Continuing today through Native American oral traditions and continuous wild harvesting, chicory was the Native American version of coffee. Chickory gained a worldwide audience of fans who enjoy its non-caffeinated coffee-like flavor and its calming effect on the nerves.
After 1585 when Sir Richard Greenville brought one hundred sailors, soldiers, and colonists to Roanoke Island with a bag of coffee the Cherokee and Europeans would have limited contact in Western North Carolina until the late 1600s. A thriving trade developed between the Cherokee and White settlers sprung-up in the early 1700s and coffee, tea, sweets and even chocolate were traded continuously between the groups in exchange for smoked trout, tomato, corn and squash seeds and pelts. The early settlers of Morrisville (later Asheville) and later on during the American Revolutionary War to establish coffee drinking and cafe’s as a cultural habit for post-colonial North Carolina. The War for American Independence brought its own action against the British tradition of tea drinking. Coffee replaced tea as Scott-Irish settlers demonstrated their patriotism by switching beverages.
Settling into what would become early Asheville 1784 these early settlers were the Davidsons, Alexander’s, Gudgers, and Pattons. Wealthier families in Western North CArolina uld showed off their privileged status by serving coffee since it took more time to prepare than tea. Since the 1650s, English Coffeehouses had become fashionable in the America allowing the colonists to talk politics between men of mixed backgrounds, The gathering placed allowed travelers and locals to enjoy a drink and discuss the news of the day, exchange ideas, or read aloud papers and pamphlets. The Boston Tea Party of 1773, helped America make the switch from tea to coffee.
The United States Census of 1790 counted 1,000 residents of the area, excluding the Cherokee Native Americans. Buncombe County was officially formed in 1792. The county seat, named “Morristown” in 1793, was established on a plateau where two old Indian trails crossed. In 1797, Morristown was incorporated and renamed “Asheville” after North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe. A reported 100% of Ashevillans where coffee or tea drinkers according to one report.