Terms of Endearment: Coffee Edition

One shares a special relationship with their coffee. For many it’s a daily must-have, for others it’s a ritual. For some it’s a treat, for some it’s routine. Historically, the word ‘coffee’ came into existence in 1582 as an evolution from the Dutch koffie, the Ottoman Turkish kahve and the Arabic qahwah. 

Over time, you’d have heard expressions such as cuppa, joe, java and others that people use in reference to describe coffee. We all have our favourite styles, beans, techniques – needless to say, coffee holds a special place in our lives and we’ve put together a list of terms used around the world for coffee. Or as we’d like to call them – our terms of endearment.


An uncommon expression for coffee with a specific connotation – half regular coffee and half decaf. While we’re unsure of the origins of this term, a likely guess is the city it takes its name from. 

Bean Juice

Technically, coffee is a fruit. The beans that we grind come from the seeds of a red, juicy, cherry like fruit which grows on trees at the plantations. For those who take their morning cuppa very seriously start their day by grinding the beans fresh and essentially preparing a bean juice. 


A more direct term for coffee, this slang is indicative of the brown colour and resemblance of the coffee grounds with dirt or mud. 


A widely recognized phrase, this term has a few different theories to it’s origin. Some relate it to Joe Martinson who founded one of the most popular coffees of the world – Martinson Coffee. Others believe it to be a phonetic interpretation of mixing Java and mocha. Some also regard coffee to be synonymous with the common person, otherwise known as the average Joe.

More on this here – https://driftaway.coffee/why-is-coffee-called-a-cup-of-joe/


Java was a Dutch colony back in the 1600s and the area progressively made its mark as one of the major coffee producers in the world. Thus lending its name as a synonym for coffee to be recognized as globally.  

High Octane

A reference to the caffeine and the energy it gives, people often refer to coffee with this name irrespective of how many cups they consume in a day. 

Red Eye

A famous drink that comes from the popular flying expression. This slang is often used to describe strong coffees that accompany an all-nighter or overnight trip. In the West, this usually refers to  a drip coffee combined with a shot of espresso. 


You’d rarely hear people refer to coffee with this term but those in the scientific world would understand the reference – the caffeine that is found in coffee. 

Science and coffee go hand in hand!
Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Tell us what you call your cup of coffee in the comments below!

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