Why is coffee called a cup of Joe? I literally thought a person was inside a coffee cup and his name was Joe.
As you can tell, the above sentence is a fairly good reason on why I never attempted a career in comedy.
Here’s What I Originally Thought ‘Cup Of Joe’ Came From
I thought it meant the person who invented or discovered the idea of making a drink with the use of coffee beans was named Joe. And the term ‘cup of Joe’ was used to honor him.
And when it comes to honoring him, there are never any questions to be asked.
I mean come on, this man invented or discovered this amazing caffeinated drink that millions of people worldwide drink every single day.
And because of this, there are statues of him all over the world!
That seems pretty legit.
But it’s probably far from the truth.
I would be satisfied if coffee drinkers worldwide begun referring to coffee as a cup of Dave.
I Have Started To Develop A Craving
While typing and thinking about a cup of coffee, I am starting to crave one right now. Earlier today I had an espresso. Now feeling a cup of coffee. But I have no idea where my French press is currently stored.
There I go off topic again.
Why Is Coffee Called A Cup Of Joe?
On the internet I researched why is coffee called a cup of Joe and came across a few interesting ideas.
Check them out below;
- Some believe that the origin of “cup of Joe” stems from a 1914 ban on alcohol on U.S. Navy ships imposed by the Secretary of the Navy Josephus “Joe” Daniels. After his order, imposed near the beginning of World War I, the strongest drink a sailor could get on a ship was black coffee
Joe banned alcohol on U.S. Navy ships and because of this he got his name associated with one of the most popular drinks in the world?
Josephus “Joe” Daniels was a smart man.
Also mentioned about the banned alcohol on U.S. Navy ship. But other ones are listed including
- In the 1930s and 1940s, coffee was becoming more popular, and coffee became a regular drink among military men. The average man was in the military and often referred to as G.I. Joe Therefore, the nickname could be a euphemism for a common man’s drink.
- During the 1930s, mocha and java were also becoming popular coffee terms. Some think “Joe” is a combination of java and mocha shortened.
From the first bullet point above, it appears “The Great American Hero” G.I. Joe made coffee extremely popular.
About the second point, I find it interesting Joe may have been created by combining Java and Mocha together. Instead of Joe, why don’t we call it Mava or Jocha?
I like them both.
“I’m going to make myself a cup of Mava..”
“I’m feeling a cup of Jocha…”
Where Does ‘Cup of Java’ Come From?
Coffee is referred to as both cup of Joe and cup of java.
Here’s a little history on Java – the island in Indonesia.
Centuries ago the Dutch exported coffee trees to three different Indonesian islands: Bali, Sumatra and Java. Coffee beans are still being grown on those islands today but out of the three, Java is the one with the name people use to describe their favorite drink.
Java is the largest of the Indonesian islands in terms of population. Over half of Indonesia’s population lives on the island and the capital city of Jakarta can be found there too.
Coffee exported from that island was referred to as Java coffee. Now people around the world refer to their local cup of coffee as java.
“Can I have a cup of Java?”
My Final Words
Overall there are a few ideas on why coffee is referred to as a cup of Joe. They might be true or completely inaccurate.
I would like to think what was revealed above carries some truth.
Now in my daily life, I can approach random people in the local coffee shops and mention “Hey! Did you know what you are drinking is referred to as a cup of Joe? and this cup of Joe I speak of was invented by G.I. Joe?”
They would probably roll their eyes and walk away from me as fast as possible.
Another idea is I can tell coffee shop customers “Did you know some guy named Joe banned alcohol from a navy ship around 106 years ago? And yes, Navy ships did exist back then. Everyone on the ship was very happy about it too. In return they starting calling the coffee they drank a cup of Joe.”
I wonder if anyone would find that interesting. Most likely not.
Well I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.
Thanks for reading.