For hundreds of years, if someone ordered coffee, there was no question about what kind. Today, many Americans prefer their coffee decaffeinated. That choice began at the start of the last century, when Ludwig Roselius, a coffee merchant in Bremen, Germany, worked on removing caffeine from coffee beans. He described his process as “sans caffeine,” which he shortened to the familiar name “Sanka.” He moved to the U.S., and sold his process and trade name to a big firm in the 1930s, which made “Sanka” a household name. Today, there’s not only a decision to make about regular and decaf, but latte, cappuccino, and espresso. In all its forms, Americans drink an average of just over 23 gallons of coffee each year. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
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