Why we call Coffee a Cup of joe

why is coffee called joe

Cup of Joe” is a famous slang used to refer coffee. But have you ever wondered why coffee is referred as a cup of joe. There are many theories linked to it.

1. Army story:

why is coffee called joeDuring World War I, Josephus Daniels was a secretary of the navy under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. Josephus Daniels wanted to inspire the navy with good mortality. So he increased the number of chaplains and also banned alcohol consumption. As a substitute, the militants were supplied with more coffee among other beverages. The loss of easy access to booze, coffee became more popular drink among naval men.

2. Dictionary meaning:

Dictionary meaning of “Joe” means an ordinary man. Since coffee is most popular drink among Americans, people must have started calling it as “cup of Joe”.


Coffee is also called java. Java Arabica coffee is grown in islands of java in Indonesia. During the 19th century, it was the major source of coffee for Americans. So, “Java” is also a famous nickname for coffee. Joe must have been the derivation of java.

4. Java+Mocha=Jamoke= ” joe”

Mocha is a place in Yemen. The Arabica species of coffee is native to Yemen. The “coffee mocha beans” are a variety that is harvested from coffee Arabica.  Jamoke is slang for coffee which must be the compression of Java and Mocha.  Since we love to shorten our slang terms “a cup of jamoke” might have become ” a cup of joe”!!!!

After reading this article you have understood now why is coffee called joe 🙂

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