Back in the days of the Boston Tea Party, drinking coffee became an act of patriotism as Americans protested the excessive tax levied by King George III on their tea. The Continental Congress, as a result, made coffee the national drink. Coffee houses soon became gathering places for people such as Paul Revere, John Adams, George Washington and others known as the Sons of Liberty. The Declaration of Independence had its first public reading outside the Merchant's Coffee House in Philadelphia. Later a New York City coffee house served as the stage for a hero's welcome of General Washington upon his arrival to be inaugurated as our first president.
Not only did coffee promote the spirit of our nation, but business was often conducted in these favorite gathering places. The New York Stock Exchange evolved from the Tontine Coffee House. Other important cities saw their coffee houses become hubs of political discussion and commerce.