In the days before programmable coffee makers (a bazillion cups or one), before the Keurig, before a Starbucks on every corner…

Cowboys made coffee in an enamel pot over the open fire. Homemakers kept the coffee pot going from the moment she awoke until her man’s last chore was finished at night (particularly in the winter).

19th Century Americans LOVED coffee!

“The Culture of Coffee in California is fast becoming profitable.” Published in Green Bay Advocate of Green Bay, Wisconsin on December 20, 1877.

Many different coffee recipes (preparation methods) in the Blog folder for coffee

The Flannel Bag Trick

Coffee–with a flannel bag… and no egg shells or cold water to settle it. Because coffee that needs settling is not properly made! The Homemade Cook Book, 1885.

The Eggshell Method

“To Make Coffee”– Method published in The Everyday Cook Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes, 1889.

Making Good Coffee, in Alabama Beacon of Greensboro, Alabama on May 27, 1890.

For Five Cups of Coffee (eggshell and all!), published in the Washington Republican of Washington, Kansas on August 29, 1879.

How much, did you say?

The Columbian Cook Book Containing Reliable Rules for Plain and Fancy Cooking. Published 1892.

In the Arabic Fashion (bonne bouche!)

Tea and Coffee: New Words About Proper Making. Published in The Times of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1894.

Interesting “Arabic fashion”, described in this 1894 article. Very different from other American cookbook or newspaper instructions, particularly in the consumption of the grouts. Bonne-bouche, indeed!

Coffee Substitutes (for the ill, when going without, etc.)

Substitutes: A Hollow Mockery!

“Malt Coffee”, a substitute for Java. Citizens of the capitol drink it! (after all, the nation was at war). Published in Green Mountain Freeman of Montpelier, Vermont, January 19, 1864.

Call it what it is! Yes! Bread Crumb Coffee IS a hollow mockery! This opinion was published as part of remembrances of Confederacy times, in The Intelligencer of Anderson, South Carolina, March 23, 1876.

“Brown Bread Coffee” Substitute (for invalids). Published in “Three Hundred Tested Recipes“, 2nd Edition, in 1895.

“Crust Coffee” substitute (for Invalids). Published in “Three Hundred Tested Recipes“, 2nd Edition, in 1895.

“Ralston Coffee”– a recipe for a wheat bran substitute: “A warm, healthful beverage for the poor these cold days, and so much cheaper than coffee.” Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri, on February 1, 1897.

“There is a class of people who are injured by the use of coffee.” Drink Grain-O instead! Published in Fayette County Leader of Fayette, Iowa, September 23, 1897.

“Give the children a drink called Grain-O. …”tastes like the finest coffee, free of all injurious properties.” Advertisement published in The Daily Iowa Capitol of Des Moines, Iowa, July 7, 1899.

“Postum Cereal Food Coffee” (as a healthful substitute for coffee!) Part 1. Published in The Topeka State Journal of Topeka, Kansas on November 27, 1901.

“Postum Cereal Food Coffee”, Part 2, published in The Topeka State Journal of Topeka, Kansas on November 27, 1901.

Knepp-Malt-Coffee advertisement, 19th Century, tweeted by Convivial Supper. Follow Convivial Supper for ongoing tweets about anything and everything related to mealtimes in the Victorian Era.

Coffee Mills

Coffee mills were a household staple, something everyone needed “for setting up housekeeping.” This leads me to believe that most coffee beans were sold whole, rather than ground.

Coffee Mills are sold among myriad other housekeeping necessities, advertised in The Atchison Daily Champion of Atchison, Kansas on May 1, 1879.

Coffee Mills advertised in the 1897 Sears Catalog no. 104.

Storing coffee at home?

Tea and Coffee Canisters, advertised in the Montgomery Ward Spring and Summer Catalog no. 57, of 1895.

Purchasing Coffee at the Store

Seal Brand Coffee, advertised for sale in The Black Hills Daily Times of Deadwood, South Dakota on May 3, 1890.

Arbuckles Ariosa Coffee advertisement, circa 1880s. “Arbuckles” was a common name substituted for ‘coffee’, the way today’s ‘kleenex’ is a common noun as well as the Kleenex (facial tissues) brand.

Three different views of one (early) 19th Century, American Coffee Bin, measuring about 15x15x21-inches. Imagine this bin in a mercantile, containing coffee beans. The merchant would open the bin, scoop out the desired weight (probably to be wrapped in paper), then sold. Image: Etsy Shop Red Raven Collectables.

Some shops roasted the coffee beans for customers to purchase (rather than roasting at home).

“Coffee Fresh Roasted in shop.” Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.

Some shops specialized in teas and coffees; not all coffee was sold at a grocery or mercantile.

Coffee, Tea, and Canned Milk sold at separate store from grocery. Published in Middletown Times Press of Middletown, NY on November 4, 1892.

Great American Importing Tea Co‘s New Store in Reno, Nevada sells Teas, Coffees, Spices, Flavoring Extracts, Baking Powder, Soda, etc. (along with kitchenware of various types–but it’s not a grocery!). Advertised in the Reno Gazette-Journal of Reno, Nevada on May 8, 1899.

Copyright © 2018 Kristin Holt LC