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Why Is Coffee Called Coffee?

coffee cup full


Coffee enthusiasts worldwide savor their daily cup, but have you ever pondered why we call it “coffee”? Let’s embark on a journey through the origins of the word “coffee,” its centuries-long evolution, how it’s expressed in various languages, and the global passion for this beloved brew.

The Origins of “Coffee”

The tale of coffee begins in Ethiopia, where coffee plants were first discovered centuries ago. The word “coffee” is thought to have sprung from the Arabic term “qahwa,” originally denoting wine. Over time, “qahwa” transformed to describe the invigorating beverage made from coffee beans, gradually expanding beyond Ethiopia’s borders.

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The Evolution of the Word

As coffee permeated different cultures, “qahwa” metamorphosed into “kahve” in Turkish, “café” in French, and “kaffee” in German, among others. Pronunciations changed, but the essence endured—coffee, the revitalizing elixir.

Coffee in Different Languages

Coffee holds a special place in diverse languages. In Italy, it’s “caffe,” while in Spain, it’s “café.” In the Netherlands, you’ll hear “koffie,” and in Japan, “コーヒー” (kōhī). These distinct terms mirror the global significance and love for coffee.

The Global Love for Coffee

Coffee transcends borders, forging connections among people across continents. It’s not just a beverage; it’s a cultural experience. From the bustling coffee shops of Seattle to the traditional coffee ceremonies of Ethiopia, coffee unites us in shared moments of joy, energy, and creativity.


So, why do we call it “coffee”? Its journey from the hills of Ethiopia to becoming a global phenomenon has altered its name while maintaining its essence. Coffee continues to inspire, comfort, and build communities, bridging languages and borders, enriching our lives one cup at a time. Savor your next cup of “coffee,” “café,” or “kaffee,” and cherish the shared love for this beloved brew.

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