Maxwell House Coffee History:
Legend has it that in 1907 President Teddy Roosevelt visited Maxwell House, prestigious Nashville hotel and after finishing a cup of their namesake coffee, he declared it was, "good to last drop." At least that is what Maxwell House Coffee Company advertised in 1920. While legends are romantic they are rarely accurate. Teddy Roosevelt did indeed visit hotel and probably did have a cup of coffee but there is no evidence that he ever uttered those words. Still, legends are romantic and this one sure sold a lot of coffee.
The story of Maxwell House Coffee begins in rural Kentucky in 1873 when Joel Cheek, a traveling salesman for a wholesale grocery firm was asked by a customer what best coffee that he sold was. In rural areas in 1870ís people bought their coffee green and roasted it at home. He naturally recommended most expensive one, though he knew nothing about differing qualities of coffee.
Whether bothered by his conscience or simply out of curiosity, that night he roasted some of each type of coffee that he sold and sampled them side by side. He decided that actually one of cheaper brands had best flavor. The next day he returned to grocer that had asked him question and explained why he would be shipping him cheaper brand.
Continuing to experiment with different varieties of coffee, Cheek became quite aficionado, recognizing that some brands had better body and some better acidity and yet another better flavor and aroma. He began mixing different coffees together to find just right blend.
Many years passed before he would move to Nashville in 1884 and meet Roger Nolley Smith, a British coffee broker who could reportedly tell origin of a coffee simply by smelling green beans. The two became fast friends bound by their passion for coffee. This friendship would be beginning of Maxwell House Coffee though it would be several more years before either of them knew it.