Coffee’s rich history, lore has it, begins with 9th century Ethiopian goat herder, and historians are confident that sufis in Yemen drank it at least as far back as the 15th century. How it became one of the most widely consumed beverages in America — right in the same 20-gallon-per-head ballpark as milk and beer — and one we consume more of in toto than any other country, is a centuries-long story best told by a simple timeline (which we’ll have for you later in the week). But one historical event stands out to us, and it has little to do with coffee:
On December 16, 1773, a group of American colonists shrouded in disguise boarded the Dartmouth, the Eleanor and the Beaver, and tossed the ships’ 342 chests of tea overboard into the Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party, an event inextricably tied to the movement for U.S.A. independence, was also a symbolic event, we’d make the case, in the rise of coffee as hot beverage of choice. We can’t say for sure that the Sons of Liberty were coffee drinkers, but they didn’t plot mischief late into the night sipping Earl Grey. Dudes were hyped.
It’s in this same spirit of rabble-rousing and independence and waking up early even when we’re bone-weary (and fulfilling our earlier promise ) that we unveil the Fortnight of Coffee, two weeks of stories about our favorite morning drink. It’s our third issue (previously, Month of Beef and Bond Week), and what you can expect is gear roundups, original storytelling, photo essays, videos and a few surprises. Hold on to your mugs. Coffee’s up.
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