Coffee History–War Time Rationing

Colombia-SupremoI read recently an interesting fact about the diet of Civil War soldiers.  Soldiers of both sides were fed similar rations of cured meat similar to beef jerky but only bland and salty, hardtack which was a tasteless hard cracker, and coffee.  However, coffee was rationed not as a liquid but in green whole beans.  It was up to the soldiers to roast the beans, grind them, and make it.

During the War there were attempts to dry out coffee and condense it into a thick paste which enabled soldiers to simply add a spoonful of coffee paste to water.  This early form of instant coffee proved unsuccessful and unpalatable to the soldiers.