David Bowie And Kurt Vonnegut Invited You To Join The Coffee Achievers Club In 1983

In 1983, The National Coffee Association (NCA) invited you to join the ‘The Coffee Achievers’, a band of high-quality successful people who through the power of coffee had percolated to the very top of society. Coffee makes us talkative, thoughtful and sociable. And in 1983 it made us winners.

 

coffee love

 

Founded in 1911, The National Coffee Association bills itself as one of the earliest trade associations formed in the United States, helping American coffee companies through some of the most volatile periods in the nation’s history, “including two world wars, a depression, a cold war and numerous frosts, strikes and cartels, not to mention a wide range of consumer trends in the U.S. coffee market.”

 

AMy Winehouse advert coffee

Amy Winehouse mock-up advert coffee (David Redon)

 

It also had to deal with coffee that was routinely revolting. In the 1980s, as the NCA was nearing the end of its fight against the Cold War attention turned to other threats to its perky buzz: aerobics, the public health industry, cocaineGrace Slick, Snapple Tru Root Beer, feminism, MTV and more cocaine.

 

 

UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 18: Poster showing different sorts of legal addictive drugs: caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and prescription medicines. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

Poster showing different sorts of legal addictive drugs: caffeine, tobacco, alcohol and prescription medicines. (UK – 1980)

 

In the 1980s, your coffee order really only had two options: regular or decaf. Then it was on to decide on cream or sugar. Now we can still elect to go simple, but the number of options can be headache inducing: “I’ll have one sugar-free, nonfat, no-whip, split-double upside-down soy milk caramel macchiato, please.” How could coffee be cool and see off the twin threats of health and soda?

Simple. The NCA would create an advert featuring David Bowie, Heart, quarterback Ken Anderson, Cicely Tyson, Jane Curtain, Jeff Lynn and Kurt Vonnegut. What cool kids don’t want to be like them?

 

1674, A 'women's petition' against the debilitating effects of drinking coffee, the stimulating hot beverage containing caffeine. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

1674, A ‘women’s petition’ against the debilitating effects of drinking coffee, the stimulating hot beverage containing caffeine. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

 

Coffee had a rich history of being edgy. It was the brew of the subversive and hip.

 

Young Mods Ray and Jenny holding hands in a cafe in London, 1964. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

Young Mods Ray and Jenny holding hands in a coffee bar in London, 1964. (Photo by John Pratt/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

 

And coffee would be cool once more: