Drink Coasters I – A Short History

One of the indispensable heroes of working desk or coffee table the drinking coasters. These small, flat companions serve a far greater purpose than merely catching errant drips. In a world of ever-evolving beverage choices and a desire for stylish home or office decor, drinking coasters are experiencing a renaissance. This blog delves into the history and significance of drink coasters, which have become a vital element of daily routines and hosting etiquette.

Drink coasters, also known as “beer mats,” have been a drink’s trusty companion for centuries, initially designed for decanters and wine bottles to prevent condensation and heat damage. The history of coasters began in Germany, with their invention attributed to a sawmill operation in 1757, but they took their modern form in the 1880s when Friedrich Horn’s print shop produced the first “beermats” from cardboard. Robert Sputh patented beer mats in 1892, using liquefied wood pulp.

The term “coaster” can be traced back to 1570s ships trading along the coast, and it evolved into “bottle coasters,” which were round wheeled trays designed to hold decanters and “coasted” around the table to serve drinks during dinner. Beermats adopted the name “coasters” in 1913, a more universal term not limited to beer, making them adaptable to the booming soda industry.

According to etymonline.com, the word ‘coaster’ had a usage meaning ‘tabletop drink mat’ to protect a wooden table surface from condensation by 1913. This usage extended from ‘bottle-coaster,’ which referred to a ‘low, round tray used for a decanter’ in 1874. Originally, coasters were on wheels, and they were likely called ‘coasters’ because they ‘coasted’ around the perimeter of the table, serving each guest in turn after dinner.

It is not a surprise that coasters turned into collectable items. Drink coasters have been used as effective promotional items for over a century, with bars, restaurants, and drink companies imprinting their logos on them, often turning them into collectibles. Notably, the New York Library Association’s 2014 marketing effort involved distributing 2,500 custom coasters, leading to legislators seeing the message and restoring $4 million in library funding, illustrating the broader impact of these seemingly simple items.

Drink coasters have since become an integral part of domestic and hosting customs, offering functionality and style in various materials and designs. At Woodsaka, we design and craft wooden coasters that are perfect for both your office and home tables. Our collection offers two distinct coaster sets, each tailored to complement various aesthetics. We understand that materials are pivotal in determining the appearance and functionality of coasters, which is why we take pride in using natural, elegant walnut wood for our coaster production. With these two unique wooden coaster sets, we aim to cater to a wide range of practical and aesthetic needs. We are confident that our coasters will not only protect your furniture, but also bring a touch of sophistication to your living or working space. Join us in celebrating these essential pieces that seamlessly merge form and function, enhancing the art of beverage enjoyment.

One of these sets is the Rita Coaster Set with 8 Pieces Walnut Woods, a functional and beautifully crafted addition to your tabletop essentials. What sets the Rita Coaster Set apart is its thoughtful design, fitting seamlessly into your living or working space. Housed in a box with a lid, measuring 9.7cm x 9.7cm x 9.6cm (h), it provides not only a stylish storage solution but also practicality. The open side of the box allows for easy access, enabling you to retrieve one coaster at a time without the fuss of removing the entire set. Thanks to this unique feature, the Rita Coaster Set ensures that as one coaster is taken, the next effortlessly takes its place, offering unparalleled convenience for your beverage enjoyment. Crafted from rich walnut wood and meticulously finished with natural oil, these coasters exude warmth and elegance.

At Woodsaka, we’ve made it our mission to design high-quality office accessories that seamlessly combine practicality with a touch of elegance. In today’s world, as a part of desk organization, coasters have emerged as essential companions for beverages, gracing coffee tables, work desks, and dining tables alike. These unassuming desk accessories serve as silent guardians, safeguarding surfaces from the extremes of temperature and communicating the status of your drinks. Coasters play a pivotal role in shielding your furniture against unsightly marks from hot beverages and the moisture left behind by cold ones. Our coasters, crafted from the timeless warmth of walnut wood, don’t just protect; they elevate any table with their unique design, making them a chic and functional addition to your living or working space.

To be continued.

  • You can read the other parts of the article series here:

Drink Coasters II – Tegestology