An Ottoman Coffeehouse, anonymous
The Legacy of the Boston Tea Party
Like loyal English citizens, the North American colonists emulated the mother country in the coffee boom, and the first American café opened in Boston in 1689. In the colonies there was no discernible difference between a tavern and a café. Beer, coffee and tea were all served, as for example at the Green Dragon café and tavern in Boston that existed from 1697 to 1832. Named by Daniel Webster as the Center of the Revolution, it was there, over several cups of coffee and other drinks that John Adams, James Otis and Paul Revere fomented the rebellion.
As we know, at the close of the 18th Century, the British East India Company, with their tea guarantee to the colonies, the preferred drink of the English became tea. However, in order to take hold of the profits from tea and other exported products, King George put the 1765 Stamp Act into effect which provoked the famous “No taxation without representation” protests. The Americans refused to pay this tax and smuggled tea in from Holland instead. Later the English Parliament removed all these taxes except the one on tea. The British East India Company responded by sending a large amount of tea to Boston, New York, Philadeliphia and Charleston. The Boston soldiers union, in the famous “tea party”, mutinied and threw the tea from the ship into the sea.
From that time on, it becoming a patriotic duty for Americans to abstain from tea drinking, the cafes became profitable. The Continental Congress took a decision against tea drinking. In 1774 John Adams wrote to his wife that everyone should abstain from drinking tea, that he must as well, and it was best to do it as quickly as possible. Of course, the pragmatic North Americans did not ignore the fact that coffee was raised in places much closer and ended up being less expensive. Gradually in the 19th Century they would come to rely on coffee grown in the southern half of their own hemisphere.