Thursday, May 23, 2024

Question: What was a “coffee sniffer’s” job before it became obsolete?

Answer: Coffee sniffers were retired soldiers commissioned by Frederick II beginning in 1780 to catch Prussians who were roasting or drinking coffee illegally, bypassing the state monopoly on coffee and the corresponding taxes. Here’s an engraving from 1892 showing “sniffers” catching three women in the midst of a kaffeeklatsch.