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Archaeologists in Australia dug out 167 years old rare coffee beans in Melbourne

Archaeologists in Australia dug out 167 years old rare coffee beans in Melbourne

July 13 - 2022

Coffee Geography Magazine


Perfectly preserved coffee beans dating back more than 167 years have been found by archaeologists working on the Metro Tunnel project, in Melbourne which now confirmed that the city is Australia's coffee capital. The work was to dig up the historic remains of a grocery store near the site of the Young and Jacksons pub on Swanston Street, in Melbourne's CBD when they discovered the artefacts by accident.

The general store which was owned by John Connell burnt down in the Gold Rush era, which preserved more than 500 coffee beans along with English biscuits, fruit remains and other perishables. The coffee beans were well roasted by the airtight fire accident probably fit for espresso brew but what is now found is not enough to fill even for a single cup.

Meg Goulding,the excavation director said the items had been carbonized and preserved in a similar way to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii when it was buried under volcanic ash.

"This was just a general store that was servicing the gold fields at the time," she said."The store was there from the early 1850s, we know that the gold rush started in 1851."

 “the discovery of coffee beans demonstrates Melbourne's iconic coffee culture goes way back to the 1850s.” said Acting Premier Jacinta Allan "The discovery proving coffee isimportant to Melburnians," she said.

 "Remarkably, the coffee beans have been preserved and they are now part of the rare finds that we are uncovering as we get on and deliver the Metro Tunnel project." It's now hoped all of these items, including the coffee beans, will be put on display for the public to see.