This one’s for the coffee-lovin’ gardeners out there: The old wives’ tale that coffee grounds work wonders for growing roses isn’t exactly true. Sure, it’s not a bad thing — but it’s not necessarily special, either; any organic material as fertilizer will do.
The introduction of coffee had a “sobering up” effect on the Western world, as the previous drink of choice was most often booze (morning beer soup was actually a thing).
While it acted as an intellectual and creative stimulant — the French and American Revolutions were planned in coffeehouses, Pendergrast says — it was also a symbol of colonialism. Europeans spread the growth of coffee bean trees, but often used slaves to do it.
In America, the events surrounding the Boston Tea Party (as well as cost difference) may have caused the adoption of coffee over tea. John Adams even wrote in a letter to his wife that he’d have to swap beverages for patriotic reasons.