Home Coffee product The president who allegedly helped Maxwell House coffee get its slogan

The president who allegedly helped Maxwell House coffee get its slogan


Various iterations of the story of President Roosevelt’s cafe exist, but the story gets a bit fuzzy after its original telling. According to the story, President Roosevelt visited the Maxwell House Hotel in 1907 and, after tasting the hotel’s signature brand of coffee, enthusiastically declared it “good to the last drop” (via Culinary Lore). The Tennessee State Museum says the story is likely a myth, but has nonetheless been widely used in Maxwell House marketing campaigns. However, the Kraft Heinz company is still carrying on the story, telling it as part of the Kraft Foods Group story in a 2014 press release.

A deeper dive reveals President Roosevelt’s personal connection to coffee. The Smithsonian Magazine notes that Roosevelt was a heavy coffee drinker from an early age, receiving strong coffee to help relieve severe asthma. His adult children adopted his lifelong habit, together launching the Brazilian Coffee House on West 44th Street in New York’s Theater District, which became the “it” place for gatherings of journalists, artists, performers. renowned theater and musicians.

When the family’s interest shifted to other businesses in the late 1920s, the Maxwell House Company expressed interest in purchasing the coffee business from the Roosevelt clan. It was not to be, and the Maxwell House hotel met its demise on Christmas night in 1961 when it burst into a fury of flames, according to the Tennessean. But the famous cafe, the famous president, and the dubiously infamous phrase survive in American legend.