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The History of Boston Coffee

All you need to know about where coffee came from and why it's so popular in Massachusetts.



As you walk along any Massachusetts sidewalk, you wont make it very far without spotting a Dunkin' Donuts or local coffee shop. So how did coffee make it to the state and why is it so huge here?


The first person to bring coffee to America in 1607 was thought to be Captain John Smith. His visits to Turkey allowed him to learn about coffee and bring that knowledge back to the states. Dorothy Jones is the first person on record to have obtained a license to sell coffee, dating 1670 but the first coffee shop was actually opened by John Sparry in 1676.


Boston has always been the spot for socializing, which is why it is no surprise that, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, numerous coffee shops were created as meeting places for people all over the country. Coffee shops were vehicles for all sorts of business, political, and other secular activities.


One of the most infamous events in Massachusetts history, the Boston Tea Party, was planned in a Boston coffee shop, the Green Dragon. Its first floor was used by Freemasons for meetings and numerous Revolutionary groups occupied the basement: the Sons of Liberty, the Boston Committee of Correspondence and the North End Caucus all used it. Though it no longer stands, the original Green Dragon remains the "headquarters of the revolution".


Next time you stop in your favorite coffee shop on your work commute, pay closer attention - it may have historical significance you don't know about!

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