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Feb 20

Maxim freeze dried coffee

10-16-68-freeze-dried-coffe.jpgOctober 16, 1968

 Rejoice all you bleary eyed coffee addicts; throw the percolator away now that freeze-dried coffee is here.
The 1960′s were the high water mark of the better eating through science era. Tang, Space Food Sticks, Spam, if it wasn’t processed it wasn’t food.

Maxwell House bought a full-page advertisement in the T-T to announce to the world their breakthrough techno food. All you need is a hotplate and a coffee cup to make coffee. A spoon was optional, journalists could use their metal pica rulers. (Microwave ovens would not come into common usage for at least a decade.)
The copywriter for the ad loved hyperbole, underlines and an italic font for emphasis. Here are the first few lines in all their breathless goodness.

 

Maxwell House® Announces

Freeze-Dried

Coffee

Now, an entirely new process called freeze-drying actually makes it possible for you to brew real percolated coffee…without a percolator!

Maxim® is an entirely new form of coffee.
Maxim is crystals of real percolated coffee. Concentrated crystals with the power to turn every cup in your house into a percolator!

The ad outlines the science for several paragraphs. Today is an era where science is often under attack. I can’t remember the last non-medical/non-chemical company ad campaign that featured someone in a lab coat working to make my life better. Even the oil companies now use pictures of wildflowers, children playing and windmills to sell the chemicals we pump into our cars.

My favorite lines are in the next to last section.

The real miracle happens in your cup. The moment you add hot water Maxim’s concentrated crystals explode into real percolated coffee.
Maxim actually turns every cup in your house into a percolator! No pots. No grounds. No instant taste!

Every cup is now a percolator? Even my plastic ducky cup? Doesn’t everyone want to witness an exploding miracle to start the day off? Does the economic bail out package include something for percolator makers?
I guess all this opinionating cost me the Maxim sponsorship.
Today trends pour the other way; coffee houses on every corner offer fresh drip and the brands of fresh ground coffee outnumber the freeze-dried varieties on the shelf.
Time to walk across the street and get a real cup of coffee.

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