Coffee has been at the forefront of many political and social conflicts. To this day, economies are built, destroyed, and rebuilt over coffee beans. One of the most fascinating coffee upheavals included the American Founding Fathers and a rowdy Bostonian called Samuel Adams (yes, the beer man). It was December 16 of 1773. A day well remembered by patriots as the Boston Tea Party, an event that marked the beginning of the end of British colonialism over America and the start of a quite special bond between Americans and the drink tea was replaced by -coffee.
These were the days before fair-trade and anti-slavery movements had really taken force, but yet, all these revolutionary Americans recognized the value of understanding the investment in generic products such as tea or coffee. They understood that something as normal and ordinary as buying tea was fueling a system they considered unfair and oppressive, and they took control of the matter.
There was a strong marketing effort to help Americans transition from tea to coffee. As much as they were politically allied, I am sure more than one heart broke watching all that good tea spill. Remember that this happened in mid-December and the people of Boston still had a long winter ahead. How were they supposed to do it without a hot drink? For their comfort, there’s records of Thomas Jefferson referring to coffee as “The favorite drink of the civilized world.”, George Washington grew some beans in Mount Vernon (those bushes are still flourishing), and John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail saying “Tea must be universally renounced and I must be weaned, and the sooner the better.”
There is a claim suggesting that the Sons of Liberty used to gather at the Green dragon, a tavern and coffeehouse, and it was here where many of the revolutionary plans were brainstormed.
It took longer for coffee to establish itself in America. Teddy Roosevelt helped popularize the drink in New York, immigrants served it at their homes and restaurants, and there’s stories about cowboys buying raw coffee beans and roasting them at home (which was the norm for colonial Americans). Nonetheless, through time, coffee has cemented itself deep into the American identity.