Profile America: Sanka — “Sans Caffeine” Coffee

sanka-coffeeThursday, September 29 — International Coffee Day is just two days away, but for all of coffee’s historic popularity, some otherwise appreciative consumers respond poorly to its caffeine jolt. The solution dates to early in the 20th Century, when Ludwig Roselius, a coffee merchant in Bremen, Germany, succeeded in removing caffeine from coffee beans. He moved to the U.S. before World War I, and received his U.S. patent this month in 1908. He described his process as “sans caffeine,” which he shortened to the familiar name “Sanka.” Available in stores beginning in 1923, Roselius sold his process and trade name to General Mills in the 1930s, which made “Sanka” a household name. Outside the home, Americans spend over $13 billion annually in the nation’s 19,000 coffee shops. Profile America is in its 20th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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