By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Coffee and Chicory: - Their culture, chemical composition, preparation for market, - and consumption.
Author: Simmonds, P. L. (Peter Lund)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Coffee and Chicory: - Their culture, chemical composition, preparation for market, - and consumption." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Illustration: Plate 1.--A Branch of Coffea Arabica, with Berries and

                          COFFEE AND CHICORY:


                     FOR MARKET, AND CONSUMPTION,




                             AND CONSUMER.


                            P. L. SIMMONDS,

                 “A DICTIONARY OF TRADE PRODUCTS,” &c.




                  E. & F. N. SPON, 16, BUCKLERSBURY.



A practical essay on the culture and preparation of coffee for market in
the various producing countries of the world, brought down to the
present time, has long been wanted, especially as the sources of supply
have changed so much of late years. Porter’s “Tropical Agriculturist”
has long been out of print, and my own work on “The Commercial Products
of the Vegetable Kingdom” is too expensive and too diffuse for ordinary
reference. The present hand-book deals with the subject in a popular
form, but, at the same time, supplies correct information on most
points, combined with the fullest descriptive and statistical details
respecting every coffee-producing country. For much of the information
relating to coffee cultivation in Ceylon, I am indebted to a small
treatise by Mr. G. C. Lewis, privately published in that island. For the
views of buildings and scenery, I am under obligations to Sir Emerson
Tennent and Messrs. Worms, who kindly lent me original drawings and
photographs--whilst the microscopic representations of pure and
adulterated coffee and chicory are copied, by permission, from Dr.
Hassall’s elaborate work on “Food and its Adulterations.” Trusting that
this little work may be found useful and interesting to a large class, I
send it forth as the pioneer of other hand-books on the great staples of

                                                               P. L. S.

8, Winchester-street, S.W.,

July, 1864.




BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE COFFEE-TREE (with two illustrations)      1




PRODUCTION AND SUPPLY                                                 12


COMMERCIAL VARIETIES OF COFFEE                                        15


CHEMICAL ANALYSES                                                     20


COFFEE-LEAF TEA, &C.                                                  27


ADULTERANTS (_with an illustration_)                                  29


CULTURE IN THE WEST INDIES AND AMERICA                                34


CULTURE IN ARABIA                                                     42


CULTIVATION IN CEYLON (_with an illustration_)                        45


BUILDINGS, PLANTING, &C., IN CEYLON (_with four illustrations_)       52


(_with an illustration_)                                              59


PREPARATION FOR MARKET, CONTINUED                                     63


CULTIVATION IN SOUTHERN INDIA                                         73


BOURBON, JAVA, AND THE EAST                                           78


COFFEE AS A BEVERAGE                                                  81



AND CONSUMPTION                                                       88




STRUCTURE AND CHEMICAL COMPOSITION (_with an illustration_)           98





The coffee-tree--_Coffea arabica_, Linn.--is a plant belonging to the
natural order _Cinchonaceæ_. It is a large erect bush, quite smooth in
every part; leaves oblong lanceolate, acuminate, shining on the upper
side, wavy, deep green above, paler below; stipules subulate, undivided.
Peduncles axillary, short, clustered; corollas white, funnel-shaped,
sweet-scented, with four or five oblong-spreading twisted lobes. Fruit a
compressed drupe, furrowed along the side, crowned by the calyx. Seeds
solitary, plano-convex, with a deep furrow along the flat side. Putamen
like parchment.

The generic name given to the plant by Linnæus was taken, it is said,
from Coffee, a province of Narea, in Africa where it grows in abundance.

Plate 1 represents a branch of the coffee-tree in blossom and fruit,
and the lettered figures at the foot have reference to the dissection of
the flower and fruit.

A--The flower, cut open, to show the situation of the five filaments,
with their summits lying upon them.

B--Represents the flower cup, with its four small indentations enclosing
the germ or embryo seed-vessel, from the middle of which arises the
style, terminated by the two reflexed spongy tops.

C--The fruit entire, marked at the top with a puncture like a navel.

D--The fruit open, to show that it consists ordinarily of two seeds,
which are surrounded by the pulp.

E--The fruit cut horizontally, to show the seeds as they are placed
erect, with their flat sides, together.

F--One of the seeds taken out, with the membrane or parchment upon it.

G--The same with the parchment torn open, to give a view of the seed.

H--The seed without the parchment.

Lindley and Paxton only enumerate two species: _C. arabica_, native of
Yemen, and _C. paniculata_, indigenous to Guiana.

Continental botanists, however, describe no less than eight other
species: four inhabiting Peru, _C. microcarpa_, _C. umbellata_, _C.
acuminata_, and _C. subsessilis_; two indigenous to the West Coast of
Africa, _C. laurina_ and _C. racemosa_; and two natives of the East
Indies, _C. bengalensis_ and _C. Indica_. Some of these are probably
mere varieties.

Whatever its origin may have been, there can be no doubt that there are
three kinds or species now grown, differing materially from each other.

The Arabian or Mocha coffee is characterised by having a small and more
brittle leaf, with branches shorter, and more upright than the Jamaica
and Ceylon coffee; and by its berry being almost always, or at least
very frequently, single seeded, and the seed cylindrical and plump.

The Jamaica coffee-tree has a larger and more pliable leaf, longer and
more drooping branches, and berries almost always containing two seeds.
(_The Ethiopian._)

The great difference now existing between the two kinds, may possibly
have originated in the change of soil, climate, and season, operating
through a series of years; but this difference is so decided, and so
strongly marked, that the veriest tyro can in a moment pronounce of

The East India or Bengal coffee-tree differs much from all others, but
is in every respect a veritable coffee.

The leaf is smaller, and lighter green, than the foregoing variety; its
berry is infinitely smaller, and when ripening, turns black instead of
blood-red. Coffee made from it is of excellent flavour, and much liked.

Within the tropics, coffee thrives best at an elevation of 1200 to 3000
feet, and rarely grows above 6000 feet. It may be cultivated as far as
36° north latitude, where the mean temperature is about 70°.

In the western hemisphere coffee is grown in many of the West India
Islands, in Central America, the northern republics of South America,
Berbice, Cayenne, and Brazil. In Africa it is grown in Liberia and other
parts of Western Africa, at St. Helena, in Egypt, and Mozambique, and a
little in Natal. Passing eastward we find it in Arabia, one of the
oldest seats of culture, the southern peninsula of India, Ceylon,
Bourbon, Java, Célèbes, and other parts of the Eastern Archipelago,
Siam, and some of the Pacific Islands.

Coffee-plants are able to bear an amount of cold which is little known
or thought of. The high and cold regions of Jamaica near St. Catherine’s
Peak, and the foot of the Great Blue Mountain Peak, both situated at
some 6000 feet above the level of the sea; and, again, the mountains of
Arabia, the Neilgherries, and Ceylon, furnish instances of the great
degree of cold that the coffee-plant will endure. More than this, it is
an established fact that it bears a larger, plumper, and far more
aromatic berry at these altitudes than in a lower situation and in a
warmer temperature. The coffee produced on plantations near the foot of
the Blue Mountain Peak, in Jamaica, is the finest in the world. In
Arabia, likewise, the cold at night is sometimes intense; yet who will
dispute the goodness of Mocha coffee?

Nothing can exceed the beauty of the rows or walks planted with
coffee-trees, from their pyramidical shape and glossy dark leaves,
amongst which are hanging the ripe, scarlet-coloured berries. A writer,
in his “Impressions of the West Indies,” thus speaks: “Anything in the
way of cultivation more beautiful or more fragrant than a
coffee-plantation I had not conceived, and oft did I say to myself that
if ever I became, from health or otherwise, a cultivator of the soil
within the tropics, I would cultivate the coffee-plant, even though I
did so irrespective altogether of the profit that might be derived from
so doing. Much has been written, and not without justice, of the rich
fragrance of an orange-grove, and at home we ofttimes hear of the sweet
odours of a bean-field. I have, too, often enjoyed, in the Carse of
Stirling and elsewhere in Scotland, the balmy breezes as they swept over
the latter, particularly when the sun had burst out with unusual
strength after a shower of rain. I have likewise in Martinique, Santa
Cruz, Jamaica, and Cuba, inhaled the breezes wafted from the orangeries,
but not for a moment would I compare either with the exquisite aromatic
odours from a coffee-plantation in full bloom, when the
hill-side--covered over with regular rows of the shrubs, with their
millions of jasmine-like flowers--showers down upon you as you ride up
between the plants a perfume

[Illustration: Plate 2.--A Coffee Plantation in Jamaica.]

of the most delicately delicious description. ’Tis worth going to the
West Indies to see the sight and inhale the perfume.”

Plate 2 represents a coffee plantation in Jamaica.

In the culture of the tree there is a singular difference in the western
and eastern hemispheres, inasmuch as in the former shade is considered
injurious, whilst in the latter it is held to be desirable, if not
absolutely necessary.



Coffee, although taking its common and specific names from Arabia, is
not a native plant of that country, but of Abyssinia, where it is found
both in the wild and cultivated state. From that country it was brought
to Arabia, in comparatively very recent times. Mr. Lane states that it
was first used there about the year 1450. It was not known to the Arabs,
therefore, for more than eight hundred years after the time of Mahomed,
and was introduced only between forty and fifty years before the
discovery of America. The Arabians called coffee kăhwăh, which is an old
word in their language for wine. The unlucky word gave rise to a dispute
about the legality of its use among the Mahomedan doctors, who,
mistaking the word for the thing it represented, denounced as a narcotic
that which was anti-narcotic. They were beaten, and coffee has ever
since become a legitimate and favourite potable of the Arabs.

In a century its use spread to Egypt and other parts of the Turkish
empire. For two centuries from its introduction into Arabia, the use of
coffee seems to have been confined to the Mahomedan nations of Western
Asia; and, considering its rapid spread and popularity among the
European nations, it is remarkable that it has not, like tobacco,
extended to the Hindus, the Hindu-Chinese, the Japanese, or the tribes
of the Indian Archipelago, who no more use it than the Europeans do the
betel preparation. The high price of coffee and the low cost of tobacco,
most likely afford the true solution of the difference. One striking
result of the use of coffee first, and then of tobacco, among the
Mahomedan nations is well deserving of notice. These commodities have
been in a great measure substituted for wine and spirits, which had been
largely, although clandestinely, used before, and hence a great
improvement in the sobriety of Arabs, Persians, and Turks. I give this
interesting fact on the authority of Mr. Lane, who mentions it in the
notes to his translation of the Arabian Nights.[1]

From Turkey coffee found its way to Europe. It came in use in England
before either tea or chocolate. A Turkey merchant of London, of the name
of Edwards, is said to have brought the first bag of coffee to England,
and his Greek servant to have made the first dish of English coffee
about 1652. But it is stated in the Life of Wood, the antiquary, that
“in 1651, one Jacob, a Jew, opened a coffee-house at the Angel, in the
parish of St. Peter-in-the-East, Oxon; and there it was, by some who
delighted in noveltie, drunk. When he left Oxon, he sold it in Old
Southampton-buildings, in Holborne, near London, and was living there in

Coffee-houses were soon after opened in various parts of the metropolis,
as also in other parts of the kingdom, for vending it. The excise
officers visited the coffee-houses at fixed periods, and took an account
of the number of gallons of the liquid that were made, upon which a duty
of 4d. per gallon was charged until 1689.

Three years after the first introduction of coffee upon the statute
books, the increase of houses for its sale had become so great, that by
the Act passed in 1663, “For the better ordering and collecting the duty
of excise, and preventing the abuses therein” (15 Chas. II., cap. 11,
sect. 15), express provision is made for the licensing of all
coffee-houses at the quarter sessions, under a penalty of 5_l._ for
every month during which any person should retail coffee, chocolate, or
tea, without having first procured such license from the magistrates.
From that time to the revolution, coffee-houses multiplied so rapidly
that, when Ray published his “History of Plants” in 1688, he estimated
that the coffee-houses in London were at that time as numerous as in
Cairo itself; whilst similar places of accommodation were to be met with
in all the principal cities and towns in England.

There are now in London alone more than 1500 coffee-houses, besides
confectioners’ shops, and other places where coffee is vended.

For half a century at least Arabia furnished all the coffee that Europe
consumed, which, therefore, must have been very trifling. It was, in
fact, long the luxury of a few fashionable people, with whom, however,
it must have been in general use sixty years after its introduction, as
we find from the well-known passage of the “Rape of the Lock,” published
in 1712, in which politicians are described as seeing through it “with
half-shut eyes.”

Le Grand d’Aussy, in his “Vie Privée des Français,” gives a curious and
interesting account of the first introduction of the use of coffee in
France. As early as 1658 some merchants of Marseilles introduced the use
of coffee into that city, and Thévenot, after his return from his
Eastern travels, about the year 1658, regaled his guests with coffee
after dinner.

“This, however,” says Le Grand, “was but the eccentricity of a
traveller, which would not come into fashion among such a people as the
Parisians. To bring coffee into credit, some extraordinary and striking
circumstance was necessary. This circumstance occurred on the arrival,
in 1669, of an embassy from the Grand Seigneur Mahomet IV. to Louis
XIV. Soliman Aga, chief of the mission, having passed six months in the
capital, and during his stay having acquired the friendship of the
Parisians by some traits of wit and gallantry, several persons of
distinction, chiefly women, had the curiosity to visit him at his house.
The manner in which he received them not only inspired a wish to renew
the visit, but induced others to follow their example. He caused coffee
to be served to his guests, according to the custom of his country; for
since fashion had introduced the custom of serving this beverage among
the Turks, civility demanded that it should be offered to visitors, as
well as that those should not decline partaking of it. If a Frenchman,
in a similar case, to please the ladies, had presented to them this
black and bitter liquor, he would be rendered for ever ridiculous. But
the beverage was served by a Turk--a gallant Turk--and this was
sufficient to give it inestimable value. Besides, before the palate
could judge, the eyes were seduced by the display of elegance and
neatness which accompanied it, by those brilliant porcelain cups into
which it was poured, by napkins with gold fringes, on which it was
served to the ladies; add to this the furniture, the dresses, and the
foreign customs, the strangeness of addressing the host through the
interpreter, being seated on the ground, on tiles, &c., and you will
allow that there was more than enough to turn the heads of French women.
Leaving the hotel of the ambassador with an enthusiasm easily imagined,
they hastened to their acquaintances, to speak of the coffee of which
they had partaken; and Heaven only knows to what a degree they were

The extravagant price of coffee, notwithstanding that the fashion of
drinking it was established, prevented it from coming into general use.
It was only to be had, according to Le Grand, at Marseilles, and even
there not in any quantity. Labat, quoted by him, states that the price
at this time was the enormous one of forty crowns a pound. In 1672, an
Armenian opened in Paris the first coffee-house, on the plan of those he
had seen at Constantinople. Pascal was followed by a crowd of imitators,
whose numbers became so great in 1676, that it was found necessary to
form them into a society by statute.

As to the European names of coffee, they are all, observes Mr. Crawfurd,
from the same source, the old Arabic word for wine, kăhwăh, which is
composed of a very guttural _k_, unpronounceable by Europeans, except by
an awkward effort, of the labial _w_, and of two short vowels ă, with an
aspirate at the end of each syllable. The Turks have changed the labial
_w_ into _v_, and the European nations, who took the word directly from
them, have corrupted the word by converting the labial _v_ into the
labial _f_, by substituting an ordinary _k_ or hard _c_ for the Arabic
guttural, by omitting both the aspirates, and by converting the last
short ă into ĕ, or as with ourselves, always the greatest corruptors of
orthography, changing both the vowels.

The Mahomedans distinguish three kinds of kăhwăh--wine, or anything that
inebriates; the extract from the pulp which contains the coffee-berry;
and that from the berry itself. The deep brown colour of the liquor
occasioned its being called the syrup of the Indian mulberry, under
which specious name it first became fashionable in Europe; and some who
imported the pulp called it the “flower of the coffee-tree,” but it
failed in use. Coffee is used in vast quantities by the Turks and
Arabians, and with peculiar propriety, as it counteracts the narcotic
effects of opium, to the use of which they are so much addicted.

The history of the cultivation of coffee by European nations in their
colonies is singular. The old Dutch East India Company carried on some
traffic with the Arabian ports in the Red Sea; and about the year 1690,
the Dutch Governor-General of India, Van Hoorne, caused some ripe
coffee-seeds to be brought to Java; they were planted, grew, and
produced fruit. He sent a single plant home from. Batavia to Nicholas
Witsen, the Governor of the East India Company, which arrived safe, was
planted in the Botanic Gardens of Amsterdam, where it prospered,
produced fruit, and the fruit young plants. From the Amsterdam garden
plants were sent to the Dutch colony of Surinam, and the planters
entered on the cultivation of coffee in 1718. The authority for this is
the celebrated physician and botanist, Boerhaave, in his Index of the
Leyden Garden. In ten years after its cultivation in Surinam it was
introduced from that colony by the English into Jamaica. It was sent to
Martinique from France in 1720. The first coffee-plant cultivated in
Brazil, now the greatest producing country in the world, was reared by a
Franciscan monk, of the name of Vellosa, in the garden of the convent of
San Antonio, near Rio Janeiro; it throve, and the monk presented its
ripe fruit to the viceroy, Lavrado. He judiciously distributed it to the
planters, who commenced its cultivation in 1774. From Java the
coffee-plant was conveyed to Sumatra, to Célèbes, to the Philippines,
and in our own times to Malabar, Mysore, and Ceylon. The few
coffee-berries brought from Mocha to Batavia are the parents of the vast
quantity now produced, all the coffee now consumed (exceeding
500,000,000 lbs.), save the trifle yielded by Arabia, has the same
origin, and the great cultivation and commerce in coffee has all sprung
up in less than one hundred and seventy-five years.



The changes in the sources of supply of coffee within the last quarter
of a century are very remarkable. The British possessions in the East,
where land and labour is cheap, have taken the place which our Western
possessions formerly occupied.

