Case 9 books about coffee  tea and chocolate

Hot Beverages that Promoted Sugar Consumption


One of sugar's salient new uses in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was sweetening the three new hot beverages: coffee, tea, and chocolate. All three beverages followed the same trajectory from exotic medical preparations and curiosities to articles of daily consumption.


Chocolate was the first of the three to be introduced to Europe: the taste for it was first brought to Europe in the late sixteenth century by colonials returning to Spain from its American possessions, and the custom of chocolate drinking spread throughout Europe in the course of the seventeenth century. Chocolate continued to be primarily a beverage until at least the late eighteenth century. Coffee was introduced to Europe by way of Venice in the mid-seventeenth century and by the early eighteenth century coffeehouses were an institution of town life in England; London alone is said to have had more than a thousand before 1700. Tea first came to Europe from China in the early seventeenth century and it had become a popular drink by the mid-eighteenth century, with tea drinking flourishing, especially in England, in the nineteenth century. All three beverages were invariably drunk sweetened, and their popularity, as it grew, spurred the consumption of sugar.

William Hughes The American Physitian, or, A Treatise of the Roots, Plants, Trees, Shrubs, Fruit, Herbs, &c. Growing in the English Plantations in America ...Whereunto is Added a Discourse of the Cacao-nut-tree, and the Use of its Fruit; With All the Ways of Making the Chocolate ... 1672

This is the first English book devoted to the flora of the West Indies; nearly a third of its pages treat of chocolate. Hughes was a doctor attendant on the English fleet in Jamaica, and he draws principally from his experience there. Besides a description of the cacao tree and its fruits (with special attention to the cocoa beans, which he calls "the cacaos themselves") he describes in detail the making of chocolate and gives several versions of the preparation of chocolate for drinking. A final section treats of the medical and nutritional virtues of drinking chocolate, quoting the main European writers up to that time.

John Chamberlayne The Manner of Making Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate. As it is Used in Most Parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. With Their Vertues. Newly Done Out of French and Spanish. 1685

An English translation of Traitez Nouveaux & Curieux du Café, du Thé et du Chocolate. Ouvrage également necessaire aux Medecins , & à tous ceux qui aiment leur santé. ("Treating of the new & curious coffee, tea and chocolate. A work equally necessary for physicians and all those who love their health") by Phillipe Sylvestre Dufour, pen name for the Lyon phamacist Jacob Spon. The section on chocolate is from the Spanish writer Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma's 1644 work on chocolate Chocolata Inda Opusculum.


drinking coffee, tea, and chocolate

Drey Neue Curieuse Tractätgen, von dem Trancke Cafe, Sinesischen The, und der Chocolata. 1701

A German translation of Dufour. The volume also Includes Gespräche von der Chocolata, Unterredner sind ein Medicus, Americaner, und Gemeiner Bürger ("Conversations on chocolate between a doctor, an American, and common citizens") translated from the Spanish of physician and traveler Bartolomé Marradón.

Shown on the frontispiece are three figures representing the Middle East, Asia and the New World, each with his iconic beverage. At left a man in Middle Eastern garb drinks coffee from a handleless bowl, with a tall metal pot beside him on the floor. In the center a man in Far Eastern costume drinks tea from another handleless bowl, with a squat Chinese teapot near at hand. On the right, a Native American drinks chocolate from a gourd with silver fittings; at his feet are a chocolate pot with a typical horizontal handle and a beater for foaming the chocolate.

Richard Bradley The Virtue and Use of Coffee : with Regard to the Plague and Other Infectious Distempers : Containing the Most Remarkable Observations of the Greatest Men in Europe Concerning it, from the First Knowledge of it, Down to this Present Time: to which is Prefix'd an Exact Figure of the Tree, Flower, and Fruit, Taken from the Life by R. Bradley. 1721

Europe first knew coffee for its medicinal properties. It was said to be efficacious for lethargy and melancholy, to cure swooning fits and head pains, and to help digestion. Bradley, later professor of botany at Cambridge, originally published this as A Short Historical Account of Coffee. It was reissued under this title during a plague scare in 1721.


"COFFEE of late Years, is grown so much in request: throughout England, Holland/; and other Parts of Europe, that I need say little to recommend its History to the World."

John Coakley Lettsom The Natural History of the Tea-tree with Observations on the Medical Qualities of Tea, and Effects of Tea-drinking. 1772

"As the custom of drinking Tea is become universal, every person may be considered a judge of its effects."