Jefferson & “the favorite drink”
Thomas Jefferson deemed coffee “the favorite drink of the civilised world” in 1824. He estimated in his Memorandum books that Monticello consumed a pound of coffee per day during his retirement. Favoring exotic flavors from the East and West Indies, Jefferson imported foreign beans which were stored in sixty-pound barrels in his cellar. Small quantities of beans were roasted and ground in the Monticello kitchen, and then prepared according to the recipe of Adrien Petit, Jefferson’s French maître d’hotel:
“On one measure of the coffee ground into meal pour three measures of boiling water. Boil it on hot ashes mixed with coal till the meal disappears from the top, when it will be precipitated. Pour it three times through a flannel strainer. It will yield 2 1/3 measures of clear coffee.”
The drink was a daily staple; it was served at breakfast every morning and likely in the afternoon after dinner, in a silver coffee urn made to Jefferson’s design. After the English taxation upon tea in the 18th century, coffee became a nationwide symbol of American pride and self-sufficiency—virtues Jefferson certainly celebrated in every way at his Monticello home.
Jefferson’s observations about the popularity of coffee remain as true today as they did in the 1820s. Our Monticello Coffee Collection celebrates the legacy of coffee at Jefferson’s historic home. The Shop’s Monticello Coffee Canister features his famous quotation and is a handy, attractive way to store your favorite coffee beans in the kitchen. A Monticello fretwork-patterned pewter scoop complements the quality stoneware and makes scooping beans for a morning brew simple and easy.
Glazed in a similar style as the coffee canister, the Monticello Sugar Bowl is a kitchen staple. A pewter plaque displays etchings reminiscent of Monticello’s terrace walkway railings— a small but eye-catching expression of classic Monticello style. The sugar bowl is an elegant and handy accent piece; keep it available on the countertop for whenever you need a pinch of sweet in your coffee or tea.
The Monticello Creamer features the same pewter plaque as the sugar bowl and is a beautiful addition to the medley of stoneware collection pieces. The creamer is a perfect addition to any breakfast spread as a milk pitcher for cereal or a cream carafe for coffee and tea. The quality stoneware ensures the creamer’s sturdy durability as a multipurpose vessel.
Sample Jefferson’s preferred coffee flavors with a pot brewed from our Monticello Colonial Blend Whole Coffee Beans. Inspired by 18th and 19th century flavors from the East Indies, the coffee blend’s authentic, aromatic experience resembles that which Jefferson likely enjoyed in his Tea Room. Hand grind beans the to your exact specifications with a Canister Coffee Mill and enjoy a cup of the colonial blend in the Jefferson Coffee Quote Mug featuring our third president’s famed coffee quote.