The British West India Islands and Demerara have fallen off in their
production of coffee from 30,000,000 lbs. to 4,000,000 lbs. San Domingo,
Cuba, and the French West India colonies are also gradually giving up
coffee culture in favour of other staples. It is chiefly Brazil, some of
the Central American republics, Java, Ceylon, and British India, that
are able to render coffee a profitable crop.

At the close of the last century the consumption of coffee was under one
million pounds; the only descriptions then known in the London market
were Grenada, Jamaica, and Mocha--the two former averaging about 5_l._
per cwt., and the latter 20_l._ per cwt. Grenada coffee is now unknown,
and Ceylon, Java, and Brazil are the largest producers.

In 1760 the total quantity of coffee consumed in the United Kingdom was
262,000 lbs., or three-quarters of an ounce to each person in the

From 1801 to 1804 the average quantity of coffee consumed by each
individual of the population was only about 1 oz., whilst 1½ lbs. of tea
per head was used. From 1805 to 1809 the consumption of coffee was 3 oz.
per head. From 1810 to 1824, when the duty was reduced by about
one-third, the consumption was 8 oz. After this, when the duty on
British-grown coffee was further reduced to 9d. and 6d. the pound, the
consumption rose to 1 lb., and by 1850 to 1½ lbs. But this consumption
was not uniform for the United Kingdom, for while in England 1 lb. 12
oz. was used, in Scotland only 6 oz. were consumed, and in Ireland but 2

The quantities of coffee consumed in Great Britain in each decennial
period, comparing the consumption with the growth of the population, and
exhibiting the influence of high and low duties, are shown by the
following statement. The figures up to 1841 are from Porter’s “Progress
of the Nation.” Those since are computed from official documents:

       | No. of lbs. | Duty on | Population    | Average
       |  consumed.  |  B. P.  |     of        |consumption.
       |             | coffee. |Great Britain. |
       |             |  s.  d. |               |  lbs. oz.
  1801 |     750,000 |  1   6  |   10,942,646  |   0   1·09
  1811 |   6,390,122 |  0   7  |   12,596,803  |   0   8·12
  1821 |   7,327,283 |  1   0  |   14,391,631  |   0   8·01
  1831 |  21,862,264 |  0   6  |   16,262,301  |   1   5·49
  1841 |  27,298,322 |  0   6  |   18,532,335  |   1   7·55
  1851 |  32,504,545 |  0   3  |   21,000,000  |   1   4·98
  1861 |  35,204,040 |  0   3  |   23,266,755  |   1   1·33

It appears from the foregoing figures, that, when the duty amounted to
1s. 6d. per lb., the use of coffee was confined altogether to the rich.
The quantity then used throughout the kingdom scarcely exceeded on the
average one ounce for each inhabitant in the year.

Although about a quarter of a century ago the average consumption rose
to nearly 1½ lb., it has since been gradually declining, for last year
(1863) the total consumption was, with an increased population, 2¼
million pounds below the quantity taken for consumption in 1861.

The following table shows the changes in our sources of supply of
coffee even in the last ten years, taking the quantities entered for
consumption only.


                                       1853.         1862.
                                        lbs.          lbs.
  British India (including Ceylon)   24,980,375     5,422,369
  Ceylon                                --         23,886,007
  British West Indies and Guiana      2,742,913     2,380,683
  Central America                     4,948,848     2,087,638
  Brazil                                814,133       280,837
  Venezuela                           1,033,071       --
  Hayti                                 862,254        20,701
  Java                                  112,892       --
  Holland, &c.                          442,863         8,862
  Egypt                                 112,360        90,932
  United States                         112,673        30,476
  New Granada                           --            133,144
  Chili                                 379,930       --
  Mauritius                              61,884       --
  Portugal                              --             23,052
  Philippine Islands                    --             82,820
  Other parts                           487,574       216,650
                                     ----------    ----------
                                     37,091,770    34,664,135
  Exported on drawback                  108,648       212,369
                                     ----------    ----------
                                     36,983,122    34,451,766

There is imported into Europe annually about 270,000,000 pounds of
coffee, of which France consumes one-sixth, the consumption there having
increased fully fifty per cent. within a very brief period.



The coffee-berry of Cayenne is rather convex, irregular, of a dull
green, covered with a slight pellicle. It is analogous to Mocha, and of
a pleasant aromatic flavour.

That of Guadaloupe is elongated, larger, of a dark greyish green, and
nearly always without any pellicle.

The coffee-berry of Martinique is also large, oval, flat on one side,
with the furrow deep and straight for the greater part of its length,
but diverging at the ends. Its odour is agreeable, and the flavour
strong when used alone, but it is generally mixed with Mocha.

The Mocha berry is very variable in form, size, and colour, but it is
generally more round or compressed than other coffees; its odour is
strong and agreeable, and very characteristic. Many of the seeds are
often covered by the endocarp, while others are without the pellicle. A
great number also are rounded, and the involuted edges form a deep
furrow, differing from the ordinary one. The form of these seeds is due
to the abortion of the other half of the fruit, which gives it this
particular formation.

Aden, _alias_ Mocha, coffee is, along with the other coffees of the Red
Sea, sent first to Bombay in Arab ships, where it is “garbelled”
(picked), previously to its being exported to England. The bean is
always broad and small, and the climate of India is supposed to improve
its flavour. The seed of the Berbera (Abyssinian) plant is usually
called long-berried Mocha.

The Java and East Indian, next in quality, are larger, and of a paler
yellow. The Ceylon berries are of irregular sizes, ill-shaped, and of a
spotted dirty cream-colour. The terms “Plantation” and “Native” coffees,
as applied to Ceylon berries, are distinctions arising from one being
the cultivated coffee of the estates of the planters, which are better
attended to and prepared for market, while the other is that grown in a
wild or careless manner by the natives about their dwellings, and more
rudely prepared. Java coffee is chiefly prized in the market for its
delicacy of flavour, but in point of strength it falls short of the West

Of Bourbon coffee there are in commerce two qualities, fine and
ordinary. The first is in small seeds, well selected for size, of a
variable colour, yellow or green, with little pellicle, the furrow
slightly indented, and it has a sweet odour. The second is badly
assorted as regards form and colour, and its odour less agreeable.

The Jamaica coffee-berry is medium-sized, of a greenish blue colour,
rather oblong, and smooth to the touch. It has a strong, agreeable
smell, and excellent flavour, and when carefully picked and sorted,
fetches about the highest price of any kind.

Porto Rico is a middle-sized coffee, of a pure and agreeable flavour;
the colour of the better sorts is a bluish green; and of the common,

The West Indian and Brazilian coffees have a bluish or greenish-grey
tint. This grey-green shade of the Western coffees is entirely deficient
in those of Asia. The value of the berry in our wholesale markets is
not, therefore, a fictitious quality, as some imagine, but is real, and
depends first upon the texture and form of the berry or seed, secondly
on the colour, and thirdly the flavour. The texture of the berry and
form, termed “style” by the coffee brokers, is so well defined and
palpable to the initiated, that at one view they pronounce its value,
from one hundred and thirty shillings per cwt. downwards, according to
the two other qualities, colour and flavour.

The value of the coffees usually imported into this country stands in
the following order: Mocha, fine Ceylon Plantation, Jamaica, Costa Rica,
Java, Tellicherry, and St. Domingo.

Portugal produces coffee in several of her colonies. Ordinary
description, yellowish berry, in St. Thomas; tolerably good in the Cape
de Verdes; bad, yellow, in Timor; worse (but curious from the very small
size of the berry), growing wild, in Mozambique; good in Angola; and of
excellent quality in Madeira and Porto Santo, but the production is

Much of the coffee which finds its way into England as genuine Mocha is,
in reality, Malabar coffee, sent to ports of the Persian Gulf from
Bourbon, and when thus naturalised, finding its way to Europe. But the
coffee of India even now competes successfully with that of Arabia, in
Bussorah, and other local markets, which the latter had for centuries
commanded as its own.

It is curious to watch the progress of English enterprise. The energetic
and ubiquitous Anglo-Saxons hold India, and here we see coffee from
India triumphing over the famous berry of Arabia. The cultivation of tea
also is rapidly spreading over 30,000 square miles of the Sub-Himalayan
ranges; and who knows but that Indian teas may yet compete with those of
the flowery land in the markets of Shanghae?

Already the Assam teas are held in high estimation by good judges of tea
in this country, whilst they fetch a high price in India for local

The colour of the berry is by no means a decisive criterion of
excellence of quality; in some parts the bluish berry is esteemed most
highly, in others the yellow. The West Indian coffees often change
colour when kept a few years.

It is well known that the various sorts of coffee imported into Europe
from the several parts where the plant is cultivated differ widely in
quality and flavour. Levantine or Mocha still retains its old
superiority in this respect, though the best sorts imported from Ceylon,
Bourbon, Mauritius, and other Indian Islands are now generally
considered to come very near it. This difference in quality and flavour
of the various sorts of coffee is generally attributed to climatic and
local causes and influences, which are necessarily beyond the power of
remedy. This, however, is a great mistake. The more or less advanced
state of maturity to which the berry is allowed to attain before
picking, and, more particularly still, the degree of dryness, and the
longer or shorter period of time for which it is kept before being sent
into the market, exercise a most powerful influence upon the quality and
flavour of the article. Berries gathered before they have attained
maturity, though they may be perfect in colour, will always have a raw,
herbaceous taste. If the drying berries are heaped too thickly or
closely, they are apt to heat and to contract an unpleasantly bitter and
harsh taste, and a disagreeable smell; this will frequently occur also
where artificial heat is had recourse to expedite the drying. Keeping
tends to cure these serious defects in coffee. There are instances on
record where coffee of a most disagreeable flavour and smell has been
brought near perfection by being kept for some years in a dry loft; and
though it may be going too far to assert, as has been done by some high
authorities on the subject, that “the worst coffee produced in the West
Indies will, in a course of years not exceeding ten or fourteen, be as
good, parch and mix as well, and have as high a flavour as the best we
have now from Turkey,” still there can be no doubt that long keeping
will most materially improve the quality of even the worst sorts.
Unfortunately, the difference of price between inferior and superior
coffee is not sufficiently great to cover so many years’ interest on the
capital invested. It is for the same reason that planters, though they
are perfectly aware that trees growing on a light soil, and in dry and
elevated spots, produce smaller berries of very superior flavour to
those grown in rich, flat, and moist soils, yet prefer cultivating the
latter, simply because the production is double that of the better sort.
Those who wish to improve the quality of their coffees by keeping, must
bear in mind that perfect dryness of the loft or warehouse, moderate
warmth, and gentle ventilation are the indispensable conditions of
success; a strong draught of air is more particularly to be guarded
against, as it tends to bleach the berries. Great care must be taken,
also, to keep all strong-flavoured wares, such as pepper, pimento,
ginger, cod-fish, herrings, rum, &c., as far as possible from the
coffee, which has a powerful attraction for these scents, and gets
thoroughly impregnated with them, to the great deterioration, of course,
of its quality. This remark applies more particularly to the shipping of
coffee from Jamaica and the other West India Islands. Want of proper
ventilation in the holds in which a cargo of coffee is stowed on board
ship, is equally injurious to the quality of the article. Coffee which
has suffered damage by sea-water, or has been spoiled by the close
vicinity of strong-scented wares, may, to some extent, be reclaimed by
“rouncing” or putting it in a tub, pouring boiling water over it,
stirring for a few minutes, then pouring the water off, repeating the
same operation a second, or even a third time, if necessary, and most
carefully drying the washed berries.



Coffee has been analysed by several chemists, and though the results
obtained differ in some slight degree, yet it seems pretty clear that
the principal constituents to which its hygienic and medicinal
properties are due are caffeine, a peculiar volatile oil generated in
the roasting, and a kind of tannic acid.

The alkaloid caffeine, or theine, is found in one or two other plants
besides tea and coffee. It occurs in the seeds of _Paullinia sorbilis_,
a native of Brazil, and in the leaves of several species of holly,
natives of South America, which furnish the Paraguay tea, or Yerba mate,
so large an article of consumption in several of the South American
republics. The leaves and young shoots, dried, parched, and pulverised,
are used for a hot infusion. A kind of cake, called Guarana bread, is
made from the seeds of the _Paullinia_, which is highly esteemed in
Brazil and other countries when infused, like chocolate, for its
nutritive and febrifuge properties, and is sold generally as a necessary
for travellers, and as a cure for many diseases.

The nutritive and medicinal virtues of all these plants must certainly
be attributed in a great degree to the presence of this chemical
principle, and to the tannic acid which they also contain.

The use of coffee as a beverage has been examined in a chemical and
physiological point of view by Professor Lehmann. The general results of
his investigations are:

1. That a decoction of coffee exercises two principal actions upon the
organism, which are very diverse in character, viz. increasing the
activity of the vascular and nervous system, while at the same time it
retards the metamorphosis of plastic constituents.

2. That the influence of coffee upon the vascular and nervous system,
its reinvigorating action, and the production of a general sense of
cheerfulness and animation, is attributable solely to the mutual
modification of the specific action of the empyreumatic oil and the
caffeine contained in it.

3. That the retardation of the assimilative process brought about by the
use of coffee is owing chiefly to the empyreumatic oil, and is caused by
caffeine only when taken in large quantities.

4. That increased action of the heart, trembling, headache, &c., are
effects of the caffeine.

5. That the increased activity of the kidneys, relaxation of the bowels,
and an increased vigour of mental faculties, passing into congestion,
restlessness, and inability to sleep, are effects of the empyreumatic

Professor Lehmann considers it, therefore, necessary to regard the
action of coffee, and, in a less degree, that of tea, cocoa, alcohol,
&c., upon the organism, as constituting an exception to the general law,
that increased bodily and mental activity involves increased consumption
of plastic material.

Caffeine, on careful analysis, has been found to contain in 100 parts,
49·80 of carbon, 5·08 of hydrogen, 28·83 of nitrogen, and 16·29 of
oxygen. It is inodorous, but has a slightly bitter taste. The proportion
in which this principle is found to be present in coffee varies between
¾ lb. and 1¾ lbs. in 100 lbs. of berries.

The peculiar essential oil which is generated in coffee in the process
of roasting, by the action of heat upon some yet unascertained principle
contained in the berry, is also very similar to the volatile oil in
tea; but the quantity of it in coffee appears to be comparatively very
small; for whilst 100 lbs. of tea-leaves contain 1 lb. of volatile oil,
it takes 500 cwts. of roasted coffee to give a similar quantity; and yet
it is upon the presence of this oil that the flavour and value of the
several varieties of coffee mainly depend.

The tannic acid is, by some chemists, also said to be generated only in
the process of roasting; others maintain that it is present in the raw

The chemical properties of the coffee-berry are altered by roasting, and
it loses about twenty per cent. of weight, but increases in bulk
one-third or one-half. Its peculiar aroma, and some of its other
properties, are due to a small quantity of essential oil, only one
five-thousandth part of its weight, which would be worth about 100_l._
an ounce in a separate state. Coffee is less rich in theine than tea,
but contains more sugar and a good deal of cheese (casein).

Schrader has analysed raw and roasted coffee, with the following result:

                               raw.   roasted.
  Peculiar coffee principle    17·58   12·50
  Gum and mucilage              3·64   10·42
  Extractive                    0·62    4·80
  Resin                         0·41 }
  Fatty oil                     0·52 }  2·08
  Solid residue                66·66   68·75
  Loss                         10·57    1·45

“The examination of coffee,” observes Dr. F. Knapp, “has led to
interesting results, although they are still defective in pointing out
the quantitative composition of the berry.”

The following is the composition of the ash according to Levi:

  Potash           50·94
  Soda             14·76
  Lime              4·33
  Magnesia         10·90
  Oxide of iron     0·66
  Phosphoric acid  13·59
  Sulphuric acid   trace
  Chlorine          1·22
  Silicic acid      3·58

According to the analysis of Payen, the unroasted coffee-berry has the
following composition:

  Moisture                              12·0
  Glucose and dextrine                  15·5
  Nitrogenous matters                   13·0
  Chlorogenate of caffeine, &c.  3·5 to  5·8
  Fatty substances                10 to 13·0
  Cellulose and woody fibre             34·0
  Mineral substances in ash              6·7
  Essential oil                   ·003

Or to define the per-centage more closely, we may put it thus:

  Water                        12·000
  Caffeine, or theine           1·750
  Casein                       13·000
  Aromatic oil                  0·002
  Sugar                         6·500
  Gum                           9·000
  Fat                          12·000
  Potash, with a peculiar acid  4·000
  Woody fibre                  35·048
  Mineral matter                6·700

In another form this shows us:

  Water           12·00
  Flesh-formers   14·75
  Heat-givers     66·25
  Mineral matter   7·00

As gluten is only very sparingly soluble in boiling water, in the usual
way of making coffee the flesh-formers are thrown away with the dregs;
the addition of a little soda to the water partly prevents this waste.

The various components in one pound of coffee will be--

                           oz. grs.
  Water                     1  407
  Caffeine, or theine          122
  Casein, or cheese         2   35
  Aromatic oil                   1½
  Gum                       1  192
  Sugar                     1   17
  Fat                       1  402
  Potash                       280
  Woody fibre               5  262
  Mineral matter            1   31

The part roasted is the albumen, which is of a hard, horny consistence;
and Lindley remarks that it is probable that the seeds of other plants
of this or the stellate order, whose albumen is of the same texture,
would serve as a substitute. This would not be the case with those with
fleshy albumen.

Coffee loses in weight by roasting, but gains in bulk in proportion to
the heat applied.

Payen found the following amount of nitrogen in 100 parts dried:

              nitrogen.  ash.
  Martinique     2·46    5·00
  Bourbon        2·54    4·66
  Mocha          2·49    7·84

The coffee from Martinique lost 11·58 per cent. of its weight by drying.
This description of coffee also afforded the following results:

                   |Unroasted.   |  Slightly   |   Chesnut   |   Brown.
                   |             |  reddened.  |    brown.   |
  Loss in roasting |    --       | 15 per cent.| 20 per cent.| 25 per cent.
  Increase in bulk |    --       |   1·3 times |  1·53 times |     --
  Extract          |40 per cent. | 37 per cent.| 37·1 per ct.| 39·25 per ct.
  Insoluble residue|48·5  “      |     --      |     --      |     --

Coffee, as ordinarily prepared for beverage, contains only two-sevenths
of the nitrogenous or nutritive matter of the fresh bean, but two-thirds
of the roasted, and the mineral ingredients are all present.

