Vintage Coffee Advertisements 1850 -1900

Vintage coffee ads as they appears in newspapers around the U.S. in the early 1850’s – 1900.

1897 coffee ad

The Herald – Los Angeles – 1897

Coffee and tea was consumed equally in the U.S. until the Boston Tea Party, when drinking tea was considered unpatriotic. Coffee became the hot beverage of choice and was served in taverns which became America’s first “coffee houses”. The cowboys boiled it over campfires and the in the mid 1800’s, the peculator was introduced and that started our love of the brew that is evident in early newspaper ads for the product.

There were many brands that are still available today and a few you may have never heard of. We start with 2 early article clips I found that talk about the early history of coffee. The ads at the time these articles were written were only simple text ads along with other grocery items. It was not until the turn of the century that regular print advertisements started to appear. Lets take a look.

play-audioPeriod Music – Lets Have Another Cup Of Coffee

Jeffersonian Republican – 1844

Coffee – The Coffee is an evergreen shrub, rising twenty feet in height. The fruit is a round fleshy berry, and great care is taken to conduct little rills of water in small channels to the roots of the trees. The berry grown in Arabica is smaller than that of the East and West Indies, but its flavor is much finer, because in Arabia “the soil is rocky, dry, and hot.

1854 - coffee- ad

Gallipolis Journal – 1854

The trees are watered by artificial means, and therefore the proper quantity of moisture only is imbibed by them. The roasting of coffee should be carefully watched and superintended intelligent person. The moment the berry crackles, and becomes crisp enough to pulverize, it is sufficiently roasted.

Once taken off the roaster, it should be placed in several thick folds of flannel, to undergo the process of cooling. This preserves the essential oil in the coffee, and prevents the aroma from escaping. When the coffee is cool, place it in an air tight canister. Sufficient for the day should be tin coffee thereof. In other words, never roast if you can avoid it, more than for a single day’s consumption certainly not more than for two or three days. Grind or pound your coffee not more than a quarter of an hour before you want to make the infusion.

Pennsylvania Democrat and Sentinel – 1855


Saline County Journal – 1878

Coffee Curious History of its Use – Coffee is of Asiatic origin, and brought to the Occident by the Turks. They call it cahveh Yemen, a province in Asia, is generally considered a place where the coffee sprung up. Certain it is that . Arabian herdsmen of the desert of Al-Dshesira, approaching one evening the shores of the Euphrates, were the first to discover the enlivening power of coffee. Worn out as they were, after a tiresome journey through this desert, they were reclining beneath a coffee tree, and for pastime began chewing beans. They soon observed that their weariness passed away, and left them fine spirited through the night. Next evening they repeated their pastime, and it had the same effect. They were convinced that there was hidden and refreshing power in the coffee beans.

This is the first advertisement I found that was dedicated to just coffee from the San Francisco Call in 1898.


1884 coffee advertisement

The Dallas daily herald – 1884

Check out our next segment where we look at vintage coffee advertisements fro 1900 to 1915 here.

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