Saturday, December 16, 2006

On this day in history...

It was on this date, December 16, in 1773 that colonists in Boston boarded three tea-bearing British ships and dumped the cargo overboard and into the harbor. They were, as we all know (or should know), protesting the tax that the Crown had placed on tea imported to the colonies (one of the issues being "taxation without representation"). The evening sortie became known as the Boston Tea Party and was one of the events that led to the American Revolution a couple years later.

Well, other than temporarily imbuing the Boston Harbor with a spicy aroma, the event also set the stage for America becoming primarily a coffee-drinking nation as opposed to a tea-drinking one. "Ixnay to the tea you dandy Redcoats! Give us coffee and liberty!"

I just read a great little essay by Joel Johnson that indirectly affirms this assertion. Joel writes in "The Truth of Diner Coffee,"

No one without hope ever drinks coffee. If you put a cup to your lips, you’ve made a tacit acknowledgment that you expect life to get just a little bit better. If you’re hung over, coffee is the first, scrambling step towards level. On the long road, coffee is the assumption that you’ll make a few more miles. Coffee is the signal to an antagonist world that you’re ready to stand up for one more day.

No other liquid, not even our Dread Lord Beer, carries with it so much implicit optimism. If beer is heaven, coffee is faith.

You can surmise the connections: faith/optimism/liberty/ & beer (and it doesn't hurt the progression of this series of connections that the lead instigator of the Boston Tea Party was future microbrew icon Samuel Adams).

So, the next time you enjoy an aromatic cup of our fine Guatemalan or a frosty bottle of Sleeman's Porter, give a nod to those lads who dressed up like c1930s Hollywood Indians and gave a collective raspberry to merry old England.

Check out Joel Johnson's excellent Dethroner blog...a great combination of fun and useful information, well written and with a sense of humor.

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