M. Lebreton (“Agriculteur praticien”) has estimated the loss of weight
of coffee in roasting at 18 to 20 per cent. in Porto Rico, Rio, and
Martinique coffee; and at 16 to 18 per cent. in Malabar, Bourbon,
Ceylon, and Guadaloupe coffees; while in Mocha coffee it amounts to only
14 or 16. The loss of weight depends upon the time of roasting and the
degree of heat. Damp or damaged coffee loses more than dry sound coffee.
He considers that these substances have the capability of rendering the
individual insensible of a certain deficiency of food, in virtue of
their retardation of the assimilative process. He thinks it probable,
likewise, that these substances have a direct nutritive value,
especially coffee as drank by the Turks and Arabs with the grounds.

Professor Lehmann considers that the singular preference for one or
other of these beverages by particular nations, as well as the Eastern
custom of drinking coffee with the grounds, are not accidental, but have
some deeper reason. This reason, he thinks, is to be found in the
different effects of the coffee, tea, &c., and the various requirements
of the nations by whom they are used, and instances the use of tea by
the English, and of coffee by the Germans and French, as in accordance
with this view. The diet of the former affords a larger supply of
plastic material than that of the latter people; and while,
consequently, the retardation of the assimilative process is an
important influence for the German, the proportionately greater nervous
stimulus caused by tea is more desirable for the former. The use of
coffee with its grounds has its analogue in the use of tea mixed with
meal, milk, and butter among the Mongols, and other inhabitants of the
Central Asiatic steppes.

M. Payen, from elaborate experiments, shows that coffee slightly roasted
is that which contains the maximum of aroma, weight, and nutrition. He
declares coffee to be very nourishing, as it contains a large quantity
of nitrogen, three times as much nutriment as tea, and more than twice
the nourishment of soup. Chicory contains only half the nutriment of



Attention was some time ago drawn to the subject of coffee-leaf tea,
which is used in Sumatra and other parts of the East, and a good deal of
discussion ensued upon the matter, after the leaves were shown for the
purpose at the International Exhibition of 1851. An infusion of roasted
coffee-leaves is pronounced by those who have had an opportunity of
tasting it, as superior to Bohea, and by some enthusiastic admirers is
said to rival the flavour of the most delicate Pekoe. That an infusion
of roasted coffee-leaves should imitate the flavour of tea is not to be
wondered at, as the leaves of both shrubs contain in the main the same
leading principles, more particularly theine or caffeine. There is no
doubt that coffee-leaf tea would command a sale in England, but the
question is how much could be collected to make it profitable, and it
involves the necessity of apparatus and skilled labour for parching the

Coffee-leaves are not quite so thick as those of Vallambrosa, and a
Malabar coolie would not in one day collect enough to pay the expense of
picking, drying, packing, cartage, warehouse rent, freight, and other

Moreover, no planter of any experience would think of stripping his
trees of their breathing organs, and the quantity that might be
collected from the suckers and prunings, &c., would never give more than
a few bales, even on large plantations. Even were the fallen leaves
supposed to be available, their removal would be as detrimental as the
practice of raking away withered leaves in plantations, or the
application of the sugar-cane trash to the purposes of fuel.

The husks, pulp, and parchment in South America, the West Indies,
Ceylon, and the other Indian islands, are regarded as mere waste, and
thrown away. In Arabia and some parts of the East, however, this refuse
is utilised, as the “miserables,” or husks of the cocoa-seed (_Theobroma
cacao_), are in Ireland and the Continent. With it is prepared the
famous kisher, or “Café à la Sultane,” a light-coloured, bright
infusion, which has all the agreeable flavour of coffee, with little of
its strength and none of its bitterness; this is partaken of by the
humbler classes in incredible quantities.

When quite dry and ripe these husks are bruised, and roasted in an
earthen vessel over a charcoal fire, not as coffee usually is, but only
until it assumes a light-brown colour. While hot it is thrown into a pot
of boiling water, with a small proportion of the pellicle or parchment
skin; all is boiled together for a few minutes, and then served hot and
strong, but without sugar. Sometimes a drop of essence of amber is put
into each cup; or cloves, aniseed, or cardamoms are boiled with it.

In Brazil, from the sweet pulp which envelopes the berry an excellent
spirit has been made.



Great as the consumption of coffee is in Europe and the Americas, it has
become so necessary in every household, that the demand continues to
increase, and very full prices are maintained. The largely extended
plantations in Brazil, in Ceylon, in India, in Java, and in other
suitable localities, profitably opened up every day, altogether fail to
keep down prices, and will long continue to offer the strong inducement
of large profits!

Taking advantage of this great public want, the unscrupulous and
fraudulent trader foists upon the easily-duped masses of consumers vast
quantities of unwholesome and pernicious stuff, mixed in certain
proportions with coffee; and, although the law has interposed in the
case of chicory, forbidding, under penalties, its being sold mixed with
coffee, unless especially so labelled and declared, yet who can tell the
thousand and one mixtures that are still made and sold with it?

It may be said that all this can be prevented by purchasing only
unground coffee, in a roasted state, ready for grinding; but there are
those (to be reckoned by hundreds of thousands of families) who, having
no means of grinding this roasted coffee, are compelled to buy that
which is already ground, or go without altogether.

What abominations do these (in too many cases) not drink, then, under
the much abused name of _coffee_?

These reflections are forced upon my mind every time I enter a
coffee-house, and am called to put faith in the purity of the cup of
coffee set before me.

Visitors to the establishments of coffee-grinders speak of bags of the
husks of peas, and cobs of Indian corn, wheat, sea-biscuits, and other
articles, harmless enough in themselves, and in their right places,
where, indeed, they may be useful; but a coffee-mill is the wrong place
for these otherwise objectionable articles of consumption. It will not
be denied that the husks of peas or the cobs of maize are appropriately
placed in the trough from which our pigs feed; they will even add to the
delicacy and whiteness of the pork those very useful animals are
intended to yield us, but they are essentially out of place in our
coffee-cup. These, and various other articles, go to make what in the
trade is termed “Boston,” and this preparation the visitor, who has been
admitted to the arcana of the grinder, will find mixed in a large bin
ready for use. One who has been thus favoured, after describing the mill
used for grinding the coffee, speaks of another machine, called the
“mixer.” The “mixer” is a wooden cylinder revolving on a spindle at an
angle of 45°, and having internal arrangements to mix the coffee with
such proportion of adulterating material as the ingenuity or impudence
of the grinder may suggest. Here, like Macbeth’s witches over their
cauldron, presides the genius of the place, who casts in the ingredients
which constitute the villanous compound, which, done up in tins, is
finally ornamented with labels such as this:

                       FINEST PLANTATION COFFEE,

         Roasted and ground on the most approved principle by

                           STEAM MACHINERY.

This coffee is with confidence highly recommended to the public, as the
fine aroma, so much appreciated, is entirely preserved by its being

                      PACKED FRESH FROM THE MILL.

We need scarcely say that the amount of nourishment contained in this
abominable _olio_ is infinitesimally small.

The _Scientific American_ of New York, of a recent date, records the
following fact: “The editor of the _Baltimore American_ lately visited
the commissary department of one of the large military hospitals, and
noticed several barrels of dried coffee grounds, the purpose whereof
excited his curiosity. The polite commissary informed him that they
received twelve dollars a barrel for the grounds. ‘But what is it
purchased for?’ he asked. ‘Well,’ said the commissary, hesitatingly, ‘it
is re-aromatised by the transforming hand of modern chemistry, and put
up in pound papers, which are decorated with attractive labels and
high-sounding names.’”

About ten years ago, when the question of coffee adulteration was much
agitated, I published a little treatise, entitled, “Coffee, as it is and
as it ought to be,” in which, among other particulars, I pointed out the
various sophistications practised. A compositor who was engaged in
printing the work furnished me with a remarkable statement in
confirmation of reports which I had previously heard.

He stated that in various parts of the metropolis, but more especially
in the east, are to be found liver bakers. These men take the livers of
oxen and horses, bake them, and grind them into a powder, which they
sell to the low-priced coffee-shop keepers, at from 4d. to 6d. per
pound; horse-liver coffee bearing the highest price. This adulterant may
be known by allowing the coffee to stand until cold, when a thick
pellicle or skin will be found on the top. It goes farther than coffee,
and is generally mixed with chicory and other vegetable imitations of

According to the investigations of Dr. Hassall (“Food and its
Adulterations”), the several adulterations of coffee may be
distinguished by the following characters:

Chicory, by the size, form, and ready separation of the component cells
of the root, as well as by the presence of an abundance of spiral
vessels of the dotted form.

Roasted corn, by the size, form, and other characters of the starch
granules, of which the grains are principally composed. Beans, also, by
the form, &c., of the constituent granules of starch. Potato, by the
large size, rounded form, and ready separation of the cells of the
cellulose, as well as by the fibrous markings on their surfaces.

Plate 3 shows a fragment of roasted coffee as seen under the microscope,
magnified 140 diameters, and the structures in a sample of coffee
adulterated with chicory.

Dr. Normandy, in his evidence before the Parliamentary Committee on the
Adulteration of Food, &c., stated that he had met with roasted corn in
coffee to an extent of from 25 to 30 per cent.; it is recognised by the
size and character of the starch granules; consists of barley and rye,
and is generally very easy to detect; it floats up. If coffee has been
adulterated with roasted grain, when you pour boiling water upon it you
will see rising against the sides of the cup portions of the ground
grain, which you sometimes can separate in considerable quantities, by
capillary attraction. If you pour such coffee from the coffee-pot, some
of those grains will fall with the liquid in the cup, and they will
climb up, as it were, the sides of the cup a quarter of an inch, or
something of that kind, all round, and you can collect them very easily.

Dr. R. D. Thompson, F.R.S., another witness, stated that a large cargo
of lupins from Egypt having been imported, which could not be made any
use of in consequence of their bitter taste, he was asked to give a
certificate in favour of their being equal to coffee, but declined, and
recommended that, after steeping, to remove the bitter principle, they
should be sold for cattle. He also added that he had seen an ingenious
apparatus for making artificial coffee-berries from chicory and other
substances; it was something like a bullet-mould, and patented by
Messrs. Duckworth of Liverpool.

The chicory itself sold is not always pure. The Board of Inland Revenue
have found, on chemical examination in different samples, beans, rye,
oats (roasted and ground), caramel or burnt sugar, oxide of iron and
orange berries.

The principle contained in coffee, remarks Dr. Letheby, may be
considered as essential to life, inasmuch as all nations

[Illustration: Plate 3

Genuine Ground Coffee.]

[Illustration: Coffee Adulterated with Chicory.]

use it; it prevents the wear and tear of the body. Now there is nothing
in chicory which can do that. Chemically there is no difference between
beetroot chicory and what is called real chicory; microscopically you
can discover the difference. If genuine coffee is sprinkled upon the
surface of a tumbler of water, it remains a considerable time floating,
and when it sinks it only slightly colours the water; chicory, on the
other hand, sinks quickly, and colours the water very deeply. Ground
coffee is enveloped in an oily substance, which prevents the water
absorbing; chicory has no such protection, and sinks immediately.

Mr. Phillips, the chemist to the Inland Board of Revenue, states that
the average per-centage of chicory to coffee, when sold mixed, was found
to range from 20½ to 16¾ per cent.

At a recent meeting of the British Association of Science, Mr. Horsley
called attention to the use of bi-chromate of potash, in analysing
adulterated samples of coffee. With diluted solutions of pure coffee,
this salt produces an intense deep porter-brown coloration, whilst upon
decoctions of chicory no effect is produced. He advised the following
procedure: Take equal parts of chicory and coffee, and decoct them in
different quantities of water. Filter, bottle, and label the liquids.
Take a teaspoonful of the chicory, and dilute till it is of a brown
sherry colour; boil it in a porcelain dish, with a fragment of
crystallised bi-chrome. The colour will be scarcely deepened. If a
similarly diluted solution of coffee is thus treated, a deep-brown tinge
is obtained. By operating with mixed liquids a scale of colours may be
obtained indicating the properties of the two substances. If a few
grains of the sulphate of copper be added, both decoctions yield a
precipitate; that from chicory being a clay yellow, and that from coffee
a sepia brown. Mixed decoctions yield intermediate tints.



In 1720, a small coffee-plant, raised in the garden of the King at
Paris, was transported to the Antilles by Captain Declieux, who, during
a long passage, shared each day his small allowance of water with the
young coffee plant. From this tree have sprung all those since
cultivated in Martinique, Guadaloupe, Cayenne, St. Domingo, and the
other islands. The fall of St. Domingo, in 1789, which formerly
furnished 80,000,000 lbs., the disfavour the culture has fallen into in
Martinique and Guadaloupe islands, which used to supply 16,000,000 or
17,000,000 lbs., together with the greater attention given to sugar
cultivation in the West Indies, have transferred the production of
coffee chiefly to Brazil, Ceylon, and Java.

In 1801, 526,000 cwts. of coffee were imported into Great Britain from
the West Indies, and the average annual imports in the six years ending
1806 was 364,000 cwts. The decrease of production is shown by the
following figures:

                 |    1829.   |    1850.   |    1860.
                 |     lbs.   |     lbs.   |     lbs.
  Jamaica        | 18,690,654 |  4,196,210 |  6,145,362
  British Guiana |  7,163,016 |     18,472 |     --
  Trinidad       |     73,667 |     96,376 |     --
  Dominica       |    942,113 |        792 |     10,000
  St. Lucia      |    303,499 |         39 |     --

JAMAICA.--The coffee-plant is said to have been first introduced into
Jamaica by Sir Nicholas Lawes, in 1728, when it was cultivated on an
estate called Temple Hall, on the plains of Liguanea, not far from
Kingston. In 1752, 6,000,000 lbs. of coffee were exported, and in the
three years ending 1807, the average annual shipment was 28,500,000 lbs.
It was not until the island trade was injured by the dismemberment of
Honduras that the heavy duties on sugar, and the competition of the
French colonies, induced the industrious planters to turn their
attention to coffee. They then petitioned for a protecting bounty, and
for a considerable time this was the only British colony where its
cultivation was much attended to. In 1791 there were 607
coffee-plantations in the island, with 21,000 negroes employed on them.
In 1844, there were 671 plantations, and it was calculated that
20,000,000_l._ sterling was invested in them. Some of the finest and
most productive plantations were at an elevation of 4700 feet, in the
vicinity of the Blue Mountain Peak. Whilst in 1809, 83,250,000 lbs. of
coffee were shipped from Jamaica, the average export for ten years past
has not exceeded 6,000,000 lbs.

In the West Indies and Central America a nursery of young plants is
usually raised from seed. At the age of six months these are
transplanted into the field in squares of 8 to 9 feet apart. Beyond
keeping the field clear of weeds, giving the plants a slight moulding,
and freeing them of suckers or sprouts, they do not require any other
attention for the first three years. At the expiry of this time they
commence to bear fruit, and the coffee is cured either by drying the
entire fruit in the sun, or by passing the fruit through what is called
a pulping mill, which separates the outer pulp or covering from the
beans. The beans are then subjected to a washing in a tank full of
water, in order to remove the glutinous substance which adheres to them;
this causes them to cure or dry more rapidly. They are then left in what
is called the parchment husk, and exposed to the action of the sun on
platforms laid with tiles, until they are perfectly dried, and from this
they are, during crop time, spread on the wooden floors of a building
called a logie, to the depth, in a heavy crop, of 12 to 18 inches.
Whilst thus spread, great attention is necessary to prevent the coffee
getting heated and its colour destroyed, by constantly turning it up,
and by the use of some dry lime or ashes sprinkled over it. After this
the beans are subjected to the operation of what is called a stamping
mill, which separates the parchment husk from the beans. This stamping
mill is merely two large solid wheels fixed on each end of a beam on an
axle, and worked by mules moving round in a circle--the wooden wheels
working in a circular trough filled with the coffee beans. After this
the whole are submitted to the action of a winnowing machine, which
separates the chaff from the beans, and subsequently the beans are
passed through copper sieves to separate the perfect from the broken
coffee, and finally handpicked and put into bags or casks for shipment.

BRITISH GUIANA.--Coffee was for a length of time almost the only staple
of Berbice and Demerara, but the cultivation of the sugar-cane has been
substituted for it. The quantity of coffee, the produce of British
Guiana, exported in 1830 was, 9,472,756 lbs.; in 1840, 3,357,300 lbs.;
in 1849, 100,550 lbs.; and in 1850, 30,000 lbs.; since which it has
almost ceased to be exported, scarcely sufficient being produced to
supply the demand in the colony.

At one time there were about two hundred coffee plantations in the small
island of DOMINICA, and four to five million of pounds of coffee were
exported annually to Great Britain.

PORTO RICO.--In proportion to its extent, this island is twice as
productive as Cuba, and the quality of its coffee and other produce is
of the highest class. There were, in 1862, fifty-three coffee
plantations on the island, producing about 100,000 cwt. of coffee. The
exports of coffee were, in

  1855       11,506,283
  1856        9,935,000
  1857        8,245,000
  1858        9,814,000
  1859       13,457,000

The exports of coffee from the island of CUBA, which were in 1840
upwards of 2,000,000 arrobas, were in 1858 but 21,000; and in 1859, 5000
or 6000.

BRAZIL.--The coffee-plant has been known in Brazil for many years; it is
but about fifty years, however, since the first regular plantation was
made by Mr. Moke, a Belgian, who brought the cultivation of coffee to
great perfection. His plantation is still in the neighbourhood of the
capital, and is carried on by his son with much success. It is
astonishing to what an extent coffee has been cultivated since Mr. Moke
first made his plantation. Two millions of bags of 160 lbs. each are
annually exported from Rio de Janeiro, taking the average of the last
seven years; 1862 was, however, short of this about half a million bags.
At Barahyba do Sul, which is within a few miles of Rio, there are
plantations employing six and seven hundred slaves.

