blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Friday, November 11, 2005

"Cup of Joe" is a naval term

Hey! This is even appropriate to post today because it's Veterans Day!

When I admitted my ignorance in the Cleveland Magazine article about where the term "A Cup of Joe" came from, Dennis Skitzki (our Espresso Wizard and now Historian) came to my rescue. He told me that the phrase was coined in deference to a Navy Commander that had abolished the enlisted men's rations of alcohol and had coffee served instead. I looked it up and here's what I found:

Josephus Daniels (18 May 1862-15 January 1948) was appointed Secretary of the Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. Among his reforms of the Navy were inaugurating the practice of making 100 Sailors from the Fleet eligible for entrance into the Naval Academy, the introduction of women into the service, and the abolishment of the officers´wine mess. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard Navy ships could only be coffee, and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe."


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