History of coffee in America

History of coffee

There are different opinions about history of coffee and who first brought coffee to the New World. Some researchers argue that the Dutch originally brought coffee beans to North America. This fact took place in 1660 in New Amsterdam. Four years later it was captured by the British and renamed New York. At the same time, there is indirect evidence that coffee could have been brought to America as early as 1607. At least on Captain John Smith’s ship that transported English settlers to Jamestown, Virginia, a wooden pestle and a mortar for grinding coffee beans were in the cargo list.

First coffee importers

The first importers of coffee to North America in history are Dorothy Jones, who opened a coffee shop in Boston, and William Penn, who began trading coffee beans in New York in 1683.

It was during this period that Americans began to form the habit of drinking coffee in the morning instead of the widespread drinking of beer at breakfast.

Already by 1670, coffee houses appeared in many cities of the New World: Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, Norfolk and other localities. In 1691, London Coffee House and Gatheridge Coffee House were opened in Boston and quickly became popular. The famous Green Dragon cafe was also opened there, in which the leaders of the uprising against the tyranny of the English monarch gathered. In addition, it was in Boston that the largest coffee exchange was located.

First coffee shops

The first coffee houses in the New World were created in the image and likeness of coffee establishments in England. In addition to coffee, they offered their visitors whiskey, gin, rum, beer, tea or hot chocolate, as well as various dishes for those who wanted a hearty meal.

In 1872, England again decided to increase duties on the import of goods into the United States. And this time not only for tea, but also for coffee, which made the prices for these products in America simply unrealistic. It became pointless and even dangerous to bring coffee beans from the Old World. Because the inhabitants of the East Coast smashed the ships that brought coffee to America from England. The young country was left without coffee.

The Frenchman Jacques Rogue and the Englishman Fogg

However, there were people who decided to find ways to meet the demand for priceless grains. These pioneers were the Frenchman Jacques Rogue and the Englishman Fogg. The Frenchman offered to deliver coffee to America that would not be subject to huge British taxes. In Singapore, Jacques and a companion rented a boat in the name of Fogg, loaded with a batch of coffee purchased for sale in Japan. On this ship they went to Hong Kong, which was under the jurisdiction of England. However, it was dangerous to present the goods to the British authorities. So the resourceful French negotiated with the captain of another vessel. And transshipped the goods right on the roadstead of Hong Kong. This ship, called the Carnatic, sailed along the coast of Asia, from Hong Kong to Yokohama, calling at the port of Shanghai.

Having finished moving the cargo from one vessel to another, the companions went ashore to notify the customs that they had transferred a consignment of coal to the Karnatic will be sent to Yokohama. The customs officers detained the Englishman, intending to find out the origin of the cargo and at the same time hoping to get at least a small amount from him as a bribe. If they knew that there was a shipment of coffee beans on the Carnatic, then Fogg and Jacques Rogue would have to pay a huge amount in fines and duties, and then it would be cheaper to throw the cargo into the sea.

Departure of the ship

Rightly fearing such a development of events, the Frenchman informed the captain of the Karnatica that his companion would stay in Hong Kong in order to find the relatives of his bride and go to Yokohama next flight. In the meantime, the ship can move on its way.

When Fogg was finally able to get out of port, he was dumbfounded that the ship with his cargo had left. He was tormented by conflicting feelings. The Englishman was glad that the customs officers did not find the coffee. And, at the same time, was angry with a companion, whom he did not trust, and who abandoned him. He spent a lot of money to hire a schooner and rushed in pursuit in the hope that even if Jacques the Rogue decided to transfer the coffee to another ship or ashore, it would take at least a day. And Fogg would have time to catch up.

Arrival in Shanghai

The next day, arriving in Shanghai, the Englishman saw the “Karnatic” sailing towards Yokohama. Fogg ordered to direct the schooner across and stop the fugitive with a warning shot. Going on board, the Englishman retired with the French in the cabin. It is unknown how this business meeting was held. However, at the end of her companions left the cabin in good spirits. And showed a friendly disposition to each other, despite the huge bruise that appeared on Jacques Rogue’s face.

On November 14, the Karnatic arrived in Yokohama with a load of coffee. It was impossible to sell as many coffee beans in Japan as Fogg and Jacques Weasel had brought. Because the Japanese at that time did not drink this drink. However, the Frenchman had connections in this city, which helped him organize the delivery of the precious cargo to San Francisco for a relatively small amount.

The goods were loaded onto the General Grant liner, which left for America and a few days later, on December 3, delivered the coffee to its destination.

It was a breakthrough. The news of this event spread not only all over America, but also appeared on the pages of London newspapers. Jacques Rogue and Fogg paved the way for dozens of followers to provide the United States with tea and coffee. A successful adventure allowed the Englishman to earn a huge fortune. After returning to London, he published his memoirs. And made it possible to find out the details of this transaction. Unfortunately, the Frenchman did not leave any notes, so his further fate is unknown, however, such people will not disappear anywhere.

In Time

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