Though it seems like coffee has been around forever, the drinking of coffee in Europe didn’t take hold until the 1600s. There was a lot of controversy over the drinking of coffee before the Pope gave the go ahead to drink this foreign beverage. Once the drink was cleared, coffee houses began to arrive all over Europe including France, Germany, Austria and England.
Coffee spread to the Americas via Europe. It was first brought to New York by the British. The South American and Caribbean climates were found to be ideal for growing coffee. Coffee plantations sprung up all over these places and indirectly contributed to the growth of the slave trade.
After the Boston Tea Party, Americans turned to coffee as their national drink. Coffee went west with the pioneers, was sold to miners and traveled with the explorers. By the 1800s, coffee became a part of every day life. The famous American Maxwell House brand was founded in Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1800s.
The World Wars took coffee global. Instant coffee developed during the wars as it became almost a necessity to find a quick way to brew a cup for the soldiers without waiting too long. Coffee was one of the food items eventually rationed like sugar and butter. A warm cup of coffee kept the spirits up of the folks at home and the boys on the front.
Coffee was so popular that if the supply began to run low, people came up with alternatives like roasted dandelion root, burnt rice, roasted grains mixed with molasses, acorns and chicory.