Coffee drinking during the civil war

civil-war-soldiers-eating-foodCoffee drinking was supposed to be easy during civil war if they have a super automatic espresso machine. It is easier and simple machine, which is portable and can maintain the temperature of coffee for later use. The union Army from the North and the confiscated from the South found it difficult to make coffee for their troops who were out on the battlefield and the ones matching on the streets. The civil war era was characterized by traditional methods of meal preparation coffee inclusive.

The espresso machine was developed in the 20th century after the civil war. All they did was to gather twigs and make a makeshift smoker, boil water and put coffee in a jar and serve as they continued with their usual war against the enemy. It was cumbersome; the only advantage was there was an availability of wood fuel in the jungle. During the winter, it was not possible to make the smoker but had to improvise better ways since coffee was a stimulant essential for the war.

Logistics in the delivery of the coffee was difficult because it had to be made to a central point then distributed. The soldiers had no freedom to make the beverage at will. The North had an advantage since they could access the coffee, but the South had to depend on coffee supplies from the North which they blocked all avenues to enter the South. The South even labeled the Union Army from the North as coffee boilers.

The confiscate soldiers in the remote parts had to strike a deal with the Union army despite the war. There was plenty of tobacco in the South, they helped them smuggle it to the North in exchange for roasted coffee. The win-win situation helped the soldiers access the beverage though in low quantities. The type of coffee smuggled was of low quality but of at least they had access.

This era was characterized by poor technological advancement in food appliances like espresso coffee machines. The industrial revolution brought some relief since several innovations in coffee machines were established.

Advantages of espresso coffee machine

  • It is simple and easy to use.
  • It takes a shorter time to prepare.
  • Nutritive value of the grounded coffee is maintained.
  • The soldiers could take the best grade of coffee and enjoy the mental and health benefits coffee offers.
  • It maintains the temperature of the beverage since it has an in-built thermostat.
  • It is portable.


  • It uses electricity which the soldiers may not have access to the battlefield.
  • It could not withstand the heavy gunfire at the battlefield hence prone to breakage.
  • The technological advancement at that particular time was vintage for the machine to work.

It is evident the machine could have made work easier and helped the soldiers win the war and even reduce death rates among the soldiers. However, they did their best to prepare the beverage with the available materials and tools. If they could have lived to see and choose the best coffee machine here (, life as a soldier could be bearable.