The best plantations are those owned and conducted by
foreigners--chiefly English, French, and Belgian--they have an air of
neatness and comfort about them of which those owned by Brazilians and
Portuguese are totally destitute. The foreigners use improved machinery
also in preparing the berry for market, which the Brazilians, with some
exceptions, do not. The coffee-berry contains two seeds, covered with a
gummy, mucilaginous substance, and enclosed in a skin which is thick,
sweet, and dark and red when ripe. The foreigners take off this skin by
means of machinery, and the beans are washed until they are divested of
the mucilage which covers them. They are then dried and put into bags
ready for market. The Brazilians dry the beans with the skin on. In the
process of drying, the skin first becomes dark, and finally black, and
when crisp, is rubbed off the bean, which is then washed. In this
process, however, there is great danger of fermentation. The skin
contains a vast amount of saccharine matter, and successful attempts
have been made to extract from it sugar and spirit; but either through
poor machinery, or other mismanagement, it was found to be unprofitable,
and the experiment was abandoned. The skin is exceedingly sweet, almost
as much so to the taste as the sugar-cane.

The coffee-plant can be propagated from the seed, but the most prevalent
method in Brazil is by young plants, which may be had by the thousand on
old plantations. The young shrub is taken up in August--generally when
it is about two years old--and planted in good soil. The fourth year it
produces coffee, and the fifth year it commences to bear regular crops,
the yield being from a pound and a half to three pounds per tree. Trees
have been known to last for many years on good rich soil, and some on
Mr. Moke’s plantation are still bearing which were planted forty years
ago; on hill-sides, however, where the soil is light, the plant decays
in the course of eight or ten years. The picking season commences in
July, and in the low lands generally concludes by the end of August;
among the hills, however, where there are frequent showers, and where
there is much shade, the season does not close until some time in

The four coffee-growing provinces of Brazil, properly speaking, are Rio
de Janeiro, San Paulo, Minas, and Bahia. In the two former the
agriculturists have for some time past directed their attention almost
exclusively to this article. In Bahia its cultivation is steadily,
although slowly, increasing. Coffee is grown in the provinces of
Maranham, Parana, and St. Catherine’s, but only to a very small extent,
the amount produced being insufficient to meet the demand. The
cultivation of coffee is rapidly increasing in St. Paulo, and is
promoted by the railroad extending from Santos to Jundiahy. The United
States usually takes one-half of the crop of Brazil coffee.

The following figures give the average quantity of coffee exported from
the empire of Brazil during the undermentioned years, comprising a
period previous and subsequent to the abolition of the slave trade in
1851, and showing a steady increase in the export since 1840:

               Annual average.

  1840-43        5,507,367
  1843-46        6,519,380
  1846-49        9,301,967
  1849-52        8,542,965
  1852-55       10,549,847
  1855-58       11,465,719
  1858-61       10,501,665

The yearly shipments from Rio in the last four years have been as

  1859      2,064,837
  1860      2,150,188
  1861      2,085,974
  1862      1,477,904

besides 200,000 to 300,000 bags annually from Santos. The bags contain
rather more than six arrobas, or one cwt. and a half.

COSTA RICA.--The quality of this coffee is recognised as excellent. In
order to place it in a proper degree of estimation in foreign markets,
some proprietors of plantations have not omitted getting it chemically
analysed in Europe; the result of which examination has classed it in
the third degree, among those kinds generally esteemed as the best.

The following figures show the production of coffee in Costa Rica; the
bulk of the crop is sent to Great Britain:

  1854        70,000
  1855        70,709
  1856        83,000
  1857        95,000

VENEZUELA.--Within the last thirty years Venezuela has made great
progress in coffee culture. The exports, which were not more than
13,000,000 lbs. in 1833, had risen to 15,000,000 lbs. in 1850; but since
then the culture has been much interfered with by civil war. The exports
from La Guayra were, in 1855, 17,375,000 lbs.; in 1856, 12,357,000 lbs.;
and in 1857, 16,031,000 lbs. Washed coffee sells there at 8s. per cwt.
higher than the unwashed.

In Venezuela, the plan followed in drying the coffee is this. The
berries are spread out upon hurdles in the sun, where they undergo the
vinous fermentation from fourteen to twenty days, and then dry. The
beans are freed from the pulpy husk by a mill in two operations, and
from the parchment, &c., by winnowing. Although a single tree may bear
as much as 10 to 20 lbs., the average in Venezuela is under 2 lbs. An
acre planted with 2560 trees yields there an annual crop of about 1100
lbs. of dry beans.

In ECUADOR coffee has of late greatly engrossed the attention of
planters, from its superior quality and the increased demand; it
commands a higher price than any other product of the country in
proportion. As the people are everywhere dedicating themselves to its
culture, in a few years it is probable that this country will export a
considerable quantity. In 1855, 776 cwt. only were shipped; in 1861,
although the harvest was exceedingly scanty, the exports were 1480 cwt.

GUATEMALA.--Some twenty years ago considerable plantations of coffee
were made in different parts of the republic of Guatemala, and had the
undertaking been followed up with proper and steady constancy and
attention, it might, perhaps, by this time, have become an important
article of export. Unfortunately its culture was abandoned, owing to the
insurrections of the Indian population. Some attempts have been made
again to introduce its culture by making fresh plantations, but hitherto
not to any extent worthy of mention. The exports of coffee in 1860 were
about 63 tons. In the department of Vera Paz, there are said to be now
about half a million of coffee plants in bearing, and nurseries of about
a million more plants will soon be ready for transplanting. The greater
part of the plantations are situated in the neighbourhood of Coban,
where the vicinity of Teleman, on the river Polochec, which disembogues
into the gulf of Dulce, affords a convenient channel for shipping the



The culture of coffee is principally carried on in Yemen, towards the
districts of Aden and Mocha. The nearest coffee plantations are about
eighty miles from Aden.

The coffee-growing country in the Yemen is 300 miles to the south of
Jeddah, being the districts about Tohira, Uodeida, and Tanaa. Of this,
the Turks have but little, their authority only extending over the
narrow slip called the Tehana, in which is little coffee. They had till
lately the export dues of all the coffee grown in Western Arabia, but
they have lost a great part of them, a large quantity of coffee being
sent to Aden for exportation. Mocha, the ancient port and capital, has
completely fallen, and is in ruins. Its place is taken by Uodeida, the
seat of government of the Yemen, and a Pashalic under Jeddah. In 1860,
coffee to the value of 14,268_l._ was imported into Aden by sea, of
55,710_l._ was brought by land, and 45,344_l._ was exported. An enormous
quantity is consumed in Arabia. Very little genuine Yemen coffee is
procurable in Europe. It is difficult to obtain even in Jeddah. It is
first mixed in the Yemen with inferior Abyssinian coffee, then mixed at
Jeddah with damaged coffee, and probably in Egypt it is again mixed.
Alexandria and Cairo are notorious for bad coffee.

It has been understood for several years that much of the coffee which
finds its way into England as genuine Mocha is, in reality, Malabar
coffee, sent to ports on the Persian Gulf from Bombay, and when thus
naturalised, finding its way to Europe. But the coffee of India is now
competing successfully with that of Arabia in markets which the latter
had for centuries commanded as its own. In a few years the Indian
article will entirely surpass the Arabian. It is the old story of
enterprise originated and directed by Europeans driving competition out
of the market. Seeing that the Arabs are in the habit of baking the
cow-dung and cakes for food on the same wall, they cannot be suspected
of any violent antipathy to dirt _per se_. But, passionate lovers as
they are of a good cup of coffee, they can easily understand that an
equal quantity of well-cleaned Malabar coffee is cheaper than that
brought in the buggalows of the Nijd Arabs, and which is described as
full of extraneous matter, such as pieces of the coffee-husk, &c. But
the Indian coffee is actually sold cheaper, quantity for quantity. The
consumption of Yemen coffee is now entirely confined to the wealthier
chiefs; the finest kind, and that most sought after, being the small, of
a light-green colour. Latterly, the Yemen coffee has been all sent to
Bagdad, a compliment which the ancient city of the Sultans cannot fail
to appreciate at its true value. It is too dear and too dirty for the
poor Arabs of Bussorah, while the flavour of the Malabar kind is found
closely to approximate to that of Yemen.

The coffee is generally grown half way up the slopes of the hills, but
some is cultivated on lower ground, surrounded by large trees for shade.
The harvest is gathered at three periods of the year, the principal
being in May. Cloths are spread under the trees, which are shaken, that
the ripe fruit may drop. The berries are then collected and exposed to
the sun on mats to dry. A heavy roller is afterwards passed over the
berries, to break the envelopes, and the husk is winnowed away with a
fan. The berries are further dried before being stored.

Arabian coffee was first cultivated by the Dutch, and some of their
plants sent by the French to the West Indies, where it is now
successfully cultivated. So that one has a difficulty in deciding where
it is indigenous, as it is a much more important article of agriculture
in the West Indies, Java, Ceylon, and Southern India, than in its native

In Syria the coffee-plant is of natural growth; but as the European
writers who were engaged in the Crusades do not mention it, it could not
have been much used during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Bruce
affirms that the qualities of it were well known in Africa, and that the
Gallae, a wandering tribe, which was obliged to traverse the deserts,
carried no other provision than balls compounded of coffee and butter,
one of which would keep them in health and spirits through a day’s
journey better than any other kind of food. In the Royal Library at
Paris is an Arabian manuscript, containing a voluminous history of
coffee, in which it is said that Gemaleddin-Ahou-Abdallah, Mufti of
Aden, first introduced its use among the Turks, upon his return from
Persia, where he had experienced the beneficial effects of it as a
common beverage. The effendi, the kadi, and all the inferior officers of
the government, followed the example of this chief of the law. The use
of coffee descended through the harem to the house of every merchant,
and the town of Aden set the example to the rest of Arabia.



In 1824, Sir Edward Barnes and Sir George Bird commenced coffee-planting
in Ceylon on a large scale. Others followed gradually, but the real rush
for land dates from 1833. There are now 250,000 acres owned by
coffee-planters, of which 100,000 are cleared and cultivated.

In Ceylon coffee succeeds best at an elevation from 1200 to 4800 feet;
the quantity, generally speaking, lessening, but the quality improving
with the elevation. By the natives a little of inferior description is
grown in the low country. In 1855 there were about 150 estates belonging
to Europeans, comprising 30,000 acres of cultivated ground, to which
considerable additions have since been made. 400,000 cwt. was exported
in 1853, and 783,393 cwt. in 1863.

The railroad forming from Colombo to Kandy, and the opening up of new
roads, have rendered more land accessible, and the large clearances made
in the forest at the high elevations will probably so improve the
climate of those localities that a still further addition to the
available land will be obtained. It is, therefore, not too much to
expect the export, which in the last five years has on the average
exceeded 630,000 cwt. per annum, will in less than a quarter of a
century be more than doubled. In the fourteen years ending with 1862,
Ceylon has sent into the markets of the world the following quantity of

                       cwts.                      £
  Plantation        4,625,995 of the value of 11,310,518
  Native growth     1,945,623        “         3,492,290
                    ---------                 ----------
                    6,571,618                 14,802,808

Elevation must ever be an important consideration; though we have no
doubt that by the use of manures coffee might be made to do well and
bear to a limited extent at the level of the sea in Ceylon. We believe
this to be, however, so completely artificial, that it will never again
be tried whilst land is available from 1500 feet and upwards of
elevation, where the plant grows vigorously without more than ordinary
care being bestowed. The general effect of elevation may be described
very shortly; the lower ranges, with fair soil, produce the heaviest
crops and the soonest after planting, whilst the plantations on higher
elevations produce smaller crops, but a finer quality of produce, and
take a longer time to come into full bearing. There are many
circumstances which go to produce climate, besides differences of
elevation. On a plantation formed in a large district of forest yet
uncleared, the climate will be colder and more moist than when the
formation of other estates has cleared away the forest around it. The
proximity of a high mountain peak, or being situated on the shoulder of
a mountain which towers to a great elevation above the level of the
plantation, will also produce more cold and wet than if the garden were
opened on a lower range and to the full height of such a position. Plate
4, for instance, shows such a locality in the view of Konda-galla
estate, near Neura-ellia, Ceylon. At low elevations long continued dry
weather is more frequent than on the higher ranges, inasmuch as the
clouds are frequently broken by the distant hills before they reach; and
when there is no rain about, estates on the higher ranges are less
parched, and atmospherically enjoy a moisture of which the lower hills
are destitute. Still these various conditions are only advantageous or
hurtful under varying circumstances; high elevation, cold and wet, and
low elevation, heat, and drought, are alike unfavourable as prevailing
characteristics; it is their due and seasonable admixture

[Illustration: Plate 4.--Konda-galla Estate, near Neura-ellia,

which is found most favourable to the profitable production of the
coffee-plant. Perhaps the least favourable localities are those high
positions where the natural vegetation is of the alpine character; in
such positions the plant will only struggle for an existence; it
therefore follows that the land selected should be well under these
extreme elevations.

Soil of all kinds has had its advocates, and in turn been condemned by
all. Depth and freeness are perhaps its most favourable states; dark
black mould is always good; but wherever there is sufficiency of depth
found beneath a virgin forest, at the proper elevation and climate,
coffee has come on successfully. The land which has by general opinion
been condemned as unfit for continued production is that covered with
small jungle after the original forest has been cut down, and the land
made to produce a rich crop for the natives. Perhaps it may be the
exposure of the soil to the sun, and exhaustion by the large weeds which
it produces, which are so injurious to it. The modern system of manuring
is rapidly equalising the value of all soils, though deep lands on a
limestone bottom, or strewed with granite boulders, are always
considered highly favourable for coffee cultivation. The proximity of
land to roads is a point of great importance in its selection, both as
directly and indirectly affecting the outlay in forming a plantation,
and probably for a long time determining the large item of expense under
the head of transport of produce.

Felling and clearing, as the name implies, is cutting down the jungle
and burning it off, so as to leave the land clear for planting. It is
conducted as follows. Beginning from the lower part of the land and
working upwards, the undergrowth, or small jungle, is cut down with
catties or bill-hooks, leaving the forest trees free and open for the
labours of the axemen. Likewise beginning from the lowest part of the
field, the labourers, generally village Singhalese, who are extremely
expert at this work, cut the trees nearly through by notches at the
lower and upper sides, gradually retiring up the hill, until a tree of
larger dimensions is cut, and being sent down, crashes all the others
beneath it. When this is cleverly managed, several acres will often be
opened to the daylight at one time; much, however, depends upon the
steepness of the ascent and the heaviness of the forest. On the highest
elevations the trees are smallest, and come down lightest, and on the
lower elevations it may frequently happen that for acres and acres the
trees are of that immense size that every log has required four men to
cut it from the stump. Not unfrequently some of these trees have such
projecting roots that the axemen have to erect stages around them to
reach the ordinary trunk, which will each give employment for six hours
to four men to cut through. After the trees have been felled, the
lopping has to be attended to; this is to cut off all the tops and
branches, and in some cases to cut the trunks across, so that the mass
cut down may lay compactly and dry, as upon this depends much of the
success of the burning, and, therefore, the economy of the operation.
Small or light forest is often the most expensive to lop, from the
lifeless fall of the trees, and the comparatively greater quantity of
head and branch; whereas tall and heavy forest trees fly as it were
under the axe from the stump, and in falling break themselves and all
beneath them; in this manner some heavy forests cost less to clear than
a lighter growth. The clearing having been left from six weeks to about
two months, according to the weather, is fired, which is done generally
by setting fire to it chiefly at _the lower ends_ in several places; by
this means the fire is soon connected, and burning in the dryest or
first cut down portions, unites in a sweeping flame, rushes up the hill,
destroying all before it; such is the power of the flame from below,
that when the burning is successful the part last cut, probably many
acres, and yet lying green upon the ground, is consumed with the rest.
After the flame has passed away, nothing should be seen but the smoking
black logs of the large trees, which, wherever they cross each other and
do not lay upon the ground, require to be cut across and brought down.
If the operation has been successfully managed, the land is now in
readiness for the next operation--_Lining_, or staking out the positions
of the intended plants. This is performed in many ways, but it is
essential to have it done well, that the plants should make perfect
lines across the ground to be planted, in order to maintain regularity
in the plantation work, and give the best possible appearance to the
field; therefore no expense necessary to ensure its correct and
workmanlike performance should be grudged. The simplest method is by
means of a line, with marks placed at equal distances for the spaces
between the plants up the hill. This carried by men at each end, who
respectively measure a distance with a rod for that purpose from the
last peg, and holding the line taught from end to end; boys following
with pegs ready cut put them in at the marks on the line. This method is
likely to lead to inaccuracy on a large feature, in consequence of the
irregularity of the ground, and from the small inaccuracies accumulating
in the measurement between each laying down of the line. A better way is
to lay out a feature in squares of the line, and these into parallels
across the feature, and then drop the line between each peg on the
parallels, putting in the remaining pegs by the marks on the line. Some
planters have an excellent plan of laying down a number of lines up and
down the hill at measured distances, and then two men with a shorter
line measure distances upwards on the two outside lines, and peg-men put
in their sticks at the points where the lines cross each other. We have
seen some plantations laid out by the use of the theodolite, but this is
not an instrument to be found on many estates. The object to be gained
in lining is to carry the plants in straight lines parallel to each
other, at the same bearing over the whole estate, and to make them cross
each other at right angles; by this means lines will be formed four
ways, at the two right angles and at the two diagonals. When this has
been successfully achieved, there is, under any circumstances, a
workmanlike character about the plantation; vacancies in the planting
are more easily detected, the arrangements for weeding, picking,
pruning, and manuring are made without confusion. Diagonal lines across
the features of land are said to be best, inasmuch as the stems of the
trees by this arrangement offer somewhat more resistance to the washing
down of soil by the rains.

