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Happy National Coffee Day!

national coffee day, coffee break, coffee breaks

The Pause That Awakens: Drink Your Coffee!

What a great way to power through the Wednesday grind: with a celebratory cup of java. Did you know that the coffee break itself is a bona fide American tradition? We have the female Norweigan immigrants of Stoughton, Wisconsin, to thank for that. In 1871 in that town, about 20 miles southeast of Madison, there was a crisis in the workforce: With most of the men laboring in the wagon-building factory, leaders implored the women to lend their hands in the tobacco warehouses. The women agreed, with one stipulation: that they could go home at specific times in the morning and afternoon to drink coffee and get their dinner preparations under way. The custom took off in nearby communities, and before long it had spread around the country. And now, how could we get through the workday without it?

Click here to take in these other interesting coffee tidbits and learn how to get free coffee (!), while you have your coffee break today.

*Participating Dunkin Donuts locations across the country are offering free cups of java today; call yours to find out if it’s one of them.

*You know what goes great with coffee? Cake. Try this upside-down peach gingerbread, this rich chocolate-buttermilk bundt, the perfect coffee cake, and this monkey bread that’s so fun to make with kids.

*Watching your caffeine content? Probably a smart move on National Coffee Day. Who knew that the amount of that stimulant can differ significantly from cup to cup? The folks at the Mayo Clinic, who released the following caffeine statistics (click here for their full caffeine report):

Dunkin’ Donuts, brewed, 16 oz (480 mL) 143-206
Generic brewed, 8 oz (240 mL) 95-200
Generic brewed, decaffeinated, 8 oz (240 mL) 2-12
Generic instant, 8 oz (240 mL) 27-173
Generic instant, decaffeinated, 8 oz (240 mL) 2-12
Starbucks Espresso, 1 oz (30 mL) 58-75
Starbucks Vanilla Latte, 16 oz (480 mL) 150

Photo: Pachd/Royalty Free Stock Photos

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