What Time is It? It's Time to Drink Coffee (8 o'clock coffee)


Have you ever wondered why Eight O’Clock Coffee is called Eight O’Clock Coffee? Probably not. Eight O’Clock Coffee is one of those immediately recognizable, iconic supermarket coffee brands, and like other brands, it has a unique story.

Eight O’Clock Coffee was launched in 1859 by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) as a whole-bean coffee. In 1919, A&P-branded coffee got a new name. A&P fielded a survey to find out the most popular times for drinking coffee. It turned out that the most popular times cited were 8 am and 8 pm.

And that’s how Eight O’Clock Coffee got its name.

Apparently, the name change was a good idea. In 1930, Eight O’Clock Coffee became the #1 selling coffee in the United States and maintained that status until around 1950. During that time, Eight O’Clock Coffee became iconic, with solid branding and marketing strategies that set the standard for other companies for years to come.  In 1933, a 25-foot Eight O’Clock Coffee billboard was put up in Times Square so the whole world could witness the majesty of this brand.

In 1979, Eight O’Clock became an international coffee brand, and in 2003, a ground version of the famous Eight O’Clock bean was introduced, and more recently, in 2020, the company introduced K-cups.  

The Eight O’Clock billboard was designed by visionary advertising executive, Douglas Leigh, who is considered the architect of the always-lit, constantly moving, larger-than-life Times Square.

Hailed as the apex of mid-20th century advertising, the steam-spewing Eight O’Clock billboard was the precursor for the hyperreal, 11-600-square foot Times Square that is so brightly lit-up and kinetic that it practically generates its own microclimate, as bright as the brightest day, along with the ever-present frisson of nonstop advertising.

So how does it taste? Eight O’Clock Coffee is a perfectly suitable breakfast coffee. Given its intense depth and neutral disposition, adding a little hazelnut or vanilla bean flavored coffee to the mix makes it just right. So is 8 o’clock still the most popular time to drink coffee in the morning and at night? It depends on who you ask.

Based on current research, it’s better to not drink coffee right away after waking up, because cortisol levels are high at that time. It makes more sense to wait until the period between 9:30 and 11:00 am when cortisol levels plummet. In the afternoon, the period between 1 pm and 5 pm is considered ideal for drinking coffee.

Given the advent of digital technology, it is possible to work at any time of day or night, which means that drinking coffee makes sense whenever you want or need it. That’s why I call it “drinking coffee all the time.”

There is also the issue of cost vs value. According to “Smart Asset,"--"Eight O’Clock Coffee is the #1 cheap coffee brand in the U.S. According to the writer, by Emily Glebler, "Eight O'Clock Coffee has an underground popularity unmatched by any brand on this list. (Note: The list included add here). Not only is is inexpensive, but it's also one of the most beloved coffee brands in the country." 

According to Glebler, Eight O'Clock Coffee costs around $6.28 per pound---15 cents per cup.

In my opinion, if one is trying to save money or be budget-conscious, Eight O'Clock Coffee is the perfect marriage between price and value."

As Warren Buffet has famously said: Price is what you pay; value is what you get.”

Here is a little humor from Jason about the random cost differentials of coffee. 

Enjoy your coffee and have fun soaking in the summer rays!


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