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Drinking HistoryFifteen Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages$
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Andrew Smith

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231151177

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231151177.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Coffee Experience

The Coffee Experience

(p.233) 15 The Coffee Experience
Drinking History

Andrew F. Smith

Columbia University Press

This chapter details the history of America’s love affair with coffee. Coffee was not a particularly important beverage in colonial America, but for many patriotic Americans, it displaced tea as the beverage of choice during the American War of Independence. Coffee consumption increased in the years after the war. By the 1830s, coffee surpassed tea as America’s hot beverage of choice. The temperance movement also played a role in encouraging coffee consumption. Despite initial concerns with the stimulating qualities of coffee and tea, temperance advocates eventually concluded that these beverages were good alternatives to alcohol. Temperance coffeehouses, or “temperance drinking saloons,” were launched in various cities to counter the ubiquitous bars and taverns. After World War II, as middle-class Americans began traveling abroad—most often to Italy or France—they discovered specially blended, dark-roasted, carefully brewed European-style coffee. Beginning in the 1960s, some specialty stores in the United States began selling “premium” coffee beans with full flavor and exotic names from unusual places. Along with the beans came home roasters, coffee grinders, brewing systems, and a panoply of coffee-making accessories. The remainder of the chapter discusses the emergence of the Starbuck chain and the “Starbucks effect,” i.e. instilling a craving for high-end coffee and speciality coffee drinks.

Keywords:   coffee, coffee shops, brewed coffee, coffee houses, temperance movement

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