Part of the display is a traveling exhibit. The rest is all about the St. Louis connection to coffee. I learned that at one time St. Louis was a center for coffee trading, and one of the nation’s leading coffee producers. The city's relationship with coffee started when the French settlers who founded the city brought coffee beans with them. Later, people heading west stopped in St. Louis to gather provisions, which included coffee. The city's location on the Mississippi made it a natural hub as a trading center. That was reinforced when many of the first railroads came through St. Louis. By the turn of the 20th century, St. Louis was home to more than 70 coffee roasters and a hotbed for coffee imports, manufacturing, and distribution.
The exhibition had a section filled with an arrangement of old roasters, grinders, and coffee pots. There was even a Civil War gun that doubled as a coffee mill. A large portion of the exhibit contained examples of advertising, including grocery store storage bins, coffee cans and tins, trays, and signs. There was even a period-appropriate "living room" with a TV showing St. Louis celebrity Dana Brown's Safari Coffee commercials.
The last section of the exhibition was about the history of coffee from a global perspective, how it's grown and harvested, and some of the coffee customs in other cultures. At the very end there was an interactive area where you could write about your connection to coffee on a cone-shaped filter and display it on one of the shelves.
|Mural made out of coffee beans|
Five years ago today: Living Thanks