I was lucky to grow up having two doting grandmas. Although they differed in their child-rearing ways, they loved me. However, my maternal grandma had no problem serving me a delicious cup of milky, watered-down Sanka. My paternal grandma didn't believe small children should be drinking coffee. She sternly told me so during a visit when she asked what I'd like to drink and my reply was, "Coffee with milk and sugar please."
When I was five, we lived with my maternal grandparents while my folks looked for a house in the town my mother grew up in. I felt so grown up sipping my coffee and watching the morning news with my grandparents while my folks were running errands or getting ready for work. Sometimes I even prepared my coffee all by myself. I'd take the small orange Sanka packet and carefully tear it and watch the dark crystals collect at the bottom of my cup. Grandma would pour the hot water. I'd watch as the water magically turn a deep, dark brown. We added lots of milk and a spoonful of white sugar (before the days of Equal, Splenda, Sugar in the Raw and Stevia).
Today, I still enjoy a hot cup of coffee, but thanks to my husband's obsession with the bolder the better, I can only drink dark and bold blends of coffee. However, a part of me longs for that little orange packet. Sanka was weak and today is no longer part of my morning routine. Though strong are the memories of the old house on Corona that stay with me always.
Five Facts About Sanka Coffee
1. Sanka was 97% caffeine free.
2. Sanka was first marketed in the US in 1923.
3. Sanka was first served exclusively in two Sanka brand coffee houses in New York.
4. Sanka was a sponsor of I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith Show in the fifties and sixties.
5. Coffee pots with orange handles can be found in diners all over America. Orange continues to symbolize "Decaf" because of our association with Sanka's orange packaging.
Sanka is still available and sold under the Maxwell House brand. Find it here at Walmart.
View old Sanka commercials here:
Check out a very young Facts of Life Charlotte Rae in the above commercial.
*Sources for facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanka
*The above blog post does not reflect a connection with the Sanka brand or advertising in any way.