Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coffee & Chicory, Inside The New Orleans Coffee Industry, 1800s - Part 3

Blogger's Note: Not surprising to those who live here, New Orleans might just be where the morning coffee break originated early in the 20th century.  You can walk down any number of streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans and see coffee shops at many levels of repair, or charming lack there of, the local houses all offering the same potent morning brew - Coffee with Chicory. Coffee society in New Orleans began with one woman, Rose Nicaud.  Located on historic Frenchmen Street in the French Quarter, the aptly named Cafe' Rose Nicaud, gives us her story, and the beginning of our city's long-standing love affair with coffee.

(Above) 'The Coffee New Orleans Likes.' French Market Coffee and Chicory New Orleans Coffee Co., Inc., French Market Mills, New Orleans.  'The First thing in the Morning.'  'Drink French Market Tea It Is Delicious.' 

The sheer abundance of labels and print advertisement from New Orleans-based coffee importers of the recent past, gives support to accounts of large scale coffee production throughout the city.  The following are some historic examples of packaging that were used by New Orleans companies, and brands very familiar to coffee drinkers of the time.

(Above) Poydras Market Two Pounds Roasted Coffee and Chicory.  Estate of Charles Feahney, Importers and Roasters, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

(Above) Cafe' Du Monde 'CDM' Old French Flavor Coffee and Chicory.  "Just Enough ... Not too much Chicory."  A Product of the Southern Coffee Mills, Ltd. New Orleans, Louisiana.

(Above) Roman Kings Coffee and Chicory.  'If It's a San-I-Baker Product ~ You're Safe.'  The San-I-Baker Corporation, New Orleans, U.S.A.

(Above) B&W Photo, date unknown: The San-I-Baker Corporation New Orleans, Louisiana.

The labels of this time are bright, exotic, and - more often than not - rendered in patriotic colors.  Bold hand-drawn fonts seem more familiar and, somehow, comforting to the eye - more so than the crisp lines of modern typography.