Coffee, Tea or Me
August 5, 2012 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Where did the phrase "Coffee, tea or me? -- Coffee please" came from?
posted by ivanka to Society & Culture (9 answers total)
I remember the joke from the '70's when flight attendants were called stewardesses, and were supposed to be sex objects.
posted by musofire at 7:17 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I first heard it in Working Girl.
posted by LionIndex at 7:29 AM on August 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

I don't know about the "Coffee please" part -- I dont' think I've ever actually heard that as part of this phrase -- but "Coffee, Tea or Me?" was the title of a 1967 book about airline stewardesses.
posted by Flunkie at 7:30 AM on August 5, 2012 [9 favorites]

This song, "Coffee, Tea or Me," by garage rock band the Fink Munck IX was allegedly recorded in 1964. So it goes back at least that far.
posted by mcmile at 8:28 AM on August 5, 2012

There was a book, and I always figured the line had its origin there.
posted by jquinby at 8:37 AM on August 5, 2012

Yeah, this comes from the so-called swingin' '60s or thereabouts, when "stews" were all assumed to be cute little sexpots who loved having one-night-stands with passengers, and all-too-often in that far more sexist era were treated (by both the airlines and male passengers) as some sort perk of flying. Picture some middle-aged businessman (and back then it would be assumed to be a businessman, not woman, 'cause she's home baking a cake!), anyhow picture him with a perky young 'girl' bending over in her miniskirt and asking him if he'd like coffee or tea --- with the implication that "or me?" was also asked.....

"Stewardesses" were uniformly young and female, and were hired and fired based far more on their height, weight and age than their abilities to do more than smile pretty and pour drinks. Got married? Fired. Gained a couple pounds? Fired. Hit age 30? Fired. Thank heaven for modern flight attendants, to whom your health and safety is far more important than getting the dude in seat 7E another beer!
posted by easily confused at 10:28 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

As additional information, this is widely regarded to have been the result not just of the rampant sexism of the era, but also of regulated airline prices, forcing them to compete based on this variety of... "service."
posted by Navelgazer at 12:02 PM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

The author Donald Bain has had a long history as writer, and is chiefly known for the TV show Murder, She Wrote.
posted by BWA at 12:37 PM on August 5, 2012

I searched Google books and can't find the construction occurring at all in any books before the 1967 one already cited.
posted by Miko at 8:46 PM on August 5, 2012

« Older Is everyone who grooms the ladygarden secretly...   |   What do cats do when the Greys come for the humans... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.