Coffee and industrial revolution?

Coffee supported workers during the Industrial Revolution. To last and stay alert during excessively long and oppressive days, workers relied heavily on coffee and the energy provided by caffeine. At that time, workers were forced to work full hours with little pay and food. In 18th century England, as the Industrial Revolution gained strength, workers in new and ruthless factories worked day and night thanks to coffee.

Or more precisely, the caffeine it contains. No one can deny the power of a cup of coffee, especially on lazy mornings with a whole day ahead. Coffee is the fuel of modern society and helps us to make more use of our precious hours than ever. But this was not always the case.

The rise of coffee as a daily staple goes back centuries, through revolutions, prohibitions and the dawn of the Enlightenment. The new working-class hot drink also brought with it many necessary benefits. First, it gave workers an alcohol-free option and offered them temporary relief from their hunger pangs. The addition of milk and sugar was also a preferred source of protein and calories.

Second, caffeine helped workers stay alert during long hours of monotonous and dangerous work in factories. Third, the hot beverage could have offered the poor and oppressed a brief but desperately needed mental escape from their current conditions. To maintain a monopoly on their control, the coffee merchants of Mocha banned the distribution of live seeds or seedlings of the coffee plant. Much was at stake in the world's future diet in the last decades of the 18th century, as the British favored tea rather than coffee, the United States stubbornly refused tea to British tastes and laid the foundations for coffee to become a mass consumer item, rather than the centerpiece of a respectable social ritual.

The cafeteria quickly became a social gathering place outside the immediate purview of state or religious authorities. As in Ottoman coffee shops, in Europe coffee was served to customers on a community basis, and debate and education were the main purposes of being there. In the Portuguese colony of Brazil and in the various colonies of the Caribbean, coffee was grown on large plantations almost exclusively with slave labor. Under the European powers of the 18th century, coffee was intimately rooted in colonialism and slavery.

Finally, coffee was at the center of world capital's policies during the Cold War and the post-Cold War period, which first sought to regulate prices to avoid social unrest in producing nations, and then abandoned them at the mercy of the free market when the collapse of communism ignored the need to ensure the welfare of Third World. So, while tea may not have saved the Industrial Revolution in a singular way, it definitely played an integral role in the lives of the people who made it possible. The problem with the argument relating to the Industrial Revolution is that coffee was no longer very popular in England at the beginning of the Republic of Ireland. European colonialism brought coffee to tropical regions, and Africans, enslaved by Europeans, grew it, often on the same plantations where they grew sugar.

Some 150 years later, demand for coffee also skyrocketed in Europe, shortly after its introduction in the manner described above. The Barista Guild (BG) is the global trade guild of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) made up of Barista Workers members dedicated to the craft of brewing and serving coffee. Everyone, from the Ottoman Turks to the intellectuals of the 18th century Enlightenment, realized that the stimulant in coffee boosted energy and increased concentration. Brazil, which brought the largest number of enslaved people to the New World and was the last country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery in 1888, made coffee the heart of its economy, its banking system and its political and social structure.


Benjamín Arrand
Benjamín Arrand

Avid beer maven. Passionate pop culture enthusiast. Passionate tv practitioner. Total zombie practitioner. Total tv evangelist. Hardcore bacon scholar.