Victorian Coffee

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Kristin Holt | 19th Century Coffee, related to Victorian Coffee.

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Victorian Coffee

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In the days before programmable coffee makers….

In the days before the Keurig….

Before a Starbucks lived on every corner…

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Photograph dated 1898 to 1905, Colorado Round Up, cowboys around the chuck wagon.

Colorado. The round up, “grub pile”. Photochrom by Detroit Publishing Company, between 1898 and 1905.//hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.17869  Courtesy of Library of Congress.

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Nineteenth century cowboys made coffee in an enamel pot over the open fire. Victorian Homemakers kept the coffee pot going from the moment she awoke until her man’s last chore was done. Particularly in the winter.

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19th Century Americans LOVED a cup of joe!

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Newspaper clipping from Green Bay Advocate of Green Bay Wisconsin, December 20, 1877: "The culture of coffee in California is fast becoming profitable."

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

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Many different recipes

The Flannel Bag Trick

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee: How to make coffee with a flannel bag, and no egg shells or cold water to settle the grounds. From the Homemade Cook Book, 1885.

Coffee–with a flannel bag! And no egg shells or cold water to settle the grounds. Because “coffee that needs settling is not properly made!” The Homemade Cook Book, 1885.

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The Eggshell Method

Victorian Coffee

Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "To Make Coffee", method published in The Everyday Cook Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes, 1889.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee: "Good Coffee", and how to make it, from Alabama Beacon newspaper of Greensboro, Alabama on May 27, 1890.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "For Five Cups of Coffee", instructions for brewing (eggshell and all!) published in the Washington Republican of Washington, Kansas on August 29, 1879.

For Five Cups of Coffee. Eggshell and all! Published in the Washington Republican of Washington, Kansas. August 29, 1879.

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How much, did you say?

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Coffee Recipe from The Columbian Cook Book Containing Reliable Rules for Plain and Fancy Cooking, Published 1892.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Illustration, etched, of coffee cup.

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In the Arabic Fashion (bonne bouche!)

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "About Tea and Coffee: New Words About Proper Making" published in The Times of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 24, 1894.

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

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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!

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee: Bonne-Bouche~ French for tasty bite.

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Substitutions

Substitutes: for the ill, for going without

Substitutes: A Hollow Mockery!

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "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 on January 19, 1864.

“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.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "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.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Etched illustration of a "tea-time" coffee (or tea) pot, with its own burner to heat at table.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "Brown Bread Coffee" substitute for invalids. Published in Three Hundred Tested Recipes, 2nd Edition, 1895.

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

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Kristin Holt | "Crust Coffee" substitute for invalids. Publihsed in Three Hundred Tested Recipes, 2nd Edition, 1895.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Illustration: etched image of a coffee pot from a vintage coffee service.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "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.

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.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "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.

“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.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "Give the Children a Drink"; called Grain-O, it is a delicious, appetizing, nourishing food drink to take the place of coffee. Advertisement published in The Daily Iowa Capitol of Des Moines, Iowa. July 7, 1899.

“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.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "Coffee Importer Tells Some Plain Facts"; Postum Cereal Food Coffee advertised 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” (as a healthful substitute for coffee!) Part 1. Published in The Topeka State Journal of Topeka, Kansas on November 27, 1901.

Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "Coffee Importer Tells Some Plain Facts"; Postum Cereal Food Coffee advertised as a healthful substitute for coffee! Part 2. 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. November 27, 1901.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Knepp-Malt-Coffee advertisement, 19th Century, tweeted by Convivial Supper.

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.

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Mills at Home

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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. Individuals ground the beans at home.

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

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Mills advertised in the 1897 Sears Catalog no. 104.

Advertised in the 1897 Sears Catalog no. 104, Coffee Mills of various designs.

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Safe Storage at Home?

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Tea and Coffee Canisters, advertised in the Montogomery Ward Spring and Summer Catalog no. 57, of 1895.

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

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Purchasing Beans at the Store

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

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Arbuckles Ariosa Coffee advertisememtn, circa 1880s. "Arbuckles" was a common name substituted for 'coffee', the way today's 'kleenex' is a common noun after the Kleenex (facial tissues) brand."

Arbuckles Ariosa Coffee advertisement, circa 1880s. “Arbuckles” was a common name substituted for ‘coffee’, the way today’s ‘kleenex’ is a common noun from the national brand.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Composite image of three photographs, three views of a 19th century American coffee bin from a general store.

Three different views of one (early) 19th Century American Coffee Bin. Measures 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), and sold. Image: Etsy Shop Red Raven Collectables.

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Some shops roasted the beans

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. "Coffee Fresh Roasted in Shop", advertised in Atchison Daily Patriot of Atchison, Kansas on May 16, 1881.

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

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Some shops specialized

Not all beverages were found at the grocery or mercantile.

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Coffee, Tea, and Canned Milk sold at separate store from grocery. Published in Middletown Press of Mittletown, New York on November 4, 1892.

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

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Kristin Holt | Victorian Coffee. Great American Importing Tea Co opens a New Store in Reno, Nevada. Sells Teas, Coffees, Spices, Flavoring Extracts, Baking Powder (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.

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.

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Delicious Contemporary Options

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Related Articles

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Kristin Holt | Victorian America's Fried Chicken

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Updated July 2019
Copyright © 2018 Kristin Holt LC