Until the late 1700s people in North America were primarily drinking tea. That is, until 1773 when a group of about 50 men boarded English ships in the Boston harbour to empty 343 tea chests into the water because the British King George III had imposed a high tax on all imported goods – including tea. From then on it was deemed unpatriotic to drink tea and coffee houses started to appear all over America. The Boston Tea Party was the spark that started the American revolution.