual curious self, I wanted to know more and so I turned to our good friend, Wikipedia, and here's what it says about Sanka (TM).

"Sanka is a brand of decaffeinated coffee, sold around the world, and was one of the earliest decaffeinated varieties.[citation needed] Sanka is distributed in the United States by Kraft Foods.

Decaffeinated coffee was developed in 1903 by a team of researchers led by Ludwig Roselius in Bremen, Germany. It was first sold in Germany and many other European countries in 1905–1906 under the name "Kaffee HAG". In France, the brand name became "Sanka", derived from the French words sans cafĂ©ine ("without caffeine"). The brand came to the United States in 1909–1910, where it was first marketed under the name "Dekafa" or "Dekofa" by an American sales agent.

In 1914, Roselius founded his own company, Kaffee Hag Corporation, in New York. When Kaffee Hag was confiscated by the Alien Property Custodian during World War I and sold to an American firm, Roselius lost not only his company, but also the American trademark rights to the name. To re-establish his product, he began to use the Sanka brand name in America.

In Europe, the Hag company used the Sanka brand in many countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland amongst others) as a cheaper alternative to the premium brand Coffee Hag. The brand disappeared in these countries after World War II, but it continued until the 1970s as the premium brand in France. First marketed in the United States in 1923, Sanka was initially sold only at two Sanka Coffee Houses in New York, but it soon was brought into retail."

Apparently Kraft(R) still makes it.

Aren't you glad you asked?

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