Much argument has been held as to the proper distances at which
coffee-trees should be planted; and in visiting the various districts it
will be seen that all distances and all forms have been resorted to. The
result of this extended experiment has produced a very general opinion
in favour of close planting; that is, 6 feet by 6 feet, or 5 feet by 6
feet, or 4 feet 9 inches by 5 feet. The reasons in favour of close
planting are these, that the extra number of plants to the acre is
followed in the first two crops at least by a proportionate increase of
crop. By close planting weeds are hindered from growing, and, what is of
more consequence still, the ground is sooner covered by the growing
plants, and therefore protected from the sun, exposure to which is found
to impoverish more than anything else the surface soil, from which the
plant chiefly seeks its nourishment. With an average good soil, and
careful handling of the trees and manuring, it is found that
closely-planted coffee may be made to continue to bear highly; that is,
in proportion to the extra number of plants to the acre. Close planting
is serviceable in enabling the plants to outlive the effect of exposure
to high winds, which in some places are most destructive. The next
proceeding is _holing_ (which, as its name implies, is to make holes in
preparation for planting the coffee, at the distances staked out by the
lining). As coffee is planted in a virgin soil, which cannot be cleared
of roots, rocks, and logs, for the operation of the plough, and were it
cleared of these the disturbance of the soil would probably cause it to
be carried away by the heavy rains; holes have to be made, and the
larger these are, the nearer the approach is to that movement of the
soil, which in general sets at liberty its fertilising properties. Holes
are made from 18 inches to 2 feet every way, into which before planting
the surface soil is scraped with a hoe. It is customary to contract for
this work, which I believe is generally performed now with a sort of
crowbar having a spud blade at one end; with these the roots of trees
are cut through and rocks and stones taken out, the loosened soil being
removed with the hand or with a cocoa-nut shell. This tool is furnished
to the Singhalese because they prefer to sit down and work leisurely,
but where men can be employed at day-wages, and provided with mattocks
to break the soil and cut out the roots and stones, and hoes to clear
out the loosened earth, the same work may be far more economically
performed, inasmuch as the labourers being on their feet give not only
their arms, but their whole body, to the exertion, and have not to raise
themselves from a sitting position between each hole they have to make.



These comprise a bungalow for the manager, lines, or huts, for the
labourers, and pulping-house and store for the preparation and reception
of the crop.

Plate 5 shows the main works and buildings at Messrs. Worms’ estates,
Puselawa, Ceylon.

The position of the pulping-house should influence the selection of the
spots for the other buildings, unless other circumstances determine it.
The bungalow should, if possible, be an easy distance from the store,
that the manager may without difficulty superintend the work, which at
crop time is going on often at night as well as in the daytime. One set
of lines for the labourers, for the same reason, should be near to the
store, another set may be erected more centrically with reference to the
field labour of the estate.

With reference to lines and bungalow, especially the latter, they will
be erected according to the manager’s taste, and in a great measure
depend upon the material to be obtained in the particular locality for
constructing them. True economy will be practised in making permanent
and substantial dwellings which will require only slight repairs

The selection of the land for the pulping-house and stores and
drying-ground is all important, and should only be attempted by a
resident manager to whom a long residence on the plantation has afforded
an intimate acquaintance with every feature of the land. The advantages
which have to be

[Illustration: Plate 5.--Main Works at Messrs. Worms’ Estates, Puselawa,

[Illustration: Plate 6.--The Pulping House, Messrs. Worms’ Estate,

sought and combined are, availability of water power, both to drive the
machinery and for a water-course to the pulper, on a site convenient to
the fields from which the crop is to be brought, and so level that it
may be fitted for its purposes at the least possible expense.

Water power is not always used, nor is it available on every estate; but
as there may be often good reasons to adopt it afterwards, it should
always be considered in the primary arrangements. It may be applied to
so many economic objects--saw-mills, drying apparatus, &c.--that it
should always be applied, if possible, to everything undertaken on the
estate requiring a moving power.

Plate 6 is an exterior view of a pulping-house on Messrs. Worms’
estates, Puselawa.

Coffee when gathered from the tree fully ripe is like a rich scarlet
cherry, out of which on being squeezed two coffee-berries break forth,
each covered with a light skin resembling parchment, and moist, with a
sweet mucilaginous fluid which rapidly decomposes. The machine called a
pulper is for the purpose of removing the cherry skin or husk; this it
does by passing it between a barrel armed with perforated copper,
forming a grater, and a sharp-edged board called the chop, which by
means of wedges or screws is placed at the proper distance from the
barrel to ensure the greater part of the coffee being pressed against
it, but not so close that any of the berries should be pricked through
their parchment covering. As coffee is seldom uniform in size, much
passes forward from which the husk, or pulp, as it is called, has not
been completely removed; this, being separated by a sieve worked by the
machinery, is returned by hand to the hopper. The coffee, deprived of
its husk, goes forward by a channel prepared for it into a cistern, the
pulps being thrown off behind; these latter are now generally saved to
be carried to the manure pit. The coffee is left to soak in the cistern
for the night, or for that length of time which is sufficient to wash
off the mucilage, an operation which is facilitated by a slight
fermentation--not, however, always conducted with safety to the future
quality of the coffee. Pulping-houses are supplied with several
cisterns, into which the several pulpings may be run off that the work
may not stand still.

Plate 7 gives a view of the interior lower floor of the pulping-house on
Messrs. Worms’ estates, Puselawa.

In the pulping-house above the pulpers is a large floor called the
cherry loft, into which the coffee in cherry from the field is measured,
and from whence, through holes, it is made to fall into the pulpers,
from the pulpers it is carried to the cisterns, and when washed is taken
out by the labourers to be dried, which brings us to speak of the store
and drying apparatus. Before doing so we may mention that the pulper,
which is considered a very imperfect machine, is generally driven by
four men at two handles, aided by a fly-wheel; the power is immediately
applied to turn the barrel, to which is connected a large cog-wheel,
which moves a pinion attached, to work a sieve or riddle.

Pulpers turned by water power, if properly erected to resist the strain
of the connecting machinery, work with more equality of motion, and
therefore do their work better than those worked by hand.

Many improvements in the pulping-machine have been suggested without
success; the last, which is now very generally adopted, is called a
crusher, and consists in a kind of shield instead of a chop, which
presses the coffee against the barrel. This machine is said to do as
much work in a given time as the pulper, and with less liability to cut
or prick the berry.

It has been said that the pulper is an imperfect machine; it is so in
respect to the incompleteness with which it performs the work for which
it is constructed. The work

[Illustration: Plate 7.--Interior View of the Pulping House of Messrs.
Worms’ Estates, Puselawa, Ceylon.]

complete, would be to pass forward the whole of the cherry coffee from
the hopper, as clean parchment coffee, into the cistern, and completely
separate the pulp. Instead of this, not only is there much coffee passed
forward unpulped, which has to be returned to the hopper, but much pulp
comes forward with the coffee into the cistern. To overcome these
imperfections, many hands are required attending the process of pulping;
several with sieves receive all the coffee as it comes through the
trough into the cistern, and remove all the pulp in it. The object of
this is to please the sight by making the sample even, and to take away
a material which both, renders the coffee difficult to dry, and, being
decomposed vegetable matter of a saccharine nature, is liable by
fermentation to injure the quality of the coffee itself. The coffee
which is passed unpulped, having been returned to the hopper as it
accumulates at the end of the pulper riddle, until the picking has all
been pulped, is sometimes passed through another pulper, set closer, and
what then remains is dried separately in the husk. The imperfections of
the pulper have recently attracted much notice, and improvements are
making in it.

We now arrive at the crowning operation of all--_Planting_. Economy
should be studied in every part of the work, and to plant to the best
advantage, nothing is more conducive than having the traces of the roads
and paths through the clearings already opened if possible, so as to be
available for bringing the plants from the nurseries. Plants and stumps
are both used in forming plantations; the first are seedlings, reared in
nurseries until they are about 8 to 10 inches high, or just
crowned--that is, after the appearance of their first lateral branches;
the second are the stock and roots of an older tree. Under varying
circumstances there is much to be said in favour of each. If the weather
is dry and the season advanced, stumps may be planted with less risk,
and in less time; but if plants are to be had, and the season
favourable, it is generally considered they are the best. In putting
them into the ground, if practicable, they should be removed from the
nursery with balls of earth about their roots; this is even the most
economical, as being almost an assurance against failure, and the tree
thus planted receives no check, but begins to grow directly. If, on the
other hand, the plants are to be brought too far to carry them with
balls of earth, extreme care should be taken to place them with the tap
root perpendicularly in the soil. Invariably the effect of a tap root
not being placed perpendicularly in the hole is, that when the tree is
grown to two or three feet in height, the upper shoot and branches take
a paler colour to that of the healthy plant, which is of very dark
green, the leaves also become small and elongated, and occasionally
somewhat mottled with a yellow tinge. Such plants will frequently spring
into flower and fruit prematurely, which generally turns out “boll,” or
empty in husk, and as prematurely dies away. This remark is not uncalled
for, as it requires extreme vigilance to prevent the labourers
carelessly doubling up the tap as they place the plant in the earth. The
hole should be well filled up and the earth trodden in round the plant,
which should never be buried below the crown of the root.

Nurseries of plants are variously made; much contention has existed on
the merits of shade and no shade. Shade is not required, and the plants
are best without it; yet it happens most nurseries are in some respects
subject to shade, as they have to be formed frequently before any
portion of the land is opened, and should be protected by a belt of
forest from the fire of the clearing; the jungle being cleared off and
carried to the sides of the ground selected. The soil is dug with hoes
and picks about two spits deep, and the roots of the jungle carefully
taken up, as these would afterwards break the rootlets of the plants
when taken up for transplanting. The ground being laid out in beds, is
sometimes sown broadcast with coffee-seed, which only requires to be
most lightly covered with a little sifted mould, or the seeds are
pressed in, in rows, with the finger. Sometimes small seedlings, with
two leaves and the seed leaves, are brought from another nursery, or
from beneath the coffee-bushes of a plantation or native garden, and
lined out into beds about six inches apart; these make by far the best
and hardiest plants for planting out into the fields.

We must not omit to notice the necessity for carefully replacing, with
as little delay as possible, all failures in the planting. The longer
this is delayed the more difficult does it become to do it well; and
when neglected, besides making the fields appear irregular and
unsightly, the gaps left become weed beds, and so much of the bearing
space of the acre being lost, the crop is affected in proportion.

When stumps are planted, a number of buds or suckers make their
appearance on the root; one of these only should be left, and the others
carefully rubbed off with the finger, as often as the weeding party goes
over the field.

The sprout from the bud which is left grows up and becomes the stem of a
tree, and throws out its laterals somewhat higher than the tree grown
from a nursery plant. The stump generally produces its first crop a
little out of season; for planting up failures stumps give the least

Next to lining and careful planting, nothing enhances the good
appearance of a plantation so much as the workmanlike formation of the
roads and buildings. It is, therefore, desirable, by the use of a
theodolite, to trace the roads accurately before cutting them out.
Formerly it was frequently the practice to take the road by the eye from
point to point, evading the natural difficulties of rocks or large
roots, by taking the breakneck path above or below them. Roads on
partial clearings should always have reference to the land which is
afterwards to be felled and connected with the same set of works.

Plate 8 shows a coffee district near Puselawa, Ceylon.

[Illustration: Plate 8.--Coffee District near Puselawa, Ceylon.]



The heavy blossom appears on the tree in August and September. The
principal crop is picked from April to July. A small crop, chiefly from
young coffee, is picked from September to December. The produce is sent
down to Colombo, the shipping port, from April to September. If the
estate be close to a carriage road this is done by carts, which can take
from 60 to 80 bushels. The cost of transport is sometimes enormous. It
is not unusual to see carts loaded with coffee lying at the bottom of a
precipice, while the bullocks which had brought them have died from
exhaustion. If not near a road, carrying coolies are employed, or pack
bullocks, which take a load of 3 bushels, to transport it either to a
store, from which a carriage will convey it to Colombo, or to the
navigable point of one of the rivers. Of the various modes and facility,
or the want of it, possessed by estates situated in different districts,
some idea may be formed in the expense varying from 1s. to 12s. per cwt.
for bringing the produce to Colombo.

There are now in Colombo upwards of thirty establishments for the
preparation of coffee for shipment, ten or twelve of these employ steam
power to drive the requisite machinery. To most of them large barbecues
for drying are attached, and cooperages for the preparation of casks,
and in the season, which lasts nearly three quarters of the year, from
10,000 to 15,000 women and 1000 to 2000 men are employed in the

Though the coffee has been sufficiently dried on the plantation to
enable it to reach Colombo in safety, it is not sufficiently hard to
part with the silver pellicle which envelops each berry under the
parchment skin, and to resist the pressure of the peeler, without some
additional drying in the more powerful sun at Colombo.

It is, therefore, again exposed on the barbecue, until it reaches a
crisp dryness. (Plate 9 shows the barbecue or drying-floor on Messrs.
Worms’ estate, Puselawa, in Ceylon, and the native labourers spreading
the coffee to dry.) It is next submitted to the pressure of the peeler,
which breaks the berry out of the parchment covering, and sets the
silver skin at liberty. It may be noticed that the silver skin, though
perhaps not adding two ounces to the weight of 112 lbs., gives the
coffee an appearance considered to be unsightly in the London market,
and, therefore, depreciates its value; its adherence to the coffee,
though the cause is not known in the market, is supposed to be generally
the result of bad drying on the plantation, being allowed to remain too
long wet, or being permitted to heat after it is taken from the

Several processes have to be gone through before the article known in
commerce as coffee is produced. In the first place, the pulpy exterior
of the berry, as we have seen, has to be removed by the process of
pulping, which separates the seed and its thin covering, called the
parchment, from the husk. When this pulping process is completed, we
have the parchment by itself in a cistern, and the next process consists
in getting rid of the mucilage with which it is covered. For this
purpose the water is drained from the cistern, and fermentation is
allowed to take place, which it readily does after a period of
twenty-four hours, or even less on a low estate, where the climate is
warm, though forty-eight hours are generally required on the highest

[Illustration: Plate 9.--The Barbecue, or Drying-Floor, Messrs. Worms’
Estates, Puselawa.]

Water is then admitted into the cistern, and the coffee being agitated
by wooden rakes, the mucilage combines with the water and is drained
off. After this the washed parchment coffee has to be dried to a hard
stage, and as it frequently happens that during crop time there is a
continuance of wet weather for weeks and months together, the chief
difficulties which a planter has to contend with now present themselves.

The peeler, or machine for removing the parchment, consists of a
circular trough, in which a wheel is made to travel; this is generally
made of wood, and shod with copper sheeting, and is turned by central
pressure, like the capstan of a ship, either by hand or by the gearing
of machinery attached to a steam-engine. An improvement on this has been
made by constructing the travelling wheels of iron, and the trough of
plates of the same metal; these plates being serrated in one direction,
so as to present a rough surface to the coffee, facilitate the fracture
of the parchment. Two wheels are generally made to work in one trough,
each of which is provided with a kind of scraper, to stir up the coffee
in its path and cause it to present a new face to the pressure.

A coffee-peeler is usually made of durable wood or iron. The
circumference of the machine is 36 feet; the breadth between the circles
in the machine is 1 foot. The height of the wheel 6 feet; the thickness
near the axle-tree 1 foot, and on the top 6 inches; twelve men or four
bullocks can turn it. If turned by men 200 bushels of coffee, and if
worked by bullocks 140 bushels, can be obtained in nine hours; if by
steam about 800 or 1000 bushels. The cost of constructing a machine to
be worked by men or bullocks is 25_l._, by steam 600_l._

After undergoing this process, the coffee is passed into a winnower,
which removes nearly the whole of the parchment and silver skin. It is
now given to the women, in quantities of a bushel each, to be picked
over by hand, who take out all blacks, broken berries, _triage_, or
anything calculated to injure its even quality. Further to improve its
appearance, the coffee is passed through a sizing machine, by which
generally three sizes are separated: the round, or pea berry, and a
larger and smaller berry, each of which from the separation is more even
in appearance, and as such preferred in the London market.

Sizers are variously made of perforated sheet zinc or wire gauze, with
openings of three sizes, increasing from the top in the form of a long
pipe, which, being slightly inclined and made to revolve, pass the
coffee, poured in above into the bins constructed to receive the
different sizes.

The coffee, now ready to be packed, is at once put into casks,
containing 6 or 7 cwt. each, and sent away on board ship without delay.
These processes are constantly improving and are now thoroughly
understood--a remark which would seem uncalled for, but for the
recollection of the bungling and conflicting systems which were in vogue
a few years since.



Parchment Coffee, when in an unseasoned state, is prone to enter into
decomposition from the time at which it is withdrawn from the protection
of the living organism until it is thoroughly seasoned by drying, after
which it may be kept for any length of time in a dry place.

The worth of coffee as an article of commerce is lessened in proportion
to the extent to which these progressive changes are allowed to go on.
If heating has taken place, the bean can never afterwards acquire the
pellucid colour which is indicative of well-dried coffee, but partakes
more or less of a dingy appearance. If mouldiness ensues, the aromatic
properties, like those of tea, give place to an insipid flavour; and
finally, if the bean undergoes putrefaction, it assumes a dull black
colour, and becomes totally destitute of every valuable property.

When the crops ripen, they must be gathered and cured under all
circumstances of weather; and as it generally happens that this has to
be done during the prevalence of the periodical rains, the difficulties
to be contended with are so much the greater. The extensive nature of
the operations has also to be taken into account in forming an estimate
of the difficulties to be provided for. During the busy season of crop
upwards of 1000 bushels of cherries are daily gathered from some
plantations, yielding an increase of 500 bushels of parchment coffee to
be daily added to that which has already accumulated in the store.

Past experience having shown that coffee was most easily preserved in a
sweet state when spread thinly on the floor, large and commodious
buildings were called into use, notwithstanding the unusually heavy
expense which attended their erection in situations remote from town,
where sufficiently skilful labour was only to be had at the time, and
with great difficulty. On this account inadequate accommodation was
provided on many plantations, and the coffee accumulating to a
considerable depth, no amount of hand-turning could keep it from
contracting a musty smell, its proneness to decomposition increasing
greatly in proportion to the extent of the accumulation.

