The MAin Coffee Trend of the 80s -
And How They Contributed to Today's Coffee Culture
by Jane Duncan, freelance writer
June 10 2021
Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily all over the world. While today’s coffee choices largely revolve around complicated drinks orders and the drive-thrus of well-known coffee giants, it didn’t start out that way. When it comes to coffee trends back in the 1980s, there are a number of different trends that kickstarted the coffee culture we all know and indulge in today.
Top image: Maxwell House coffee mug (UK) from the 1980s. License: CC0 1.0 (public domain) free for reuse.
The popularisation of speciality coffee
An Appreciation for Flavoured Coffee
The Rise of To-Go Lids
Today’s on-the-go coffee culture was also kickstarted in the 80s, and the to-go lid played a major role throughout the decade — particularly in 1984, when the company Solo filed a patent for the “Traveler’s lid”, which revolutionised the way people could take their pick-me-up with them wherever they needed to go.
However, the Traveler’s lid really gained traction with paper cups, which also made a comeback in the 80s due to the decision that then Starbucks owner, Howard Shultz, had to make in 1987. In order to accommodate both the planned expansion for the coffee giant, as well as their specialty drinks, Solo’s Traveler’s lid — which only worked with paper cups — was the most logical choice for the brand, consequently leaving styrene cups in the past.
Coffee is a staple for many of us, with several trends of the 80s still around today. With notable mentions including speciality and flavoured coffee, in addition to the prominent to-go lids, it’s clear to see that innovations in the 80s still play a major role in today’s coffee culture.
Nescafe cylindrical coffee tin from the 1980s (UK) License: CC0 1.0 (public domain)