The Origin of the Name "Coffee"

July 03, 2024

The Origin of the Name "Coffee" | Wabilogic


The name "coffee" has an intriguing history that traces back through several languages and cultures. Here’s a look at how this beloved beverage got its name:

Etymological Journey

Ethiopian Roots:

The word "coffee" is believed to originate from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa (also spelled "Kefa" or "Keffa"), where the coffee plant, Coffea arabica, was initially discovered. The locals referred to the drink made from the beans as "bun" or "bunn."

Arabic Influence:

The word then traveled to Arabic, where it became "qahwa" (قهوة). In Arabic, "qahwa" originally referred to a type of wine, but it later came to mean coffee. The term reflects the stimulating nature of the drink, similar to how wine affects the mind.

Turkish Adaptation:

The term "qahwa" was then adopted into Turkish as "kahve." The Ottoman Turks played a significant role in spreading coffee throughout their empire and into Europe.

European Adoption:

As coffee spread to Europe, the word evolved further:

In Italian, it became "caffè."

The French version is "café."

The Dutch word is "koffie."

English Usage:

The word entered the English language from the Dutch "koffie" in the early 1600s, becoming the "coffee" we use today.


The name "coffee" has a rich history, evolving from the Ethiopian region of Kaffa to the Arabic "qahwa," then to the Turkish "kahve," and finally to "coffee" in English. Each linguistic change marks the spread and growing popularity of coffee worldwide 

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