This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg, PA. It was the battle with the most casualties in the Civil War. It is often described as the war’s turning point.
In honor of this battle and the soldiers that fought there Furnace Hills Coffee Company has created a Soldiers Blend. Coffee was essential during this war. Coffee and hardtack were the two foods the soldiers could count on that wouldn’t spoil and could be easily transported in a haversack. Salt-pork was the other common food, but often rotted or attracted flies and quickly filled with maggots. During the war, America imported coffee from Africa, primarily Ethiopia. Generals were given the bags of coffee and would often spread out a blanket to evenly dole out piles of the precious staple. In the beginning of the war, coffee was delivered ground, but scrupulous merchants began mixing in sand to increase their profits. Generals quickly began ordering whole beans and usually these arrived green. Once the piles had been measured out, soldiers quickly dispersed to roast their piles. This way if they had long days of marching or were unable to light fires, they still had roasted coffee. They would often have to munch on the beans instead of drinking the coffee. They used cast iron skillets over open fires for roasting. The coffee usually ended up burnt in the middle while the sides were lighter, resulting in a “salt and pepper” blend mixed with bits of chaff.
Once the North had secured the southern ports, the South was cut off from their precious brew. The North had trouble securing a steady source of tobacco so a deal was quickly worked out. Often in the early mornings the front lines would display white flags, send runners across the opposite line and make an exchange; coffee for tobacco. The runners returned, the flags came down and war proceeded.
After careful research Furnace Hills Coffee decided on an Ethiopian coffee bean. Part of the blend is a dark roast and part a light roast. This was done to do our best to replicate the coffee roasting conditions and practices on the battle field. Coffee was roasted in a frying pan over an open camp fire resulting in an un-even roast. We have also added a small amount of Ugandan Robusta to give the coffee a toughness to it. There is no bite at the end of the swallow, but it stays with you for a while after drinking.
If you would like to try some of this coffee just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send some out to you and bill you through PayPal. The cost is $12/pound plus shipping. This great blend will soon be available on our website.