This year, America celebrated its 247th birthday, but did you know that coffee has been one of America’s favorite beverages for even longer? In fact, there is evidence that coffee came to the colonies as early as the days when Captain John Smith and others helped to found Jamestown.
In 1670, Dorothy Jones became the first person licensed to trade coffee in the colonies, and later, drinking coffee came to be seen as a patriotic act. Choosing coffee over tea (and dumping tea into the Boston Harbor) was associated with some of America’s Founding Fathers: George Washington not only imported beans from Yemen, but even attempted to grow coffee (not so successfully) at Mount Vernon.
From those early days, coffee has cemented itself as a staple in American culture. Today, two-thirds of Americans enjoy coffee each day (per our National Coffee Data Trends report), drinking an estimated 491 million cups of coffee daily.
Among American coffee aficionados, we can find some mega-stars to add to our list of American coffee icons.
- In 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio partnered with La Colombe to launch a signature coffee line called “Lyon,” benefiting the actor’s environmental sustainability efforts.
- In 2022, Tom Hanks launched “Hanx for Our Troops” coffee, with profits donated to veteran support organizations.
- Internet cool-girl Emma Chamberlain started “Chamberlain Coffee” in 2020, partnering with Food4Farmers to support food security for families in coffee-farming communities.
- Boston-born actor Ben Affleck’s undying love for Dunkin’ is well known. This year, he even served up a Dunkin’ Super Bowl ad!
- Pop legend Britney Spears included a coffee scent in one of her successful perfume collections.
- When “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” host Jerry Seinfeld was asked why coffee is so central to our culture, Seinfeld said: “I think the answer is we all need a little help, and coffee’s a little help with everything.” We couldn’t agree more!
Famous or otherwise, coffee drinkers may be interested to know that evidence shows coffee is associated with many unique health benefits. For example, a comprehensive review published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “consumption of 3 to 5 standard cups of coffee daily has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases.”
From the earliest coffee drinkers in colonial Jamestown to today’s millions of coffee drinkers and coffee businesses, people have made coffee part of the fabric of America for centuries. And we’re proud to say that it will undoubtedly be part of our culture for generations to come.
We think that’s something to celebrate.