Friday, September 25, 2015

Coffee, Tea and Chocolate in Early America

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Colonial Americans quickly adopted the taste for these imported beverages and their fashionable equipage. Colonial coffeehouses, following the London model, became powerful social catalysts, providing an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and the distribution of news. All three beverages were also consumed in the home, where fine silver and ceramic vessels were especially valued. American silversmiths emulated English and Continental styles. Coffeepots (1997.498.1) were tall and tapered, with a curved pouring spout and a wooden handle to protect the pourer's hand from the heat-conducting metal. Inverted pear-shaped pots became popular during the Rococo period, and urn-shaped pots on pedestal feet (1980.503.1) characterize late eighteenth-century design. Chocolate, always expensive, was taken at breakfast by fashionable society. Chocolate pots (33.120.221) differ from coffeepots in that their covers are made with a hinged or removable finial to accommodate a molinet (stirring rod). Thick with cocoa butter, the beverage needed to be milled prior to pouring.(Read more.)

No comments: