The Sad Reason Why Tom Hanks Keeps Buying New Coffee Machines for the White House Press Gallery

The American actor, filmmaker, and comedian Tom Hanks is no stranger to the White House. In his decades spent in the spotlight, he visited the White House during several different presidencies. During one of those trips, he felt compelled to purchase a new coffee maker for the press gallery, and the tradition never stopped. 

An espresso machine donated by actor Tom Hanks in the correspondents room of the White House | Anne Walters/picture alliance via Getty Images

Hank’s first invitation to stay at the White House came during President Bill Clinton’s administration. He was invited to stay in the Lincoln Bedroom as an overnight guest. The star also visited during George W. Bush’s administration and President Barack Obama’s.

The Toy Story actor does not remember during which trip he went into the press gallery. He believes it was sometime in the 90s when he noticed the worn-out coffee machine.

President Barack Obama and actor Tom Hanks
U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Academy Award winner, filmmaker and social justice advocate Tom Hanks | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“I went back and saw their coffee area, this sad little Mr. Coffee drip kind of thing,” he said to In Depth with Graham Bensinger. “I said ‘I’m going to send you a decent coffee machine.'”  

After he left the White House, he made good on his promise and sent an excellent, new coffee machine specifically for the press gallery. Then he continued the tradition by sending a newer model every few years.

Hanks sent an espresso machine during the Trump administration

In March 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump took office, Hanks thought it was time for another update to the White House press gallery coffee area. According to the Washington Post, he sent a fancy new model, “I thought, ‘probably time to re-up.'” The machine also came with a typewritten note.

“Keep up the good fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Especially the Truth part,” the note read above the actor’s signature.

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According to CNN anchor Jake Tapper, this was the third espresso machine that Hanks had sent in the past few years. The actor feels that the press needs excellent coffee to give the news to the American people.

Will Hanks send a new espresso machine to the White House during Biden’s presidency?

It’s been almost four years since the actor gifted a new espresso machine to the White House press gallery. President Biden promises to reinstate daily press briefings. So, it sounds like it might be time for Hanks to send in a new espresso machine in 2021.

Hopefully, he’ll mention his tradition during the Tom Hanks Inauguration Day Special on Jan. 20, at 8:30 p.m. EST. Otherwise, we will have to wait for an update from reporters about the next installment of Hanks’ gift of coffee makers in the White House.