Could You Buy a Cup of Coffee in 1825 Fernandina?


When you think of Amelia Island 200-years ago, you may be wondering, “Could you buy a cup of coffee in 1825 Fernandina?” In the 19th century, coffee came from the Caribbean through the port of Fernandina, which played a significant role in the region’s economy and transportation network.  Other coffees, while highly regarded, may have been less common in our area due to more challenging trade routes. So, the answer is, “Yes”, in Fernandina, you could have had a cup of coffee back then.

It is believed coffee was discovered in Ethiopia, when a goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats became more energetic after eating the berries from a certain tree. He tried the berries and experienced a similar effect, leading to the discovery of coffee’s stimulating properties. When Kaldi shared his discovery with a local monastery, the monks found it helped them stay awake during long hours of prayer. The news of this energizing drink spread, and its popularity grew.

A local trading post or community market would likely have seen bags of coffee beans available for sale or trade in Fernandina 200 years ago. So, could you buy a cup of coffee in 1825 Fernandina? Of course, you could.

At the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market today, you can get coffee beans, whole or ground, from Ethiopian coffee distributer, Bunna Café. If you prefer a cup of Joe to go, Sweet Thangs offers on-site, custom coffee creations.