Pastor's Blog

Red E Coffee | "A Holiday Thought"

You might ask what does that have to do with an I’m Just SOOOOOOOO Thanksgiving Week church bulletin. Actually, with this bulletin it means a lot. In 1969 I was working with a construction crew on a secret project at General Foods Plant in the East End of Houston. The project was a new process for making instant coffee, which was not new at that time. It had been an experi- mentation for many years. The English and Japanese had attempted to develop it as far back as the 1770’s.

In 1909 was when the first mass production of instant coffee is recorded. This occurred in America and was done by an American inventor who immigrated from Belgium. His name was George Constant Louis Washington (1871-1946), and he made the product after seeing (when he was in Guatemala) coffee powder that had deposited on the spout of a a silver coffee pot. Many consid- ered the taste quite unsatisfactory, but Washington named it Red E Coffee and began marketing it in 1909.

An American soldier in World War I writes this letter from the trenches, “I am very happy despite the rats, the rain, the mud, the draughts, the roar of the cannon, and the scream of shells. It takes only a minute to light my little oil heater and make some George Washington Coffee. Every night I offer up a special petition to the health and well-being of Mr. Washington.”

By now you are probably asking what is my point? In 1969 the project was a new process of producing Maxwell House Instant Coffee. Over the years, I have driven by that plant loving the smell of cooking coffee and wondering how many cups of coffee came out of that plant that is still producing even today? Hot water and Maxwell House, “Good To The Last Drop Coffee”! Every time I drink a cup of instant coffee, I think about those cold, hot, and rainy days on that construction site. I also am aware that I was only a small part of something that has brought pleasure to millions of people. Putting this into perspective, I have a scar on my forehead, a 90 stitch scar in my mouth and gums, and false teeth along with it. All this is from working around that plant. As you drank your instant coffee this morning, I may have made an investment in that warm cup that cost you no more that a few pennies. So it is with the work of God. We all benefit from the investments of others, whether we realize it or not. Thank you for whatever you do to make Heritage a place where people benefit from your investment in the lives of others. Even a small participation becomes great in the overall scheme of things.


Your Loving Pastors, Cleddie and GayNell

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