Coffee has a host of different nicknames, including cuppa, brew, joe, dirt, and java. The latter is one of the more perplexing nicknames that doesn’t appear to make a ton of sense today. However, the origins of calling coffee “java” actually goes back many years and is an interesting part of the drink’s history.
Why Is Coffee Called Java?
The term java is connected to where coffee is sourced. Centuries ago, a majority of the world’s coffee supply was produced on the Indonesian island of Java, and it has been cultivated there since the 17th century. Indonesian natives refer to coffee as kopi jawa, which is a name for both the coffee plant and a style of making coffee. After Javan beans became widely traded, coffee earned the nickname “java”.
And that’s why coffee is called Java.
One of the first instances of “java” being used in print to refer to coffee was in the Reserve Officers Manual of 1931, produced by the U.S. Navy. However, well before then people around the world used the term “java” when referring to a cup of coffee, no matter if the beans were sourced from Java or not.
History and names aside, just choosing a type of coffee that you’ll enjoy can be a beast due to there being so many varieties and flavors. Looking specifically at coffee from the actual island of Java, there’s jamoke — a combination of Javan coffee and mocha — and mocha Java blend, which is a mix of coffee from Java and Yemen. Confused yet? Around the world, there’s also Hawaiian Kona, Gesha, Mundo Novo, Bourbon, Blue Mountain, Maragaturra, and Catimor coffee varieties among many, many others.
Aside from simply tasting your way through the coffee world and learning your preferences, thorough coffee reviews can give you handy information about flavor profiles, brands, and varieties. It’s especially helpful to read through others’ experiences with particular coffees if you plan to buy specialty blends that can only be purchased online. For example, for info about Kona Coffee (Hawaii coffee!) you can visit LittleCoffeePlace.com