Why Is Coffee Called Java? The Fascinating History

Why Is Coffee Called Java? The Fascinating History

Coffee goes by many names: espresso and drip – if you’re referring to how it’s made, mocha and cappuccino if you like to call it by its spinoff beverages.

Others, like Java, hint at its history.

Java is named after the Island of Java

If you’re great at Geography you’ll remember the island of Java in the Indonesian Archipelago.

In the past, Europe’s sole supply of coffee was from Africa and Arabia, and regions in Yemen and Ethiopia. The mid-1600s marked the Dutch Golden Era, when Rembrandt and Vermeer were painting stalwarts and the Dutch were merchants, dealing in luxury commodities like porcelain, and exotic culinary products.

They took particular interest in coffee, looking to cultivate it for themselves and eliminate the middleman who supplied the product from Arabia.

The Dutch East India Company later introduced this foreign coffee to Bali and Sumatra.

However, it was in Java that its journey towards international appeal began.

The Dutch, now purveyors of their own coffee, soon hit a marketing brick wall as customers at home, who felt Arabic was exotic, were disinterested in Dutch coffee.

The merchants then tagged the sacks containing “Java.” This nickname became so penetrating that it became synonymous with all coffee breeds.

Java gains momentum

By the 1800s, the Dutch stranglehold on Java and coffee production had waxed stronger.

And with imperialism in overdrive across the globe, Dutch exports from Java became a leading source of coffee, and in the process, consolidating Java is the ultimate coffee alt-name.

Today, the Dutch East India Company has long departed Indonesia – a now-free and independent state. Still, Java lingers on like remnants of a coffee filter as a legend of the interplay between imperialism, trade, and culture.

Java island today

The island of Java became independent in 1949 and is the most urbanized part of Indonesia.

The elite class dominates the island, while the lower class are farmers.

Although Java is on its way to full modernization, only 75% of its populace has electricity.

Coffee production stimulated the development of the region and railroads were built to convey coffee from the production sites to the harbor.

Today, Indonesia, through the influence of the Island of Java is the world’s fourth-largest coffee exporter after Brazil, Vietnam, and Columbia.

Java is also the dwelling place of four of the greatest coffee plantations, namely: Kayumas, Djampit, Pancoer, and Blawan.

Java’s Arabica production

In many quarters, Java refers to a specific crop of Arabica beans.

It is usually farmed at an altitude of 1400 meters on the Ijen Plateau.

Carefully plucked green coffee cherries are wet-processed (washed) right after harvest to discard the coffee’s fruity components.

This procedure leaves the coffee with a very pure taste, although it strips the coffee off a lot of its original body.

Notwithstanding, Java is 100% Arabica that is high in quality due to its strong flavor and perceptible acidity.

In contrast, Robusta is gentler, costs 50% of the price of Arabica, and is used mostly in instant coffee products.

Monsooning coffee

Besides wet-processed Java Arabica beans, Java is also monsooned or aged.

Monsooning involves the exposure of unroasted green coffee peas to the moist, warm atmosphere of the rainy season. This procedure can last up to three years.

Monsooned coffee produces a tasty drink as acidity is lowered, making for a sweeter timber-like roast that is full-bodied.

Java coffee was on the cusp of obscurity

Over the years, beans like those sourced from Columbia and Brazil, became more hotly demanded, gradually sending java to oblivion.

Thankfully, a new generation of coffee growers sprung up from the original region and Java brew is back again in business and enjoying healthy demand. This is as a result of the growing region’s conduciveness to rear coffee, which has encouraged others to retrace their steps to the birthplace of pro coffee production on the altitudes of Java.

Once again, Java is celebrated in Indonesia and several domestic cafes, which use the beans as an improver to their regular menu.

Similarly, Arabica beans from Java are also sent to specific international destinations.

In 2016, for example, importers from Georgia were bellowing their fascination for the Java coffee pods.

With Americans demonstrating euphoric fondness for gourmand coffee to the extent to which it has smashed all stats pointing to previous consumption levels, it will not be erroneous to say that Java is commonplace, as it can be found in your local coffee.

Who knows, your local coffee store might be serving the actual Java brew right now.

Java: the programming protocol

Java, the term referring to any coffee especially in the United States, has made a resonating impact in the world of computing.

Java was created in 1995 by James Gosling, fondly called the Father of Java. It displays a steaming cup of coffee as its symbol.

The technology is useful in internet programming, smart devices, games, and business processes. It was called Oak because of its strength (after being called Green talk by Gosling).

