While researching roaster patents, I ran across this interesting 1886 coffee patent. Be sure and read the reply I received regarding this patent from 1840Coffee, AKA Donald Schoenholt of Gillies Coffee Co., New York. Thank you, Don, for sharing this wonderful historical information on Mr. Arbuckle.
United States Patent Office
John Arbuckle, JR., Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.
Letters Patent No. 73,486, dated January 21, 1868
Improvement in Roasted Coffee.
To all whom it may concern:
Be it known that I, John Arbuckle, Jr., of the city and county of Allegheny, in the State of Pennsylvania, have invented a new and useful Improvement in “Roasted Coffee;” and I do hereby declare that the following is a full and exact description thereof.
The nature of my invention consists in roasting coffee and then coating it with a glutinous or gelatinous matter, for the purpose of retaining the aroma of the coffee, and also act as a clarifying-agent when the ground coffee has been boiled in water.
To enable others skilled in the art of “roasting coffee” to use my invention, I will proceed to describe its operation or preparation.
I take any good article of green coffee, and roast ti by any of the known means. I then cool it as quickly as possible. I then prepare a mixture of the following ingredients, in about the following proportions: One ounce of Irish moss; half an ounce of isinglass; half an ounce of gelatine; one ounce of white sugar; and twenty-four eggs. I boil the Irish moss in a quart of water, and then strain it. I then boil the isinglass and gelatine in a pint of water. I then mix the sugar and eggs well together, and when the mixture of Irish moss, isinglass, gelatine, and water has become cold, I mix the whole of the ingredients into one homogenous compound. I then pour the whole over about one hundred pounds of the roasted coffee, and stir and so manipulate the coffee that each grain will be entirely coated, after the coffee is coated, and the coasting has become dry and hard, which is accomplished by forcing currents of air through it while stirring it, for the purpose of coating it with the glutinous or gelatinous matter described.
I wish it clearly understood that I do not confine myself to the above compound of glutinous matter for coating roasted coffee, for many other compounds may be formed which will accomplish the end desired, to wit, coating roasted coffee in the manner and for the purpose set forth.
What I claim, is-
Coating roasted coffee with any glutinous or gelatinous matter, for the purpose of retaining the aroma of the coffee, and also act as a clarifying-agent, as herein described and set forth.
John Arbuckle, Jr.
James J. Johnston,
A. C. Johnston.
Donald Schoenholt’s reply,
Mr. John Arbuckle, who went on to become the greatest coffee roaster of his generation and the creator of the first national brand, “ARIOSA,” was also one of the richest men in America during the gilded age of the 1880s and ’90s. Arbuckle Bros. produced ARIOSA, known as “the coffee that won the West,” and also roasted and packed several other popular brands, including their premium YUBAN brand (now owned by Kraft), which was the best selling brand in New York for years.
Arbuckle’s coffee was distributed in the age before lined paper bags, and coffee went stale and rancid pronto. Coating, or “glazing” as it came to be known, was a way to lengthen its shelf life by keeping air away from the beans. Many different compounds were used in the coffee trade. Arbuckle Bros. settled on a sugar based glaze. They became such a prodigious user of sugar that they decided to enter the sugar business rather than give a profit on the huge quantities they needed to others. The Sugar Trust didn’t like that much and decided to enter the coffee business to spite Arbuckle. For the better part of the next generation, the Sugar Trust’s LION COFFEE battled it out with Arbuckle’s brands throughout the courts and the cities of the nation. The first great advertising campaign in history was this coffee war. After fought to a stand-still, the sugar boys quit the coffee business, and the Arbuckle brothers were triumphant. They strode upon the national stage until their deaths in the early part of the 20th Century. Their heirs sold the business to Mr. C.W. Post (of Post Toasties and Postum fame), who was putting together a little company at that time that would be called General Foods. Mr. Post joined the Arbuckle brands with the other little roaster he had just acquired from the Cheek Neal Coffee Co.; it was called Maxwell House.
With the advent of the Pure Food & Drug Act (1906), and the development of better packaging that retained freshness longer, glazing fell out of fashion.
Sugar glazed beans, now referred to as “torrefaction coffee,” still retain a market in Spain and South America.
P.S. LION COFFEE went broke eventually and languished in the Ohio court system as just a moldy old file until found by an entrepreneur who arranged with the court to revive the brand name. It was moved to Hawaii where the lion, after two generations of slumber, roars again as a retailer, roaster and wholesaler of Hawaiian blend coffees.
1800’S ARBUCKLE BROS. TRADE CARD * COLUMBIA
GRIND YOUR COFFEE AT HOME
It will pay you well to keep a small coffee mill in your kitchen, and grind your coffee, just as you use it, one mess at a time. Coffee should not be ground until the coffee-pot is ready to receive it. Coffee will lose more of its strength and aroma, in one hour after being ground, than in six months before being ground. So long as Ariosa remains in the whole berry, our glazing, composed of choice eggs, and pure confectioners sugar, closes the pores of the coffee, and thereby all the original strength and aroma are retained. Ariosa Coffee has, during 25 years, act the standard for all other roasted coffees. So true is this, that other manufactures in recommending their goods, have known no higher praise than to say: “It’s just as good as Arbuckles.”