Coffee in the 19th Century

Hey, Amy. Just having my morning coffee and thought I'd check in to see how the last few days have been going. I so hope you're not too depressed in the 19th century. It's honestly not what I wanted for you. But right or wrong, the decisions you've made have brought you to this very place.


Duh, yeah, I get it.

Oh my gawd, it's brutal here! There's nuthin to do. Even during the day when the store's open, there's nuthin to do except watch the lady grind coffee beans all day for the stupid customers that come in. 

And then I hafta watch as she serves them the stupid coffee.

Doesn't sound very "brutal" to be honest with you, Amy.

Oh, yeah? Well then you come here and use the crummy outhouse. Then you tell me it's not brutal.

A bit too much information. Okay, let's recall how things came about since you've been making your own decisions in the 19th century ...

I put you in a lovely house with a lovely family. Except for the fact that you thought the lady of the house was quite nasty even though she was simply acting in the manner of an upper class woman in the 19th century. 

And you seemed fine until a new maid (Charlotte) was hired because the former one unfortunately contracted tuberculosis and almost died.

And then, of course, you took it upon yourself, against the wishes of the lady of the house, to befriend Charlotte. Yes, I know you felt sorry for her. I know you wanted to make her happy, especially because she was a new arrival from England and didn't know anyone. Also, I'm sure your heart went out to her because she was dumped by her fiance overseas when the factory mishap left her disfigured with the loss of two fingers. 


But then there was the matter of the ball, isn't that right? The one you decided to sneak Charlotte into knowing her position in society didn't allow for her to attend? 

This is when you stole money from the master and lady of the house so Charlotte could buy fabric to sew her own gown for the ball because she had nothing to wear. And this is also when the two of you met George - in the stagecoach on your way to the city to buy the fabric. And you could tell he took an immediate liking to Charlotte, never mentioning the fact that she was a maid, of course, and far below his social class.

Even so, you met George on the grand staircase during the ball and persuaded him to get in touch with Charlotte, still not mentioning to him that she was a simple maid. Matchmaker, matchmaker, send me a match.

And the only thing that your deceit accomplished was to get Charlotte fired and banished to a house above a store in the closest town, where you find yourself today - all because you made the decision to run away to be with her. The joke is on you, Abby. Your former family will undoubtedly never take you back. These actions of yours are considered shameful in 1868 and have closed that door ... I fear, permanently.

And where have these lies gotten you? Well, they've definitely brought you a lower class status. And they've brought you sadness and loneliness. Your plan ended up working well for Charlotte, though, I must say. George, a wealthy landowner, came to relay his devotion to her and took her away ... somewhere. They indeed ended up eloping, despite her lacking two fingers on her left hand. You couldn't have planned this any better.

Well, Amy. It looks like all you can do at this point is to keep working in the store of your new lower class dwelling with the master and lady of the house ... and watch the coffee beans being ground. 

In Victorian times, when you currently exist, coffee drinking is very popular. In Britain, despite the fashion for tea, coffee is still, for many, the drink of choice. 

Appearing in Europe for the first time in the 1600s, it won't be until the mid-1800s when roasted coffee will be available for purchase.

In 1875, Germany will first bring forth laws that guarantee the purity of coffee. Roasting coffee beans at this time was accomplished simply using cylinders over heat until the process was completed, when the beans would then be dumped into cooling trays.

In your year  of 1868, James Folger has already made a fortune since founding his business, the J.A. Folger Coffee Company. 

Jabez Burns has also recently been granted a patent for a coffee roaster that does not have to be moved away from the fire.

Near the 20th century, Carl Salomon will introduce the invention of quick roasting, hot gas ventilation, and the time it takes to roast coffee beans to the optimum degree will decrease to about twenty minutes. This design will continue to be successful for the next hundred years. Incredibly, roasters even to this day apply similar designs as Salomon's.

According to the Coffee Association of Canada, coffee is the most consumed beverage among adults over the age of 16. Almost 70% of Canadians drink at least one cup of coffee per day, with the average being 3 cups per day. Older consumers are more likely to use a drip coffee maker, and it is the millennials who are more interested in coffees that are ethically sourced.