How A Tea Party Ignited A Coffee Revolution
The Boston Tea Party is one of the most significant events that shaped America's coffee culture. In 1773, British Parliament passed a series of laws known as the Intolerable Acts to punish colonists for their rebellion against authority. The law taxed tea and other goods shipped from England to America, so merchants in Boston refused to pay it. This led to a protest on December 16th where they threw 342 chests of tea into the harbor! After this event, Americans relied more heavily on coffee which was considered a more patriotic choice. Coffeehouses were popular meeting places for intellectuals and politicians alike during this time period including Thomas Jefferson who wrote about how much he enjoyed his morning cup in his diary!
Coffee was also popular among the Revolutionary camps. Soldiers relied on coffee to stay alert while fighting during the day, and they drank it to keep warm at night. When George Washington realized that his soldiers were getting sick from drinking bad water in 1777, he created a "secret" recipe for an all-purpose medicinal drink made of boiled rye mixed with chicory—a plant used as a coffee substitute because there was a scarcity of coffee in America at the time. He added molasses and sugar to give it flavor, and he ordered his soldiers to drink one pint every morning. Washington even served this concoction himself when entertaining foreign dignitaries such as Count Rochambeau from France during their campaign in 1781.
Coffee was so important to the war efforts that it was even used as a form of currency during the Revolution. When Washington's Continental Army occupied New York, they were unable to pay for their food supplies with money because there was none! Instead, soldiers traded coffee beans and other goods until after the battle of Saratoga when American forces prevailed.
Coffee is now one of America's most popular beverages, and it has become part of our daily routine for many people around the nation. We drink it every day to wake us up in the morning along with breakfast, throughout work breaks as an energy boost, after dinner with dessert (or without), and at many other times of the day. It is estimated that Americans spend more than $40 billion on coffee every year, which proves how important it has become in our country's history!