Adulteration of Coffee Act 1718

The Adulteration of Coffee Act 1718 (5 Geo. 1 c. 11) was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of Great Britain concerning the adulteration of coffee, which made it illegal to debase coffee.


It was passed in 1718. The Act provided a penalty of GB£20 (equivalent to about £3,200 in 2019) "against divers [diverse] evil-disposed persons who at the time or soon after roasting of coffee, make use of water, grease, butter, or such like material whereby the same is made unwholesome and greatly increased in weight, to the prejudice of His Majesty's Revenue, the health of his subjects, and to the loss of all fair and honest dealers."

When coffee fell out of fashion, in favour of tea, a similar law was then introduced, the Adulteration of Tea Act 1776 (see List of Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, 1760–1779).

When recent Governor of Ceylon Viscount Torrington presented a petition in 1854 to similar, reinforcing effect, namely to counter the use of chicory for mixingas coffee was by 1854 subject to a duty of 75% on top of the London market pricehe stressed another piece of legislation had strong effect.[1] He also mentioned coffee as the main export item at that time of Ceylon.[1] This reinforcement was the Act of the 43rd year of George III (chapter 129) (the Excise Act, 1803) such that no vegetable substance resembling coffee was permitted on the premises of licensed coffee dealers.[1]

The Act was repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1958.

See also

 Coffee portal


  1. "Millbank systems archive". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 134. House of Lords. 23 June 1854. col. 596–599.

Bailey, Liberty Hyde (1909). Cyclopedia of American Agriculture. Macmillan Publishers. Retrieved March 28, 2009.