Gosling and his team of developers later went on to replace Oak with Java after they realized that the former was already trademarked by Oak Technologies.

The team chose Java because they wanted something that evoked the spirit of technology; something that is lively, dynamic, original, smooth, easy to spell, and sharp when said.

Coincidentally, Gosling had a cup of Java sitting on his desk during the brainstorming session.

We can breeze through multiple web pages at once and make the most of our time on the internet today thanks to Java, the computer program that was aptly named after a type of coffee that implies speediness and responsiveness in the tech space.

Is Java any good?

The Dutch didn’t simply plant and trade coffee pods from Indonesia, they reengineered the product, and that’s why the name, Java, lingers on.

The “coffee leaf rust” of the late 1800s was an endemic that destroyed most of the coffee crops in Java.

To control the spread of the disease, the Dutch switched their Arabica, first with Liberica, and then with Robusta pods.

These beans are hardy and perform excellently under the micro-climatology of the area, triumphing against the coffee leaf rust.

Liberica and Robusta beans do not rank as highly as Arabica does among coffee connoisseurs; these beans are often regarded as inferior in quality.

Eventually, the Dutch coffee business continued to thrive and the island went on to become one of the most sought-after coffee sanctuaries on the planet.

However, most people think that Javanese coffee is an adulterated strain. The term “Java” makes coffee snobs prefer some peculiar blends.

And even though vast amounts of Arabica beans are cultivated today on the eastside hills of Java, naysayers of the export still consider it inauthentic.

Coffee is and will always be promoted in the Western world as a luxury item, but the fact that java connotes the ubiquity and mass-production of mediocre beans contributes to its perception to some people as cheap coffee as opposed to the boutique versions grown in other places.

Despite Java’s travails as a real coffee sort, it is still extolled by aficionados for its distinctive flavor.

Anyone can have a feel of its acidic-earthy tones instantly.

It can be savored on its own or can be enjoyed with milk-based shots like lattes.

Top Java coffee brands

Excelso Java Arabica Beans

If you’re into a full-bodied coffee with a dark, intense chocolatey mouthfeel.

Users also claim it has a bittersweet finish with a nutty hint.

It is aroma-locked in an airtight bag to guarantee freshness by releasing excess air.


Ingredient: 100% Arabica

Flavor: Dark chocolate and nutty

Body: 5/5, acidity 1.5/5

Weight: 0.4 lbs

Presentation: 2 bags per order, ground coffee

Coffee content: caffeinated

What we liked

  • Low acidity
  • Real java; Product of Indonesia
  • Aroma-locking bag

What could be better

  • Not a lot a coffee for the midrange price

Preparation recommendation

To prepare a nice cup of Excelso coffee, take one tbsp of the ground coffee (7 to 8g) and put it in a cup. Add 200ml of hot water (85 degrees) and stir liberally.

The maximum brew time is 4 to 5 minutes.

Storage information

To maintain the coffee flavor, store your Excelso Coffee in an airtight containment (preferably ceramic) and store in a cool, dry place.

Keep away from direct sunlight.

Buffalo Bucks Mocha Java Coffee

Buffalo bucks is a micro coffee roasting place that roasts coffee to order.

That way, the coffee is 100% fresh Arabica beans and retains its original flavor.

These roasters usually make blends of two or more single-origin coffees that are roasted at different levels and blended.

This amalgamation creates an effect that makes the coffee taste unique; something not experienced in natural coffee.

The brand only uses top-selected Arabica beans that are gathered and processed using fair trade practices.


Flavor: mocha-java

Weight: 5 lbs

Caffeine content: caffeinated

Roast type: American roast

What we liked

  • Freshly harvested
  • 100% micro roasted arabica beans
  • Ground on request. No additional rates

What could be better

  • Ethiopian and java mix; could be more original

Alvari Indonesia Java Estate Beans

Alvari is a direct-trade small-batch specialty gourmet coffee from the Island of Java Indonesia.

Every cup of Indonesia Java Estate Beans offers relatively low acidity, smoothness, and balance. It is espresso-flavored and has low sourness.

The medium body is an important feature of one of the best coffee combos in the world: Mocha Java. The coffee is spicier than the regular Java, Sumatra, Bali, Flores, and Sulawesi flavors.


Weight: 1 lb

Flavor: espresso – whole beans coffee

What we liked

  • Specialty gourmet coffee
  • Smooth with low acidity
  • It’s an improved Java blend

What could be better

  • We love everything about this coffee

Java Time Gourmet

Java Time is a specialty coffee made from carefully selected Arabica beans

This light-bodied Arabic roast.

