From the crisis of Kraków tea to coffee from the Pluton roasting plant

The tradition of drinking coffee in Poland dates back to the 17th century (though initially a lot of people showed distrust towards it).
In noble houses and manors, consuming this beverage was a sort of ritual — the green coffee beans were bought, then they were roasted in special devices, brewed in melting-pots, and served in cups. To this end, among highly qualified servants, not only medicine-maids were employed but also coffee-maids, who took care of the condition of coffee utensils and guaranteed the highest quality of the served beverage.
By the turn of the 20th century, every house was equipped with a coffee roaster.
Coffee devices started to fall into oblivion among others thanks to Tadeusz Tarasiewicz’s entrepreneurship. The failure of his first idea also indirectly contributed to it; Tarasiewicz resigned from his post of director of the Galician Bank in order to set up a shop with tea in Kraków. But the enterprise did not provide the expected profits; what is more, it turned out to be a complete disaster.
In 1882, Tarasiewicz moved to Warsaw where he set up another, innovative for those times, enterprise – the Pluton coffee roasting plant, the first one in Poland.
Initially, he had difficulties persuading clients to buy pre-roasted coffee (the volume of coffee decreased in the process of roasting, and because of that it seemed to be more expensive than the one prepared at home on a frying pan). As Kordian Tarasiewicz (the founder’s grandson) mentioned in a conversation with Jakub Kowalski in Tygodnik Powszechny [General Weekly], the new place also aroused curiosity – people lined up at the door in order to smell the intensive aroma of coffee, which they could not get at home.
Finally, the success of Pluton affected the change of habits. Roasted and ground coffee shortened the process of preparing this beverage and settled on shop shelves permanently. Green coffee beans disappeared from the market for many years. Today, we can buy them again (but this time they are much more expensive) and roasting at home has become popular among people who value the slow process.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
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 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.