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On the list of patriotic things American’s do to celebrate Independence Day, sipping a hot cup of coffee is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, some say coffee did more than energize our Founding Fathers – it fueled the American Revolution.

Back in 1773, the British government passed the Tea Act which gave the East India Trading Company a monopoly over tea imports to the colonies. The new law drove tea taxes through the roof and brought tensions between the British and Colonists to a boiling point. As a result, many Americans switched to coffee as an act of patriotism and protest against unfair treatment from the British Empire. The new law also inspired a group of rebels to dump 342 chests of tea into the Boston harbor in what became known as the Boston Tea Party.

Coffee was one of the first things to distinguish Americans from the British. Soon coffee houses had cropped up all across the colonies to serve tea boycotters and revolutionaries alike. These coffee houses functioned as important meeting places, away from British ears, where our Founding Fathers brewed the grounds for revolutionary ideas.