Stimulating Beverages: A social history of tea, coffee and chocolate

Amanda Lange, curator at Historic Deerfield, explains how tea, coffee, and chocolate–originally prescribed as cures for ailments ranging from headaches and depressions–became counted among the necessities of daily life in this 78-minute video presentation by Alden House on February 12, 2022.

Alden House Director Desiree Mobed introduces Amanda Lange, the Curatorial Department Director and Curator of Historic Interiors at Historic Deerfield.

 Before 1650, a New England breakfast often included a mug of ale, beer, or hard wine. Yet, with the introduction of tea, coffee, and chocolate, the tastes of the Western world were forever changed.

In 1687, Nicolas de Blegny, physician and pharmacist to France’s Louis XIV, wrote a book on the “correct” usage of coffee, tea and chocolate to cure illness. In it, he voiced his annoyance at physicians who classified the qualities of the beverages differently based on the diseases they wanted to treat.

Click here for more on the topic by Amanda Lange.