Did you know that coffee played a big part in the creation of the independent nation we know as the United States of America?
Drinking tea each day, just like in England, was still a very regular activity in the 1700's. In fact, King George III figured that tea drinking was such a part of everyday colony life that it was a perfect avenue for additional taxation. It was thought that the colonists would pay the additional tax rather than lose their daily cup of tea. Little did he know he was about to spark a revolution.
In the 1760's, many increased taxes were imposed on Americans. England introduced the "Tea Act" which granted a monopoly to one importer and also established a taxation precedent that would forever allow parliament to arbitrarily set tax rates on tea. The colonists would not stand for this and when the next three ships carrying tea arrived, they were not allowed to deliver their cargoes.
The Boston Tea Party
The whole struggle came to a head in mid December 1773 when a force of colonists, dressed up as Mohawk Indians, boarded the three boats and dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. This protest later became known as the Boston Tea Party, but it also sparked an anti-tea (read anti-British) sentiment in the colonies. From this point forward it was deemed unpatriotic to drink tea and coffee houses started to appear in every city.
A New National Drink
Coffee was eagerly embraced by the patriots of the day as it showed a symbolic rejection of the English practice of drinking tea. This sentiment became so pervasive that Coffee was declared the National Drink of the Colonized United States by the Continental Congress.
Coffee remained popular, but it was the embargo of the tea trade by Britain following the War of 1812 that cemented America’s relationship with daily coffee. During this time coffee became a part of American Culture that has endured to today.