How Coffee Changed History

How Coffee Changed History

Chances are you’ve heard all there is to know about the Boston Tea Party – remember, that event in 1773 when American colonists took over British ships in the Boston Harbor and dumped countless crates of tea into the water to protest unfair taxation?

Well, the Boston Tea Party had another impact on American way of life. Coffee, a beverage that had been around for centuries before the time of the American Revolution, became the new drink of the colonists. One of the most notable Founding Fathers, John Adams, said that while he loved tea, he would embrace coffee – as drinking tea had become vastly unpatriotic! This newfound interest in coffee also changed the way Americans congregated during the Revolution. In fact, while the idea of sitting around a coffeehouse and chatting with friends seems like a relatively new concept, Americans have been doing it for over 200 years!

Merchant’s Coffee House, located in Philadelphia and also known as the City Tavern, wasn’t just a destination in which the locals would order up a cup of brew and read a book – instead, important members of the community, such as influential business, political and maritime figures used the Tavern to host important events, namely the First Continental Congress.

While many people view coffee as a means in which to perk up for the day, it has actually had quite the impact on global development and commerce! Coffeehouses, from even the earliest days of the Revolution, are places where ideas are exchanged and developed over something as simple as a cup of coffee. The birth of American Democracy isn’t the only thing to take place in a coffeehouse, either – according to historian Mark Pendergrast, great works of literature, journalism and even musical composures were realized within the walls of a coffeehouse.