There’s nothing better to perk you up after the New Year than a cup of freshly brewed coffee! Before people could buy pre-ground coffee, the beans were ground at home in a coffee mill. Some coffee drinkers still prefer to grind their own coffee beans.
The Carriage Barn & Historical Museum located at Heritage Park in Santa Fe Springs has an antique coffee grinder produced by The Sun Manufacturing Co. from around the 1900s. Surprisingly, most of the label on this piece is still intact. The rest of the grinder is made of wood with a metal handle and crank. It also has a small pull-out drawer to retrieve the ground coffee. The actual part for grinding is made of steel alloy buhrs, a shortened form of buhrstone, which is a rock used as a material for millstones (two circular stones used for grinding). This mill claims to be fast – a good thing if you’re in a hurry for your first cup of the day!
It is also interesting to note that we still don’t exactly know how coffee was discovered. There are many legends about it, but what we do know for sure is that it was found in Ethiopia, and once word spread, coffee cultivation and trade began stretching to the Arabian Peninsula. Once in Europe, coffee was sadly regarded with suspicion, even being called “the bitter invention of Satan”. Strong words! The controversy became so great that the Pope had to intervene. Thankfully when the Pope tasted coffee, he approved. In the mid-1600s, the drink was brought to New Amsterdam, now known as New York, by the British. It is said that the Boston Tea Party revolt is what changed the public’s drinking preference from tea to coffee. Soon after, demand spread globally.*
So as you’re having your hot, steaming cup of coffee, it’s good to remember that we almost didn’t have it at all. And be sure to enjoy the beverage, but keep it outside the Carriage Barn!
*learn more at http://www.ncausa.org/about-coffee/history-of-coffee