The coffee culture had spread to North America very early on by colonists, already familiar with the brew, who brought the habit with them from Europe.
It was probably European refugees from the revolutions of 1848 that did most to establish a vital café culture in the United States. These were mainly urbanised, middle-class intellectuals, many of whom had learned the cut and thrust of radical discourse in the coffeehouses of Berlin, Vienna, Prague and Budapest.
The industrialisation of coffee production and distribution didn't happen all at once. As with all transformations, conditions needed to be right before what was going to happen actually did. But once things fell into place, the shift from localised, artisanal facilities to industrial-scale enterprise with national distribution took place with great rapidity.
A glimpse into the incredible speed of change in the coffee business can be witnessed through the tale of the Cheek-Neal Coffee Company which started roasting coffee on a small scale and ended up as one of the largest corporations in America - Maxwell House.
However, by the late 19th century, small coffee companies struggled to survive as a few large corporations monopolised the commodities trade.