Some years ago it occurred to Mr. Clerihew that it was possible, by
means of fanners, working on the exhausting principle, so to withdraw
air from an enclosed space as to establish a current of air through
masses of coffee spread on perforated floors forming the top and bottom
of that space. This plan he carried into execution at Rathoongodde
plantation, and it has since been adopted by many planters.

The following is a detailed description of Mr. Clerihew’s invention, a
model of which was shown at the International Exhibition of 1851:

The water-wheel is an overshot one, nine feet in diameter, and is of
much smaller dimensions than any wheel that has hitherto been employed
for pulping. It is, however, sufficient in power to work the fans and
pulpers simultaneously, the excess of its power over that of other
wheels being gained by the diminution of friction consequent on there
being no intervening shafting and gearing. The entire wheel is
constructed of wood, with the exception of the shaft, which is unusually
light, as it has merely to serve as a support to the wheel. By means of
a double band rim-bolted to the arms on each side, motion is given to
the pulpers from the one and to the fans from the other.

The floors of the curing-house are laid with laths 1¼ inch square and 2
inches apart; these are covered with open coir matting; being rather
cheap and durable, this material answers the purpose remarkably well.
The side walls of the curing-house are constructed in the manner of the
country, viz. of wattled work filled in with clay and smoothed over so
as to be air-tight.

To derive the full benefit of natural heat, the roof is covered with
felt or with sheet-iron, so that in fine weather the temperature of the
air in the upper floor is raised considerably by contact with the hot
roof, and its capacity for absorbing moisture much increased,
preparatory to its being drawn down through the mass of coffee in the
upper floor. Even in the cool climate of the district of Upper
Hewahette, at an elevation of 4500 feet, in a fine day the temperature
of the air under a felt roof is 120° when the fans are not working, so
that a great drying power is thus made available at no expense.

The lower floor, on the other hand, is adapted for the application of
artificial heat for the purpose of evaporating the surface water from
each separate batch of coffee as it is taken from the washing cisterns
preparatory to its being deposited in the upper floor. In wet weather
this is essential, for the atmospheric air being then saturated with
moisture, no drying can take place until its capacity for absorbing
moisture is increased by an increase of temperature. One other reason
for adopting this arrangement is, that when the coffee is first taken
wet from the washing cisterns the interstices of the beans are more or
less occupied with water, and thus present a medium less pervious to air
than is the case when the surface water has been dried off. Consequently
it is desirable that, until this has been done, the depth of the coffee
should not exceed six inches, and, to be equal to every emergency, the
heating power ought to be sufficient in the wettest weather to evaporate
the surface water from the produce of a day’s picking (within
twenty-four hours), so as to allow of its being removed into the upper
floor. The daily number of bushels picked from any, or the same
plantation, is of course a variable quantity: depending on the extent of
the cultivation, the quality of the trees, the number of hands employed,
and the elevation of the land; the latter, when considerable, having the
effect of prolonging the picking season. The stove is more than
sufficient for a daily picking of 400 bushels of cherries.

The heating stove is square, has a waggon head with a semicircular
opening in the centre for the passage of air, and is constructed of
stout sheet-iron. It is placed within an arch, with a clearance of nine
inches all round also for the passage of air, the guiding principle in
its construction being to adapt it to the burning of wood, and to expose
as much heating surface as possible to the air which flows past it into
the air-chamber beneath the ground-floor. The stove opening is the only
one which admits air to the coffee on the ground-floor. Consequently,
when it is more or less closed by a damper, the power of the fans is
exerted either in part or altogether on the mass of coffee in the upper

In these applications of natural and artificial heat to the curing of
coffee, the heat is conveyed by the air through the whole depth of
coffee in such a manner that each bean feels its influence, whilst the
watery products elicited by the heat are at the same time, and by the
same means, carried off. It cannot be doubted that these applications
are far more effectual than any of the modes hitherto in use; in some
cases stoves were employed in the apartment containing the coffee, but
it is obvious that their influence could not extend beyond the surface
of the mass, and that, if the apartment was closed, there was no
provision for carrying off the air that had become loaded with moisture
due to its temperature; whilst, if the apartment was open, so as to
afford a free draught of air, the greater portion of the heat given out
by the stove was carried out before the heated air could act on the
coffee. In other cases, heating pipes of various kinds were used below
the floors on which the coffee was placed. This arrangement, however,
has the effect of injuring the coffee, by steaming it; no provision
being made for carrying off the excess of hot watery vapour which
accumulates within the mass, but, on the other hand, the natural
processes of decomposition are assisted and promoted.

The construction of Mr. Clerihew’s heating apparatus is simple, and a
moderate supply of fuel has a considerable effect in raising the
temperature of cold damp air before it is brought into contact with the
coffee through which it is drawn by the aid of the fans. This heated air
becomes diffused throughout the whole of the chamber, which extends
beneath the ground-floor in such a manner that no portion of the coffee
which is on that floor can be free from its influence.

The fans at Rathoongodde are much more powerful than those in common
use, the peculiarity in the shape of the blade giving them a great
advantage as air-moving machines, in so far as the indraught is
concerned, whilst one-half of the periphery being open a ready exit is
afforded for the discharge of air. In the ordinary fan, if a smoking
match is applied to any part of the indraught opening, the air will be
seen to flow towards a neutral point in the centre of the fan, following
a spiral direction, and thence in the periphery of the fan.

In Mr. Clerihew’s modification of the blade each film of air, so to
speak, flows into the fan directly, until it impinges on the curvilinear
part of the blade, and from that point is thrown at a right angle
towards the periphery. The column of air being thus less distorted in
its progress, there is not only a greater quantity discharged, but much
less power is consumed in effecting that discharge--in the common fan
it is evident, from the circumstance of the air flowing to an apex,
that a great amount of power is wasted in producing the increased
velocity with which a column of air equal in volume to the two ingress
openings of the fan must pass so contracted an area before it is
discharged; hence it is that the fan, as an air-moving machine, has been
considered unequal to the screw.

The enclosed space of the coffee-curing house at Rathoongodde has an
area in the cross section of 100 superficial feet, it is 70 feet long,
and a pair of fans are placed at one end. Repeated experiments have
shown that, when the fans make 100 revolutions per minute, a cloud of
smoke travels to them from the centre of the enclosed space (a distance
of 35 feet) in precisely 15 seconds, hence we have 100 × 35 = 3500 cubic
feet of air discharged in a quarter of a minute, or 14,000 cubic feet
per minute; a screw of nearly seven feet in diameter would be required
to discharge the same amount of air, and the cost of it in England is 84
guineas, whilst the pair of fans made and fitted up at Rathoongodde cost
under 9_l._

In the centre of the enclosed space, with a depth of four feet of coffee
in the upper floor, the flame of a candle is blown to a right angle when
the whole power of the fans is put on that floor; near to the fans it is
extinguished, the air moving forward with a uniformly accelerated
velocity from the farther end towards the fans, owing to the constant
accessions made by the air entering the enclosed space throughout its
whole length.

It has already been mentioned that the only entrance of air into the
air-chamber beneath the ground-floor is by the opening in which the
stove is placed, consequently, when this opening is closed by a damper,
it is obvious that the whole power of the fans is exerted on the mass of
coffee which is being cured on the upper floor, and that the division
of this power may be regulated at will by more or less obstructing the
entrance of air to the air-chamber by the damper. The upper floor is not
supposed to be an air-tight apartment, but as the chief entrance of air
is by the two doors in the end, its influx may be so far obstructed by
closing them as to throw the greater part of the power of the fans on
the coffee which is on the ground-floor, when this is required. Again,
since it is obvious that, in wet weather, when the atmosphere is fully
saturated with moisture proportionate to its temperature, it becomes a
desideratum to introduce a portion of the artificially heated air into
the vacant space which is over the coffee in the upper floor, so that
the air which passes down through that coffee may have an absorbing
tendency; this is accomplished by shutting the doors of the upper floor
and throwing open the top-covering of the fan. By this means one-half of
the air which is drawn from the stove is thrown in above the coffee in
the upper floor, whilst the other half is discharged altogether. This
infusion of heated air would on many occasions be attended with benefit,
but the advantage will naturally depend on the comparative state of
dryness of the coffee on the two floors.

In having recourse to these practical modifications some little judgment
and observation are of more service than precept. It will be found, for
instance, that if the coffee in the upper floor approaches the dry
stage, it is better in wet weather to shut the doors of that floor as
well as the tops of the fans, so that only a small flittering of air
sufficient to ward off the first stages of decomposition may pass
through that coffee, whilst the wet coffee below has the full benefit of
a more rapid circulation of absorbent air.

Attention may now be directed to the practical results which these
arrangements have afforded in the curing of coffee.

The coffee in the upper floor, as the crop advanced, gradually
increased in depth until it stood at four feet all over the floor. When
at this depth, with the fans making 100 revolutions per minute, the flow
of air was quite sensible to the hand placed on the surface of the
coffee, and was rendered apparent by the smoke from a match following
the direction of the air; at the same time the rarefaction of the air
within the enclosed space was so very slight as barely to be appreciable
by a very delicate mountain barometer, though it had the effect of
causing the door to shut with a slam; thus showing that a slight
rarefaction of the air is sufficient to disturb the balance of
atmospheric pressure, even when acting through a medium of coffee of
considerable depth. The current of air thus established continued to
flow without interruption until the fans were stopped.

A cold glass tumbler taken into the store in a warm day, when the fans
were not in motion, became instantly dimmed and wet by the precipitation
of moisture from the internal air. When another glass was taken into the
store, one minute after the fans were put in motion, it remained clear,
without a trace of moisture.

A very satisfactory result soon showed itself, viz. that whilst the
temperature of the air as it entered the moist coffee was 80° in a warm
day, the temperature of the coffee itself, as indicated by an immersed
thermometer, was only 58°; the wet coffee being invariably coldest when
the air that was made to pass through it was warmest. This paradox
admitted of easy explanation, when it was considered that each bean of
undried coffee was under similar circumstances to evaporating vessels of
water placed in a draught of warm air for the purpose of cooling the
water. The cold thus produced was, therefore, the necessary concomitant
of the evaporation that was going on, and the difference between these
temperatures afforded a measure of the drying power in different states
of the weather. The circumstance of the hot air lowering the
temperature of the coffee was also favourable in another point of view,
seeing that it has been shown that heat is one of the conditions which
promotes mouldiness, or the germination of fungi.

Every bushel of parchment coffee contains half a cubic foot of air, a
fact ascertained by a bushel which took thirty-three measures of water
to fill it. When full of newly-washed coffee it took thirteen of these
measures of the water to displace the air from the interstices of the
beans without overflowing, so that we have 13--33 of air in a bushel of
coffee; in other words, half a cubic foot. Hence, the fans in use are
capable of giving a fresh atmosphere to 28,000 bushels of coffee every
minute, or in the same time four fresh atmospheres to 7000 bushels.

During a continuance of nearly three months of wet weather which
occurred at one crop time, the coffee in the curing-house dried very
slowly, but was kept in a perfectly fresh and sweet state without the
intervention of any manual labour, further than in depositing each day’s
increase in the lower floor to dry off the surface water, and removing
that of each previous day to the upper floor, where it was spread on the
top of all the coffee that had previously accumulated. These three
months of wet weather were succeeded by a fortnight of very dry weather,
and, on examining the coffee at the end of that period, it was found to
have reached the dry horny stage at which it is usual to despatch it
from the estate to Colombo, for the purpose of being peeled and shipped.
On examining the beans they were found to be of that clear colour which
distinguishes coffee carefully cured in small quantities, with the
advantage of the most favourable weather. Under like circumstances, viz.
during such a continuation of wet weather, it would have been impossible
to preserve the coffee free from more or less mustiness of smell, by
manual labour employed in the usual way, whilst at the same time the
expense of storework would have been more than fourfold. The whole
expense of the storework, viz. pulping, washing, curing, and storing the
Rathoongodde coffee, amounted to 2¼d. per cwt., and when it is
considered that during crop time the value of every man’s labour is
greatly increased, it is an object, as far as possible, to substitute
mechanical contrivance for manual labour, so that all hands may be
employed in gathering the crop as it ripens.

Every planter knows that when coffee is spread out in a single layer on
the floor of his store, it becomes dry after a time, and is well cured
without any further attention on his part; but it is impossible to
devote sufficient space for this purpose without incurring an expense
which would be quite incompatible with his circumstances. When, however,
coffee is thus spread out in a single layer, it is obvious that the
reason why it requires no attention is, because the beans being freely
exposed to the atmosphere, there is naturally a constant change of the
air by which they are surrounded; the same air is not sufficiently long
in contact with the beans to excite the first action of decomposition,
and the absorption of oxygen is not accomplished. Presuming, however,
that it were so, the subsequent actions could not take place, for the
products of the first action, viz. carbonic acid, heat and watery
vapour, would immediately make their escape and be dissipated by the
atmosphere, which is precisely what takes place when, by mechanical
means, a draught of air is carried through a _mass_ of coffee. Hence, it
is evident that the requirements of space are overcome by the adoption
of this plan, and that a great mass of coffee is placed under conditions
similar to those by which a single layer is influenced when exposed to a
natural draught of atmospheric air.



Southern India is becoming as celebrated for its coffee, as Northern
India for its tea. We find that the exports of coffee from Madras have
increased considerably during the last five years, and there is every
reason for supposing that Southern India will shortly become the chief
coffee-producing country of the world. We have no idea of the number of
acres of land under coffee cultivation in the Madras Presidency, but it
must be very large, for after its local wants have been supplied, coffee
to the value of half a million sterling is exported.

In 1858-59 the shipments were 7,288,421 lbs. to foreign ports, and
4,083,917 lbs. to Indian ports. In 1862-63 the shipments were 16,292,238
lbs. to foreign ports, and 3,976,766 lbs. to Indian ports.

Though some parts of India are well adapted to the culture, it is not
yet so extensively cultivated as might have been expected from the
vicinity of its Arabian sites to the Malabar coast. There, however, some
excellent coffee is grown, as well as in the hilly regions of Mysore and
on the slopes of the Neilgherries, and some of these are of such good
quality, and so carefully prepared, as to bring the same price as Mocha
coffee. Some very good specimens of coffee have also been produced in
the interior of India, as in the district of Chota Nagpore, where the
culture might apparently be greatly extended, and be of great benefit
for consumption in that part of the country.

According to local tradition, the coffee-plant was introduced into
Mysore by a Mussulman pilgrim, named Baba Booden, who came from Arabia
about two hundred years ago, and took up his abode as a hermit in the
uninhabited hills in the Nuggur Division named after him, and where he
established a college, which still exists, endowed by government. It is
said that he brought some coffee-berries from Mocha, which he planted
near to his hermitage, about which there are now to be seen some very
old coffee-trees. However this may be, there is no doubt that the
coffee-plant has been known in that neighbourhood from time immemorial,
but the berry has never come into general use among the people for a
beverage. It is only of late years that the coffee trade of these
districts has become of any magnitude, or that planting has been carried
to any important extent. The export of coffee from British India, which
in 1851 was only 3239 tons, had increased in 1861 to 8535 tons; about
one-fourth of this is shipped from Bombay, and nearly all the remainder
from Madras.

More than thirty years ago a few Europeans were engaged in coffee
planting near Chickmoogloor, a few miles from the Bababooden Hills.
About twenty years ago the plantation producing the well-known coffee
called “Cannon’s Mysore,” and others, on the Memzera, or “Bad Mountain,”
was commenced by two enterprising gentlemen. The success of these has
induced many more Europeans to plant coffee there, and the consequence
is that the coffee trade of Mysore bids fair to emulate that of Ceylon.
It has given, also, an example to other parts of India, and the plant
originally taken from the Bababooden Muth is now extending over tens of
thousands of acres in Coorg, the Wynaad district, the Neilgherry Hills,
and along the Western Ghauts, north and south.

In Mysore the number of European coffee-planters has increased to about
thirty, while the number of native planters is estimated at between
three and four thousand.

The average produce per acre in Mysore is probably not half that of
Ceylon. Some attempts have been made to cultivate coffee in the open
country, but without success; it seems to require forest land and
considerable elevation and moisture. “Cannon’s Mysore” is grown on a
range of hills from 3500 to 4000 feet above the sea, having the benefit
of the south-west monsoon, which very seldom fails at all, never
entirely, and of the tail-end of the north-east monsoon. This elevation
gives a pleasant climate, well suited to Europeans.

Several species of the genus Coffea (_C. alpestris_, _C. grumeloides_,
and _C. Wightiana_) are indigenous to the Neilgherry Hills.

A berry, generally one which has itself fallen ripe from the tree, is
put into the ground, usually in a nursery plot, though some planters
prefer to place the seed in the identical hole which is to be its future
situation. The nursery plan is, however, generally adopted, and here the
young plant, which shoots up in about a month after it is sown, is
allowed to remain until about sixteen months old. It, or rather we will
say they, for hundreds and thousands are generally dealt with at once,
are transplanted to holes which have been carefully prepared for them on
the soil which is to be their future location. These holes are generally
two feet cube, and many good planters prefer them even deeper; in this
the plant is carefully placed and covered around, and in eighteen months
from that time, _i.e._ about three years from the time the berry was
first planted, our small coffee-tree begins to bear fruit, the first
crop being of course very scanty.

The berry is picked from November to the end of February, by any number
of men, women, and boys which can be collected, and who are paid by the
quantity they pick, some expert hands earning a good deal.

The berry collected is carried to the house of the estate, and there
having been weighed, is thrown into what is called a cherry loft, a
wooden chamber, alongside of, but a little higher, than the place
containing the pulper. From this cherry loft to the pulper the coffee is
washed by a stream of water, which carries it along a trough so arranged
as to catch and impede any stones or heavier materials from entering the
pulping machine. These heavier materials sink to the bottom of the
trough, and the buoyant coffee-berry, floating on the surface, is borne
to its destination.

The object of the pulper is to remove the fleshy capsule from the berry,
and this being accomplished, the coffee passes on in one direction,
whilst the pulp, by a clever arrangement of the mechanism of the
instrument, is pushed away in another. The berry is now thrown into a
vat and allowed to ferment, until the remaining mucilaginous substance
adherent to the parchment covering is easily washed away by water.

