Wondering Why?

Why is Coffee called Joe?

Why is Coffee called Joe?

Being an avid coffee drinker for quite a few years now, I often wondered why the term ‘Joe, was used to describe a hot cup of coffee. I always thought it sounded kind of cool either way, but the name behind the drink was often elusive in meaning for me. I figured that since Joe is such a common name, that someone many years ago just decided to name coffee a common and often used name. It actually turns out there there are quite a few theories as to why this name was stuck with the delicious hot drink for so many years.

One of the theories is that one of the most famous music composers, Stephen C. Foster, who wrote some of the most popular songs of all time such as Oh! Suzanna and Camp Town Races, wrote a songs called Old Black Joe which was referring to a cup of coffee in the morning and diners all across the country picked up the slang as a reference to coffee. I think that this explanation is pretty cool as I have always been quite fond of Fosters music over the years.

The other explanation of the reference is one that says that an old Navy Secretary, Joseph Daniels, once banned alcoholic beverages from the Naval ships because his crew was getting belligerent, so the strongest drink that the crew had remaining on board was coffee. The crew in turn started calling the coffee Joe in a mocking sort of way and it eventually stuck once they got back to land and started telling all of their family members and friends. This explanation makes a little bit more sense it is a bit more believable. Either way, though, this moniker has stuck around for many generations and it probably will live on forever or at least as long as coffee is still around.

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