The earliest coffee houses in the USA build revolutionary fervor

The cafe in North America traces its origins to early coffee houses: establishments that were somewhat similar to taverns, and often served coffee alongside liquors, beers and wines. These houses were equally popular in the daytime and evening, as they were often used as a place to conduct business and hammer out deals between merchants and tradespeople.

It was in Boston that the first coffee house license in North America was granted, in 1670, permitting one Dorothy Jones to sell coffee and hot chocolate.

Boston Harbour

Shortly thereafter, a slew of coffee houses sprung up around the city to serve both the colonists and visiting British officers, of which the Green Dragon is perhaps the most famous. It stood on Union Street for 135 years, and over steaming cups of coffee in the parlour all the important events of the day took shape. The conspirators of the Boston Tea Party met here to plan their revolution, and later James Otis and Paul Revere to discuss their dreams of securing freedom for the American Party.

The midnight ride of Paul Revere, Image Source
The Green Dragon Coffee House
image source
Paul Revere By John Singleton Copley – http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/paul-revere-32401, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=74589213

Indeed, what else could fuel a midnight ride like Paul Revere’s, then a hot, strong cup of coffee? 


The Lodge of Saint Andrew. Boston, 1870, p. 184-185.

Ukers, William H. Coffee. Boston, 1922. Ch. VIII p. 10

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