“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”    -Thomas Jefferson

On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence. This incredible document written by our founding fathers gave America its direction and has shaped our politics ever since. On July 4th, we celebrate our independence from the colonial rule of Great Britain. We celebrate American freedom. However, what many people may not know is how influential coffee was in the revolution.

Three years earlier, a group of upset Americans raided British ships and threw barrels of tea into the ocean, in a wild night that became the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Since tea was taxed without proper representation in England, it became unpatriotic to drink tea in the Americas. Coffee, the lesser-consumed beverage at the time, became the drink of choice for revolutionaries.

People began meeting in coffeehouses to talk about politics and freedom. The unique culture that sprang up allowed people to meet without the threat of the tea-loving British overhearing the revolutionaries’ plans. This provided the time and space for the Declaration of Independence to be crafted without fear of punishment. Thus, coffee became a symbol of hope and freedom. Coffee’s tradition of freedom and hope continues today with the rise of the Fairtrade, Direct-Trade, and other ethical sourcing practices. Coffee, when sourced with equity, continues to change the world from tyranny to liberty.

For more fun facts about coffee visit http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/04/24/178625554/how-coffee-influenced-the-course-of-history and http://www.thecaffeinateddaily.com/coffee-and-the-american-revolution

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