This accomplished, it is thrown on open exposed places, called
barbecues, and allowed to dry in the sun. This takes about twelve days,
when it is packed in gunny (jute) bags, placed upon bullocks, and
despatched to the coast.

There it is what is called garbled, that is, having been once more
exposed to the sun and thoroughly dried, it is placed in circular
troughs, and over it large heavy wheels, shod with iron nails, are made
to revolve. This removes what is called the parchment skin, leaving the
berry now covered only with a beautifully fine coating, the silver skin.

It is then, by a number of women employed for the purpose, carefully
sized; after this, passed through a pea-berry mill, the object being to
separate the round pea-shaped berry from the flatter, the former being
much more prized, and fetching a higher price in the market, though why,
it is difficult to say, as it makes no better coffee than the other; and
as it has to be deprived of its form by roasting and grinding before it
comes to table, the advantage of its pea-shaped figure is, to say the
least of it, somewhat obscure.

There is likewise separated from the rest what is called “triage,” the
broken and otherwise defective beans, which are also packed by
themselves, and which again, we believe, though selling more cheaply,
are found to make quite as good an infusion for a beverage as their more
aristocratic friends the pea-berries. However, pea-berries, flats, and
triage, are all ultimately packed in square wooden boxes and shipped to
England, where it is sold, roasted, ground, and drank.

In Wynaad, in the close of 1863, there were 93 coffee estates, covering
50,000 acres, of which about 15,000 acres were planted; 6100 acres had
trees over two years old on them. There were also about 3600 acres under
culture with coffee by the natives. Wynaad is an elevated plateau,
rising somewhat abruptly from the western or Malabar side, but sloping
more towards the Mysore or easterly side.

The quantity of coffee exported from Tellicherry during the official
year ending April, 1862, was 58,500 cwt., of which about 30,000 cwt. is
supposed to have come from Wynaad, the rest from Coorg. 8 cwt. of coffee
per acre is considered an average yield in Wynaad, 10 cwt. a good crop.



It was from Beit-el-Faguil, the European factory near Mocha, that the
coffee-tree was transported to the island of Bourbon, in the year 1718,
and it is remarkable that the islanders recognised the plant as natural
to their own country, and brought the astonished importers abundance
from their native mountains. In Bourbon they distinguish four varieties
of the coffee-plant.

1. The Mocha, which is very delicate, for the plants degenerate and
often perish after a good crop.

2. The Levoy, which is more hardy, but the coffee is inferior in

3. The Myrtle, a variety of the Mocha, very hardy, and yielding abundant

4. The Marron, or wild coffee, with such bitter and narcotic properties
that it can only be used by admixture with the berries of one of the
other varieties.

JAVA.--In Java, coffee is a government monopoly, and the planters bring
their coffee to a central government depôt for sale at a fixed price.
The island exports about 1,250,000 cwts. of coffee annually. Java coffee
has lost much of its former repute from being largely saturated with
moisture, artificially to the extent of 14 per cent.; this increases the
weight, but must injure the quality in transport.

At the Paris Exhibition of 1855, the Netherlands Commercial Association
contributed a very varied collection of two dozen varieties of coffees
from the Dutch government possessions in Java, under the following
classification: Brown, clear brown, deep yellow, yellow, yellowish,
white, whitish, pale of Havana kind, blue, fine green, handsome green,
green, greenish, mottled green, deep green West India kind, green West
India kind, pale green West India kind, dark Demerara kind, green
Demerara kind, deep grey, triage, common black, greenish Menado, and
white Padang. The Netherlands Society sell about 1,000,000 bags or bales
of coffee annually.

The following were the exports of coffee from Java in 1862:

  To Holland on private account       128,047
  To other countries                  165,116
  By the Netherlands Trading Company  877,241

The position of the coffee trade of Java is shown in the figures
annexed, for five years:


         tons.     value.
  1858   66,575  £2,614,505
  1859   59,769   2,565,137
  1860   54,638   2,486,115
  1861   61,783   2,850,518
  1862   63,286   3,465,747

Three kinds of Java coffee are commonly brought to Europe--Jacatra
(usually sold as Java), Cheribou, and Samarang. The first is the best,
the second is generally a little lighter colour and of somewhat inferior
quality, and the third has yellowish brown, or green, flattened beans.
What is generally sold in the Dutch markets as Samarang is, however,
simply a kind of “triage,” with black beans of a coarse flavour.

SIAM.--On the hilly districts of the east coast of the Gulf of Siam the
cultivation of coffee is carried on to a limited extent, and some very
fine samples of Siam coffee were shown at the International Exhibition
of 1862, sent me by Messrs. Markwold and Co., and by Sir Robert
Schomburgk, the British Consul-General.

SUMATRA is one of the worst kinds of coffee received from the Eastern
Archipelago. The beans are large, dark yellow or brown, and occasionally
even black, and the flavour varies considerably. The production in
Sumatra averages about 5 to 6,000,000 lbs., but has often been double
that amount.

CELEBES.--With the exception of Menado, which has large beans of a pale
greenish or yellow colour, Celebes coffee is greatly inferior to Java,
and it is questionable whether the colour when brought to market is not
given by artificial means. The production is about 1,000,000 lbs.

PHILIPPINES.--Manilla coffee is one of the best of the Eastern kinds,
and quite equal to Java. The average production is about 3,000,000 lbs.
The beans are medium-sized, and of a pale greenish colour. The coffee is
shipped in bags of about 150 lbs., or in cases or chests of 200 lbs. to
300 lbs.

OTHER SOURCES.--The cultivation of coffee is making rapid progress in
the Sandwich Islands. There are now considerably more than half a
million trees in bearing on the island, producing upwards of 2,000,000
lbs. annually--the largest proportion of which is shipped to California.
Queensland and the northern districts of Australia could raise large
quantities of coffee. It is much less laborious than cotton, more fitted
for women and children, and, being adapted to the mountain ranges of
tropical climates, of course more healthy and invigorating than the
sultry plains. The range of mountains varying from twenty-five to thirty
miles from the northern coast of Australia, towards Torres Straits,
would be admirably suited to the culture.



It is remarkable that, much as coffee is used in this country, the
proper mode of preparing it as a beverage should be so little
understood. Perhaps it is that most people consider coffee-making as too
easy a process to need any pains at all; and for this reason the coffee
served at nine breakfast-tables out of ten, throughout the kingdom, is a
miserable muddy infusion, which people seem to drink only because, as
washerwomen say, it is “wet and warm.” The right way of making coffee is
not less easy than the wrong one; there is no mystery about it. All that
is required is the observance of a few simple rules:

1. The nature of coffee is such that it parts very easily with its
aromatic, stimulating, and other properties; a small quantity of water
will draw out all the goodness quite as effectually as a large quantity,
and it will do this if the coffee-berries be only bruised or very
coarsely ground. It is a grave mistake to suppose that coffee should be
ground to a fine powder; extreme fineness is the great cause of “thick
coffee” as prepared for breakfast. In Eastern countries, where people
know what good coffee means, they always bruise the berries in a mortar.
In fact, the goodness of coffee depends more on the roasting and the
method of preparing afterwards, than on the quality of the berry, or any
other particular.

2. Buy your coffee ready roasted, but not ground; that is, buy
coffee-berries, and always choose such as are fresh roasted, in
preference to stale. Observe, also, whether your grocer keeps the
article properly shut up in tin canisters, or lets it lie about in open
tubs or trays.

3. If possible, buy a coffee-mill, one that will grind very coarsely.
The price varies from 2s. 6d. to 5s. This article is so essential to a
good cup of coffee, that no one who can afford the outlay should
hesitate to buy one. Those who have a pestle and mortar may try the
method of bruising; but whether a mill or a mortar, no more should be
ground or crushed than is wanted for use at the time.

4. Coffee requires to be kept in a very dry place; and, as it readily
takes up the flavour of other articles near which it may be placed, it
should be kept in an air-tight vessel. If you buy tea and coffee at the
same time, do not pack them in one parcel or basket, or carry them in
the same packet, for the true flavour of both will be injured. We
presume that no one will be so careless as to keep either tea or coffee
in paper only; a wooden box would be better than this, but a bottle or
porcelain jar is best of all.

5. Have a clean, dry coffee-pot; it should always be rinsed out when put
away, and turned down to drain.

6. To every half pint of water, allow half an ounce of coffee-powder;
have your kettle of water boiling, put the necessary quantity of powder
into the coffee-pot, and pour in as much water from the kettle as you
require. Set the pot on the fire for a few seconds, but on no account
let the contents boil up; then pour about half a pint of the liquor into
a cup, and pour it back again into the pot, and stand it on the hob or
on the fender to settle. If these directions have been properly
followed, there will be in three or four minutes a pot of coffee as
clear and well-tasted as any one could wish to drink. Should it be too
strong, you have only to use less of the coffee-powder. All the goodness
is extracted with the first boiling; and those who wish to drink good
coffee must never boil the same grounds a second time.

7. The milk in all cases must be warmed, and used as hot as possible;
and it should always be put into the cup with the sugar before the
coffee is poured in. When a cup of coffee is taken after dinner, it
should be drank without milk, and with little or no sugar.

8. But of all the preparations of coffee there is none equal to the
French, known as _café au lait_, or milk coffee. We have drank it
constantly for several years, and can pronounce it to excel all others
as a breakfast beverage. In this there is more milk than water, and the
coffee liquor is rather an essence than a decoction; it will be almost
black in colour. The process to be followed is the same in most respects
as described; but, instead of a quart or three pints, not more than a
third of your usual quantity of water is to be poured on the full
quantity of coffee-powder. After it has stood to settle, pour it
carefully off the grounds into a jug or pitcher, which is to be kept hot
by any convenient means. In this way the liquor, though black, will be
perfectly clear. At the same time a quantity of milk, according to the
wants of your party, must be heated in a saucepan with a spout or a lip.
When this is ready, pour it into your breakfast-cups until they are
three-parts full, or rather more, add the sugar, and then fill up with
coffee from the jug, more or less, according as you prefer it strong or
weak. Coffee made in this way will be found more nutritious, and to
possess greater richness and smoothness, than can be attained by any
other means.

Many persons are in the habit of keeping roasted coffee in vessels of
tin, closely secured; this is a most improper mode, and the consequences
of doing so may be pointed out. It is known that coffee contains gallic
acid, a principle which has the property of acting on iron or tin, and
it is therefore certain that in keeping coffee in these canisters the
acid has such an effect in dissolving particles of the metal, as not
only to affect the taste, but even the colour of the coffee. To convince
one’s self of this, it is only necessary to leave some freshly-roasted
coffee in a tinned vessel for a time, and it will soon be found to have
imbibed a black colour and a most disagreeable taste.

It appears, therefore, to be necessary to avoid keeping coffee in these
metal receptacles. The best mode of properly preserving the article is
by using vessels of porcelain, or other similar material. With regard to
the description of coffee-pot to be used in preparing the article, it
should never be of tin or iron; nothing will so soon and so surely
destroy the fine flavour of the beverage as these descriptions of
coffee-pots. It has generally been the practice to make coffee either by
boiling it, or by pouring boiling water on the ground coffee placed on a
filter. Both of these methods are bad.

Experience has shown that boiling water destroys or sensibly alters the
volatile parts of the berry, and dissolves those which are bitter and
unpleasant. We ought not, therefore, to employ water heated to a greater
temperature than to allow the finger being placed in it. But difficult
as it may be to believe, there can be no doubt but that the best mode of
preparing this beverage is with cold water. Coffee so made is not only
more aromatic, more limpid, and more substantial, but it is far stronger
than any made with hot water. The cold infusion takes from the coffee
and communicates to the water all its aromatic qualities, while it does
not imbibe much, if any, of the gallic acid; consequently this
preparation is far less bitter than that which has been boiled, in which
process the most minute particles are acted upon.

Coffee thus made is of a fine bright and dark colour; it requires far
less sugar and much less care, because all that has to be done is to
place the powder on the filter, drop on it a little water, and when well
moistened to pour on it the proper quantity of water. The filtration
will be completed in a moderately short space of time, and the liquor
having run through, may be again poured on the coffee, so as to remove
any further portion of flavour left in it; and when this has been done,
the preparation will be so delicate and aromatic that those who taste it
will adopt the mode in preference to any other. When the coffee thus
made is to be warmed for use, it must not be heated to the boiling
point, and take care that the vessel in which it is warmed be quite
full. It may be here remarked that coffee thus made warm is always more
pleasant than when drank at the time of its preparation, provided it be
not made to boil, and that the coffee-pot be well closed. It is equally
necessary with the above that the berry should be well and thoroughly
roasted, and not ground in a mill or machine, but pounded and sifted, so
as to secure the particles being of equal fineness.

To enter into an examination of the comparative merits and demerits of
the several percolators and cafetières at present in use, would extend
these observations to too great a length; but most of those generally
adopted are worthless, or complicated, with the abominable bag-filter,
which is seldom kept clean. There is ample room for inventors in the
manufacture of a simple coffee-pot with a water-gauge at the side, which
shall effect what is not now done--a passage of the hot water once only
through the coffee, so as to have a bright infusion instead of a muddy

“Tea,” observes Dr. Sigmond, “as the morning beverage, when breakfast
forms a good substantial meal, upon which the powers for the day of
meeting the various chances and changes of life depend, provided it be
not strong, is much to be recommended; but when individuals eat little,
coffee certainly supports them in a more decided manner; and, besides
this, tea without a certain quantity of solid aliment, is much more
likely to influence the nervous system. Some persons, if they drink tea
in the morning and coffee at night, suffer much in animal spirits and in
power of enjoyment of the pleasure of society; but if they reverse the
system, and take coffee in the morning and tea at night, they reap
benefit from the change; for the coffee, which to them in the morning is
nutrition, becomes a stimulus at night; and the tea, which acts as a
dilutent at night, gives nothing for support during the day.”

The Turks drink their coffee very hot and strong, and without sugar;
occasionally they put in, when boiling, a clove or two bruised, or a few
seeds of star anise, or a drop of essence of amber.

The following quotations from recent travellers give the Turkish mode of
making coffee:

“The bruised or ground beans are thrown into a small brass or copper
saucepan; sufficient water, scalding hot, is poured upon them, and,
after being allowed to simmer for a few seconds, the liquid is poured
into small cups, without refining or straining. Persons unaccustomed to
this way of making coffee find it unpalatable. Those who have overcome
the first introduction prefer it to that made after the French fashion,
whereby the aroma is lost or deteriorated. A well made cup of good
Turkish coffee is indeed the most delectable beverage, that can be well
imagined, being grateful to the senses and refreshingly stimulant to the
nerves. Those who have long resided in the East can alone estimate its
merits.”--WHITE’S _Three Years in Constantinople_.

“The Turkish way of making coffee produces a very different result from
that to which we are accustomed. A small conical saucepan, with a long
handle, and calculated to hold about two table-spoonfuls of water, is
the instrument used. The fresh roasted berry is pounded, not ground,
and about a dessert-spoonful is put into the minute boiler; it is then
nearly filled with water, and thrust among the embers; a few seconds
suffice to make it boil, and the decoction, grounds and all, is poured
into a small cup, which fits into a brass socket much like the cup of an
acorn, and holding the china cup as that does the acorn itself. The
Turks seem to drink this decoction boiling, and swallow the grounds with
the liquid. We allow it to remain a minute, in order to leave the
sediment at the bottom. It is always taken plain; sugar or cream would
be thought to spoil it; and Europeans, after a little practice (longer,
however, than we had), are said to prefer it to the clear infusion drunk
in France. In every hut you will see these coffee-boilers suspended, and
the means for pounding the roasted berry will be found at
hand.”--CHRISTMAS’S _Shores and Islands of the Mediterranean_.

“A small vessel, containing about a wine-glass of water, is placed on
the fire, and, when boiling, a teaspoonful of ground coffee is put into
it, stirred up, and it is suffered to boil and ‘bubble’ a few seconds
longer, when it is poured (grounds and all) into a cup about the size of
an egg-shell, encased in gold or silver filigree-work, to protect the
finger from the heat; and the liquid, in its scalding, black, thick, and
troubled state, is imbibed with the greatest relish. Like smoking, it
must be quite an acquired taste.”--MAXWELL’S _Shores of the




The term chicory is an Anglicised French word, the original being
chicorée. The plant is known to botanists by the name of _Cichorium
Intybus_, and belongs to the natural order Compositæ, tribe Cichoreæ. It
is an indigenous plant with a perennial root, better known probably to
most readers by its English appellation of wild succory. The root is
spindle-shaped, with a single or double head; externally it is whitish
or greenish yellow; internally, whitish, fleshy, and milky. The roots
grown in this country are smaller, and more woody or fibrous than those
which are imported from the Continent.

The cultivation and consumption of chicory have now attained a very
great importance, not only on the Continent, but also in the United
Kingdom. Dating its extended use chiefly from the system pursued by the
first Napoleon to substitute home-grown for colonial products, it has
gradually become approved and popularised for a beverage, either used
alone or more generally mixed with coffee, in numerous countries, where
it can be sold far under the price of even the lowest grade coffees.

