There are three or four neccesities for people settling a new frontier: sugar, salt, flour, bacon (or some kind of preserves animal protein) and coffee. OK, coffee is on the list because it is or was, always included in supplies for explorers, settlers, soldiers, sailors, etc., when they set out to conquer the unknown or the known, fight the elments or other men. Coffee is neccesary for the proper function of society, especially the success of the industrial revolution and the winning of wars.
Anchorage, Alaska, as it turns out, is the Coffee Drinking Capital of the US. Move over Seattle; you are not even close!
Here is an article about the affect of comodities on the state of the world, coffee being one of the more important ones. I donot share many of his sentiments, but his description of the development of the global economy around coffee and other comodities is pretty good.