The story of the sugar cube is a bit of a love story. It began in 1843 in Dacice, Moravia, which is now the Czech Republic, when Juliana was preparing to have some of her friends over for a friendly, gathering. At this time, sugar refineries did not yet produce granulated sugar. Sugar was produced and sold in large conical shaped loaves.
Therefore, whenever you wanted sugar you would have to chip a hunk of sugar off of the loaf. Sometimes, if the sugar was particularly stubborn, you may even have to use a hammer. As Juliana was prepping her food the night before her party, as she was using a knife to chip tiny chunks of sugar from the large cone of sugar, her hand slipped and she cut her finger.
That night as Julianne drifted off into a deep slumber with her wounded finger throbbing, she dreamed of making and packaging sugar in tiny chunks that were ready to use. Upon waking the next morning she told her husband Jakub Rad of her dream, and the seed had been planted.
Jakub, who was the director of the local refinery, adopted this challenge as his own. As a result he invented a machine that produced a sugar cube in the autumn of 1841.
And now back to the love story. When the first sugar cubes rolled off of the production line, J.K. Rad presented a packet of 350 pink and white sugar cubes to his inspiration, Juliana, as a loving gift in 1841. By 1843 sugar cubes were being marketed and sold to the public. These sugar cubes or “Vienna Sugar” became popular worldwide.
Over time, the sugar cube has become an essential element of a tea party. One lump or two can refer to snow white, virgin sugar cubes or to sugar cubes festively decorated with sugar frosting to commemorate a special event like a wedding or a baby shower. So the next time that you are gathering with your friends to enjoy a cup of tea, you can thank Juliana and her wounded finger for the lump of sugar as it plunks into your cup.