A coffee break in the United States and elsewhere is a short mid-morning rest period granted to employees in business and industry. An afternoon coffee break, or afternoon tea, often occurs as well.
The coffee break originated in the late 19th century in Stoughton, Wisconsin, with the wives of Norwegian immigrants. The city celebrates this every year with the Stoughton Coffee Break Festival. In 1951, Time noted that
The term subsequently became popular through a Pan-American Coffee Bureau ad campaign of 1952 which urged consumers, “Give yourself a Coffee-Break – and Get What Coffee Gives to You” John B. Watson, a behavioral psychologist who worked with Maxwell House later in his career, helped to popularize coffee breaks within the American culture.