The manufacture of a factitious coffee from roasted chicory-root would
seem to have originated in Holland, where it has been used for more than
a century. It remained a secret until 1801, when it was introduced into
France by M. Orban of Liége, and M. Giraud of Homing, a short distance
from Valenciennes. This root is not superior to many others which
possess sweet and mucous principles, but of all the plants which have
been proposed as substitutes for coffee, and which, when roasted and
steeped in boiling water, yield an infusion resembling the berry, it is
the only one which has maintained its ground. The French, not satisfied
with chicory, have recently introduced acorn coffee and roasted
beetroot. The beet, it is asserted, besides communicating its hygienic
qualities, also helps to sweeten the beverage. This new coffee is called
“café de betterave,” as the old was called “café chicorée.” These
distinctions will soon become as puzzling as those in America, which led
the Irish waiter to ask if the gentleman would have coffee-tay or

Mr. George Phillips, when giving evidence before Mr. Scholefield’s
Parliamentary Committee on Adulteration, in 1855, stated that, prior to
the year 1832, little was heard of the use of chicory in this country,
but in the subsequent three years its use had gradually so increased
that the Board of Inland Revenue was obliged to take steps against the
sale. “I have no doubt (he adds), from my own experience, that a very
large bulk of the public prefer the mixture. That, however, is a matter
of taste. The trade contend that good coffee, mixed with one-eighth part
of chicory, and sold at a moderate price, makes a better beverage than
ordinary coffee would do at the same price, and the great mass of the
public prefer it. Chicory sold as coffee yields a certain profit, but
probably it equalises itself in the general competition of trade. There
is a large quantity of chicory sold by itself, and drank as a beverage
in the neighbourhood of Manchester and Liverpool. I believe the price of
a pound of the cheapest kind of coffee, purchased by the bulk of the
poor people, and a pound of the mixture, is about the same. The trade
say, when we use a portion of chicory we use a better coffee. I do not
know the fact of my own knowledge. Whether the coffee sold in mixtures
is of a superior quality to that sold as a pure article would be very
difficult to ascertain; it depends upon the question of taste and aroma.
The chicory itself is not always pure.”

On the first introduction of chicory into Great Britain a nominal duty
of 20 per cent. was levied on it, which, owing to the representations of
the coffee-planters, was afterwards increased to the same rate as that
then payable on British plantation coffee. The high duty thus levied on
foreign-grown chicory soon led to its cultivation in England, but so
little was known of the plant that the farmers required the rent to be
paid in advance for the use of their land. In the autumn of 1853 we find
chicory grown in Kent, Surrey, and Essex, where the article was
prepared, and met with a large sale. With the increasing demand for the
root, its culture spread to Bedford, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire,
Leicestershire, Cheshire, and Yorkshire. At first the price realised was
as high as 50_l._ per ton ground, and 20_l._ per ton in the root. But as
the growth extended the price receded. The admission, duty free, of
foreign-grown chicory, in 1854, led to the abandonment of much of the
home culture.

In 1842, Mr. McCulloch assumed the growth and consumption of chicory in
the United Kingdom to be 6¾ million pounds; in 1850, from careful
inquiries I instituted, I estimated the consumption then to be double
that amount. Mr. Braithwaite Poole, in his “Statistics of Commerce,”
published in 1852, rated the actual production of chicory-root, made
into powder in England and Guernsey, then as high as 14,000 tons, worth,
at 22_l._ per ton, 308,000_l._ The gradually increasing imports of
foreign-grown replaces much formerly produced at home, but the changes
in legislative enactments have much interfered with the consumption of
chicory here, and hence the import is not so remunerative. From 1856 to
1859 the imports of foreign chicory in the root rose from 81,721 cwts.
to 267,000 cwts., but there has since been a gradual decline to 45,563
cwts. in 1862. The value has ranged from 6s. to 10s. 6d. per cwt.

The largest quantity comes from Belgium, the next from Holland, and a
little from Hamburg and other quarters. There are also some considerable
imports of roasted and ground chicory, which is chiefly re-exported;
76,206 lbs. of chicory-powder were imported in 1862.

Roasted and reduced to powder chicory is the most universal substitute
for coffee in the chief continental countries, especially in France,
Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Russia, and other
Northern States. In Germany, the ground chicory is made up into cakes,
and sold in that form. Denmark and the Duchies consume about 3,000,000
lbs. annually. A few years ago the annual import of chicory-root into
Hamburg was 24,600 cwts., and of ground chicory and other coffee
substitutes 13,000 cwts.

Belgium exports 6,000,000 or 7,000,000 lbs. yearly. The quantity of the
dried root consumed in France is about 16,000,000 lbs. a year. Formerly
they were able to export 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 lbs., but now enough is
not produced for home consumption. In 1860, about 10,000,000 lbs. of
chicory-root was imported into France, chiefly from Belgium, and about
660,000 lbs. of chicory in powder was exported, chiefly to Algeria. Till
within a few years the cultivation was carried on principally near
Valenciennes, but lately manufactories have sprung up in several
localities, especially at Arras, Cambray, Lille, Paris, Senlis, in
Normandy, Brittany, &c. In some parts of Germany the women are becoming
regular chicory-topers, making of it an important part of their daily



There are many varieties of this plant, the greater part of which have
blue flowers; some are white, and others red. In Brunswick they only
grow the broad-leaved, or native kind, or the small-leaved, which has
long roots, and is a native of Magdeburg. The former is, however,
preferred, on account of its being the richest. In Altona they grow a
medium variety, which has neither very narrow nor very broad leaves. The
plant thrives in all soils that will grow carrots; indeed, the mode of
cultivating one is much like that of the other. The roots seem, however,
to grow best upon a loamy soil, with a clayey subsoil, dry, deep, and
rich. It very seldom thrives in heavy clay land, and never in sand or
wet land. It requires much manure. In preparing the land deep ploughing
is recommended; but, unless the soil is very deep, it is probable that
subsoil ploughing will answer better. The surface must be well worked;
indeed, it cannot be reduced to too fine a mould.

As the plants are a long time in coming up, generally five or six weeks
from the time of sowing the seed, it is necessary that the land should
be very clean, or the weeds (particularly chickweed) are liable to
overtop and smother the young plants. The time of sowing varies in
different districts; in the midland and eastern counties of England, the
second or third week in May is considered best, for if sown earlier,
many of the plants will run to seed, in which case they are called
“runners” or “trumpeters,” and must be carefully dug out and destroyed
when the time for taking up has arrived, because if allowed to become
mixed with the bulk, they will spoil the sample. The best crops have
been obtained when the seed has been sown broadcast; but the preference
is usually given to drilling, the crop being more easily hoed and
cleansed. The rows are generally from 9 to 12 inches apart, and about 3
or 4 lbs. of seed per acre is the quantity used.

Most of the cultivators of chicory single out the plants so as to leave
spaces between them in the rows, each about 6 or 8 inches long; but
there are many who do not do this, fancying that four or five small
plants produce more weight of root than one large plant; the expediency
of this, however, is very questionable, as it does not allow of the land
being nearly so well cleaned as when the practice of singling is

In October or November, the work of taking up the roots may be
commenced, and continued during the winter (if the crop cannot be
previously secured), until it is finished. Although the roots penetrate
a long way downwards, they become too thin below 14 or 15 inches to be
useful, and the utmost care is also required in order to get up that
portion of the root which will prove profitable.

In some cases chicory has been ploughed up, about 12 inches deep, with a
strong cast-iron plough drawn by six horses, having men to fork each
furrow to pieces with common potato-forks before a second furrow is
ploughed upon it, and women and children following to pick up the roots
and cut off the tops.

But the best method is found to be that of digging up the roots with
double-pronged strongly-made iron forks, the blades being about 14
inches in length, and each fork, with shaft and handle complete,
weighing about 8 lbs.

The plan of ploughing is liable to bring too much of the subsoil to the
surface, and costs quite as much, if not more, than digging.

The advantage which is looked for in ploughing, is to ensure getting the
roots up from a greater depth than can be done by digging, as a great
number break off about 8 or 9 inches long, unless a boy is employed to
assist the diggers, and is very careful to pull the top at the precise
time that the man presses the root upward with his fork.

When dug, the tops should be neatly cut off, and the roots conveyed to
the washing-house to be cleaned. Sometimes they are earthed in pits,
but, generally speaking, they are taken to the washing-house immediately
after being dug up.

In the former case, on the Continent, the roots, with the leaves cut
off, are thrown, in heaps of from four to six feet in length, width, and
height, on the surface of the ground; some straw and then some earth are
put around. But generally the growers deliver the roots to the
manufacturers from the latter end of August to November, by whom they
are immediately dried.

The root is from 2 to 4 inches thick, 3 to 7 inches long, and
occasionally, in a good soil, 3 lbs. in weight. In Brunswick they obtain
from 4 to 6 tons of root per Brunswick acre.

The weight of the crop depends entirely upon the richness or poverty of
the soil, the tillage and manure it has received, and other
circumstances. The fault in England is the striving to grow as heavy a
crop as possible, to the very great detriment of the quality of the root
for powder.

In Brunswick the price of the root in the original state varies from
20s. to 40s. per ton, according as the crops have been good or bad, and
an acre will realise from 5_l._ to 7_l._ The cost for cultivation is
from 3_l._ 15s. to 4_l._ 10s.; 1½ to 2 tons is about an average crop.

Mr. William Strickney, who has grown and prepared chicory for the
manufacturer to a very great extent, on a large farm near Hull,
estimates the expense of the cultivation of chicory there at 4_l._ 5s.
6d. per acre, and if we add to this 2_l._ 10s. for rent, manure, &c., it
gives 6_l._ 15s. 6d. The produce on suitable land he states to be from 8
to 12 tons per acre, and it requires 4 tons of green root to make 1 ton
of dried. In the dried state the root is worth from 12_l._ to 24_l._ per
ton. Take 10 tons per acre, at 2_l._ 10s. per ton, and this would leave
a profit per acre of 18_l._ 4s. 6d.

Another competent agricultural authority states that the price of 2¼
tons of dry root for the acre, at 12_l._ per ton, would be 27_l._;
deducting 7_l._ for rent, labour, and other expenses, this would leave a
profit of 20_l._ per acre.

The roots are cut into small pieces of about half-inch or three-quarter
inch lengths by a turnip-cutter, or by hand, the object being to have
the pieces of as uniform a size as possible. The slices are then dried
in a kiln: this process wasting the chicory from 75 to 80 per cent. It
is then marketable, and is usually sold to the drysalters and grocers,
who roast and grind it as they do coffee. In the ground state it may be
kept for years, but it soon cakes. The roasted root is emptied into iron
vessels, and, after cooling, is crushed in vertical stone mills, or
between iron cylinders.

The dried roots cut are roasted in this country like coffee. The loss
during roasting is from 25 to 30 per cent. The roasters generally
introduce into the roasting machine about 2 lbs. of lard for every cwt.
of chicory. Some say this is to give the chicory a better face, others
state that it renders the powder less hygrometric. Inferior kinds of
chicory are alleged to be coloured with Venetian red.

Chicory is occasionally adulterated with roasted pulse (called Hambro’
powder), damaged corn, and coffee husks (“coffee flights,” as they are
technically termed). We have also heard of parsnips having been roasted,
ground, and mixed with chicory. Dr. Hassall gives a long list of other
substances which have been found as adulterants of coffee.

Treacle is sometimes introduced into fictitious chicory, to give the
caramel or saccharine odour possessed by real chicory.

Dr. Hassall says the roasted chicory root yields from 45 to 65 per cent.
of soluble extractive. Its solution in water is acid, and it does not
possess the peculiar bitter taste of the raw root; but the taste of the
liquid is more like that of burnt sugar. The copper test shows the
presence of from 10 to 13 per cent. of sugar.



The following analysis represents the per-centage composition of chicory
root in its different conditions:

                              Raw root.  Kiln dried.
  Hygroscopic moisture             77·0     15·0
  Gummy matter (like pectine)       7·5     20·8
  Glucose, or grape sugar           1·1     10·5
  Bitter extractive                 4·0     19·3
  Fatty matter                      0·6      1·9
  Cellulose, inuline, and woody
  matter                            9·0     29·5
  Ash                               0·8      3·0
                                  -----    -----
                                  100·0    100·0

The composition of the roasted root was as follows:

                              1st species.  2nd species.

  Hygroscopic moisture             14·5     12·8
  Gummy matter                      9·5     14·9
  Glucose                          12·2     10·4
  Matter like burnt sugar          29·1     24·4
  Fatty matter                      2·0      2·2
  Brown or burnt woody
  matter                           28·4     28·5
  Ash                               4·3      6·8
                                  -----    -----
                                  100·0    100·0

Dr. Hassall gives the following results of trials instituted to
determine the effect of chicory on the human frame.

Three persons partook of a chicory breakfast. The infusion was
dark-coloured, thick, destitute of the agreeable and refreshing aroma so
characteristic of coffee, and was of a bitter taste.

Each individual experienced for some time after drinking this infusion a
sensation of heaviness, drowsiness, a feeling of weight at the stomach,
and great indisposition to exertion; in two headache set in, and in the
third the bowels were relaxed. In second and third trials of the chicory
breakfast the same feelings of drowsiness, weight of the stomach, and
want of energy were experienced, but no headache or diarrhœa. Several
other trials were subsequently made, with nearly similar results. But
chicory, it will be said, is seldom taken alone in this country, and
when mixed with coffee these effects are not produced.

Two persons partook, for a considerable period, twice a day, of an
article denominated coffee, costing 1s. 6d. a pound, and largely
adulterated with chicory; during nearly the whole of this time they both
suffered more or less from diarrhœa.

From the results of these trials, therefore, we are warranted in
concluding that at least some doubt is attached to the assertion of the
wholesome properties of chicory-root as an article of diet.

Several characters, sufficiently simple and easily recognised for
general application, have been indicated in different works for
detecting the addition of roasted chicory to coffee in the roasted and
ground state, but the application of chemical reagents for detecting the
presence of the colouring matter of roasted chicory, when added to
infusion of coffee, has not yet proved successful.

The brownish-yellow colouring matter which is developed in chicory-root
by the process of roasting, when dissolved in water by infusion or
decoction, retains its colour, or becomes a little deeper by the action
of persalts of iron, without giving rise to any precipitation.

The brown colouring matter of roasted coffee, on the other hand,
acquires, from the same reagent, a green colour, and a brownish-green
flocculent precipitate is formed. These two different reactions may be
applied, not only for distinguishing the pure infusion of coffee and of
chicory, but also those which contain a mixture of the soluble
principles of the two alimentary substances.

Infusion of pure coffee acquires a green colour, more or less intense,
on the addition of some drops of persulphate of iron.

Infusion of pure chicory, under similar circumstances, retains its
brownish-yellow colour, which becomes more intense, and acquires a
slight greenish tint.

A mixture of the two infusions, containing one-half, a fourth, or a
fifth of its volume of infusion of chicory, may be recognised by its
brownish-yellow colour, which remains after the deposition of the
precipitate produced by the salt of iron, together with part of the
colouring matter of the coffee. This separation may be expedited by
rendering the coloured liquor slightly alkaline by the addition of a
small quantity of weak solution of ammonia, and allowing it to stand in
tubes closed at one end. The supernatant liquor, after the precipitate
has deposited, will possess a brownish-yellow tint by refracted light,
which will be deeper in proportion to the quantity of chicory present.

If the experiment be first made with infusion of pure coffee of a
certain strength, and afterwards with additions of known quantities of
chicory, keeping these for comparison, the quantity of chicory in a
mixed sample may be thus determined.[2]

A simple means of detecting the chicory in ground coffee is as follows:

Throw about a tea-spoonful of the suspected coffee in a wine-glass of
water, and stir the mixture with a spoon. If

[Illustration: Plate 10.

Fragment of Roasted Chicory.]

[Illustration: A Fragment of Roasted Coffee, being magnified 140

the coffee be pure, it for the most part floats, becomes very slowly
moistened, even when shaken up with the water, and communicates scarcely
any colour to the liquid; very gradually it imbibes water; the liquid
acquires a very pale sherry tint; and at the end of several hours the
greater part of the powder is found to have fallen to the bottom of the
glass. If, however, it be chicorised, the presence of chicory (genuine
or spurious) will be readily detected, by a portion of the suspected
powder rapidly sinking and communicating to the liquid a reddish-brown
tint, which will be more or less deep according to the amount of chicory

If the coffee be adulterated with what is called Hambro’ powder (roasted
and ground peas, &c., coloured with Venetian red) or roasted corn, we
have a further test in iodine, which communicates a purplish or
bluish-red tint to the water to which either of these substances has
been added. The preceding test is sufficiently delicate and valuable, in
all ordinary cases, for detecting chicory in coffee; but to those
familiar with microscopic investigations, the microscope furnishes
another mode of proceeding: fragments of dotted ducts being found in
chicory, but not in pure coffee. They are not met with, however, in
great abundance; and some patience and care, therefore, are requisite in
searching for them. The starch grains of Hambro’ powder are readily
detected by the microscope, as also the blackening effect of a solution
of iodine on them.

Plate 10 represents the structure and character of genuine ground
roasted coffee, and of a fragment of roasted chicory-root, showing the
dotted or interrupted spiral vessels which pass in bundles through the
central parts of the root, magnified 140 diameters; copied, by
permission, from Dr. Hassall’s work on “Food and its Adulterations.”

In the raw chicory-root three parts or structures may be distinguished
with facility, cells, dotted vessels, and vessels of the latex. These
vessels afford useful means of distinguishing chicory from some other
roots employed in the adulteration of coffee. The chief part of the root
is made up of little utricles or cells. These are generally of a rounded
form, but sometimes they are narrow and elongated. The former occur when
the pressure is least and the root soft, the latter in the neighbourhood
of the vessels.[3]

There are four characters by which adulterated chicory may be
distinguished from the genuine.

1st. It yields to cold water a much whiter colour. In using this test it
is necessary to have a sample of genuine chicory for comparison.

2ndly. A decoction of chicory containing either roasted grain or pulse,
yields when cold a purplish or bluish-black colour, with a solution of
iodine; whereas a corresponding decoction of genuine chicory is merely
coloured brown by iodine.

3rdly. The microscope detects in adulterated chicory the torrefied
starch grains of either corn or pulse. That they are starch grains is
shown by the action of a solution of iodine, which blackens them.

4thly. The odour and flavour will sometimes detect adulterations.

Roasted and ground chicory attracts water from the air, and thereby
increases in weight and becomes clammy. The grinders are accustomed to
return as much by weight of ground chicory as they receive of the
unground root, for the loss which the root suffers by grinding is more
than compensated by the absorption of water from the air.




[1: Mr. J. Crawfurd on the History of Coffee, in the
Statistical Society’s Journal, vol. xv. p. 51.]

[2: M. Lassaigne, in “Journal de Chimie Médicale.”]

[3: “Food and its Adulterations.”]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Coffee and Chicory: - Their culture, chemical composition, preparation for market, - and consumption." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.