What’s in a name? A cup of ‘Joe’ by any other name…

Have you ever wondered why coffee is known as “a cup of joe”? Of the Daniel, David, John and Michael(s), why Joe?

According to an article published by Quartz, “Joe” is short for Josephus Daniels (1862-1948), former secretary of the US Navy.

Former US secretary of Navy, Josephus Daniels (image credit: electricscotland.com)

Daniels became secretary of Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. In an effort to establish strict morality, Daniels banned the consumption of alcohol.

In a new biography, “Josephus Daniels: His Life and Time,” Lee A. Craig wrote:

As a substitute, stewards increased their purchases of coffee, among other beverages, and Daniels’s name became linked to the daily drink of millions around the world.

A cup of coffee became disparagingly known as ‘a cup of Joseph Daniels,’ and as legend has it, this was soon shortened to a ‘cup of Joe.’

In New York, the perfect-cup-of-joe award was given to Joe the Art of Coffee. New York Magazine, Time Out New York and The Village Voice agree that Joe is The City’s Best Coffee. The chain’s 2012 addition, Joe Pro Shop offers a selection of esoteric beans roasted in progressive ways.

Joe Pro Shop
131 West 21st Street, New York NY 10011



One thought on “What’s in a name? A cup of ‘Joe’ by any other name…

  1. Pingback: To drink or not to drink, coffee. That is the question | Stress-free NYC

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