This product offers an equalized soft brew saturated with aromas that are authentic, crisp, and edifying. It can be roasted at a temperature of 190 to 205 degrees.


Ingredient: 100% premium Arabica coffee

Weight: 1.5 lbs

Other popular names include:

What we liked

  • Specialty
  • 100% arabica
  • It’s a large bag

What could be better

  • Australian quality; not quite the standard brew

Preparation suggestions

It’s best to use filtered water. Use up to (9g) of freshly ground coffee for every 6 fl oz (180ml) of clean filtered water.

Other names coffee is called

  • Mud
  • Joe
  • Cuppa Joe
  • Jamocha
  • Rocket Fuel
  • High Octane
  • Jitter Juice
  • Worm Dirt


Why is coffee called Joe?

“A cup of Joe” is one of coffee’s nicknames, perhaps, stranger than Java because it’s human nature to call things from their area of origin.

The word “Joe” as coffee derives largely from two theories:

The man who forbade alcohol on ships

Not many people are familiar with the name Josephus “Joe” Daniels. The Secretary of the Navy, in 1914, banned booze on all US Navy vessels.

World War I was imminent and soon the young men realized that the strongest drink onboard the vessel was a coffee or a cup of Joe.

And while the debunkers of this theory argued that alcohol was generally not very popular in the Navy at the time to have any considerable influence on the ban and the emergence of the name, the men who usually had drinks at home or the local bar referred to coffee as a cup of Joe in order not to vocalize their resentment and disapproval towards the Navy secretary.

However, the phrase “cup of Joe” did not appear until the 1930s.

The 16-year gap from Daniels’ embargo effectively quashed this theory. The term may have died down during the 1920s, only to re-emerge during the Prohibition era of the 1930s.

The average man’s drink

“The average Joe” is a term that is equivalent to the average man.

And so “cup of Joe” may easily be a reference to the average man’s drink.

Why is coffee called Jamocha?

Jamocha (or Jamoke) is a fusion of the words Java and Mocha.

This fusion is the result of the physical mixing of Java and Mocha to create a hybridization that has a high coffee note, with a chocolatey taste.

Mocha is a reference to a coffee-growing region of Yemen, which is another source of internationally recognized coffee.

When the word first emerged in the 19th century, it referred only to coffee, but these days, it is used to describe coffee or chocolate blended with ice cream or other icy confectionaries.

Why is coffee called Cuppa?

Cuppa is an adulteration of the term “cup of,” as it sounds in the British accent.

This term is used by the British to refer to a cup of tea but is now generalized to indicate a “cuppa” any hot beverage.

It’s completely astonishing how the phrase “can I have a cup of?” morphed into “can I have a cuppa?” to cuppa meaning coffee outrightly.

Why is coffee called rocket fuel?

Many coffee drinkers don’t down it for its taste, they down it because of the caffeine dose. An incredibly strong jolt of coffee will energize you immediately.

This turbocharging process is best imagined as a rocket launch, powered by a rocket fuel, which in this case is the coffee.

The term “rocket fuel” is also used to refer to any strong drink.

Why is coffee called high octane?

Sharing in the sentiment of rocket fuel, “high octane” refers to any strong coffee, which can give you a momentous pump.

In real life, high octane is a hydrocarbon fuel that powers up gasoline engines.

Why is coffee called mud?

In some regions of the globe, coffee is called mud.

This name refers to Turkish/Israeli coffee.

It is called so because the coffee grounds are not exactly water-soluble, giving a grainy precipitate that looks like mud.

Why is coffee called cupped lightning?

Tea-lovers trying coffee for the first time report it to be an experience.

Some people have described the sensation as being struck by lightning, giving rise to the term “cupped lightning.”

Final thoughts

Whether you’re referring to a cup of coffee or the computer program, the word Java has come to symbolize focus and effectiveness.

The island of Java has single-handedly been responsible for the global penetration.

It’s no surprise that one of its many synonyms is tagged “Java.”

Sadly, the real Java brew has been much maligned over the years, drawing criticism about its credibility and as a true coffee blend.

But from gourmet coffee poachers to regular users and even the staunchest snobs, Java has enough bang to stimulate anyone, and that is why it is gradually reclaiming its 17th-century glory.

The world celebrates its versatility very much, and it’s no surprise that it is also called Jamocha, rocket fuel, cupped lightning, Joe, mud, high octane among others.