(WYTV) – Why do coffee pots holding decaf coffee have an orange spout and handle?
Just like the orange on a traffic cone, the color has become a signal both to the people who drink coffee and the servers who pour it.
But the shade isn’t there because it catches your eye. Orange is a piece of branding left over from the original makers of decaf coffee.
Decaffeinated coffee first arrived in America in 1923 from a German company Sanka.
Sanka is a combination word: sans, meaning without and caffeine.
Sanka sold its coffee in stores in glass jars with orange labels.
The bright packaging was the company’s way of standing out, and because it was the first decaffeinated coffee brand to reach American tables, consumers started looking for the color when shopping for decaf.
In 1932, General Foods bought Sanka and to spread the word about decaf coffee, the company sent orange Sanka coffee pots to coffee shops and restaurants around the country.
Even if the waiters weren’t used to serving two types of coffee, the distinct orange color of the pot made it easy to tell decaf from regular.
The plan was such a success that orange eventually became synonymous not just with Sanka, but all decaf coffee.