Why Is Coffee Called Java?

The world’s most famous morning beverage has lots of nicknames. Ever since coffee came into the picture, it has gotten many names like ‘cup of joe,’ ‘mud,’ and ‘java.’ You have probably seen the word Java written next to a coffee cup somewhere and then wondered why coffee is called Java.

Coffee is called Java because, in the beginning, most of the world’s coffee came from an Indonesian island called Java. People soon started to associate coffee with the word Java and started calling the drink Java as well.

What Is Java Coffee?

While Java is a generic name for a cup of coffee, it refers to a particular sort of arabica coffee bean as well. Java Arabica coffee is produced in the ljen Plateau on the Indonesian Java Island at an altitude of around 1,400 meters.

The texture of Java Arabica coffee is heavy and fizzy, with a nutty fragrance and taste. Arabica coffee has a lively acidity to it. It has an earthy flavor with chocolaty sharp and pleasant notes. When in its purest form, Java coffee is 100 percent arabica. Hence, this coffee is more flavorful than your regular coffee.

In comparison to Robusta coffee, Java coffee is also more expensive. Apart from Java, coffee has also been named ‘cup of joe.’

What is the Meaning of Java?

The word ‘Java’ is actually the name of an Island and not a word of some language. Java is an island in Indonesia that houses almost half of Indonesia’s population. The Java island produces java coffee and other commodities such as rubber, tea, etc. Hence, Java is simply a slang adapted by coffee lovers who assumed that all coffee came from Java island, so they called coffee “Java”.

History Of Java Coffee

Coffee had first been introduced to the Indonesian islands by the Dutch in the 1600s. The first exporter of Java coffee was the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century. Big Dutch-owned farms were the standard back in those days.

Java was one of the world’s first islands to grow coffee, and it is because of this long-standing history with the coffee plant on the land the coffee produced on this Island also was recognized as ‘Java.’

Soon, a colonial regime started and harmed the laborers and natives financially. Hence, the Indonesian farmers were severely oppressed. A coffee-leaf rust outbreak destroyed the Indonesian coffee beans market in the 1860s and 1870s. The losses from the outbreak forced the Dutch to leave several lands.

Since the Dutch had abandoned the lands, the farmers decided to cultivate small plots of the land. However, the farmers chose to use disease-resistant crops to avoid outbreaks this time. Hence, the traditional Arabica Java coffee was replaced by the Robusta coffee we see today. Robusta crops were hybrid crops engineered to withstand crop disease outbreaks.

The hard work of the laborers paid off, and they managed to dominate the coffee industry. Today, Indonesia is the fourth largest coffee-producing country globally, thanks to Java Island. While Robusta coffee was easier to grow, it lacked the earthy and herbal taste present in Arabica/Java coffee.

A coffee crop is grown.

Other coffee beans, such as those from Brazil and Colombia, became more well-known over time. Hence, Java coffee became rare and started finishing off ultimately. As a result, Indonesia became more well-known for manufacturing coffee in Sumatra. The Sumatra Island soon became a popular destination for Starbucks.

Java coffee from the original place is now back up and running and growing in popularity. This popularity is thanks to young coffee growers who decided to revive the world-famous Java coffee. Java coffee is now widely available in Indonesia, where it is served in a variety of eateries that employ beans to improve the flavor of their everyday menu items.

Apart from Indonesia, Arabica Java beans are also famous all over the world today. While relatively expensive, coffee lovers appreciate the acidic, herbaceous, and authentic taste that comes with every sip of Java coffee.

How Is Java Coffee Different From Ordinary Coffee?

While Java coffee is generically called ‘Java coffee’ because of its origin, we already discussed that Java is also a different kind of Arabica bean.


The main difference between regular coffee beans and Java coffee beans is their taste. Your typical coffee has a bold and rich taste and stays in your mouth for quite a while afterward. In contrast, Java coffee has a rather subtle and sweet flavor. Java coffee lacks the bitter touch that expresso beans have and give a more chocolaty flavor that mocha-lovers will undoubtedly love.


Java coffee is more acidic as compared to regular coffee.


Java coffee has a smoother texture, and the beans have an effervescent touch to them. The regular coffee may also have a smooth texture but you will have to bring in extra effort to make that happen.

Coffee texture.


Another thing that sets Java coffee apart is wet-processing. Java coffee beans are first immersed in water in order to remove their mucilage layer. Since they remain in the water for so long, the bitterness goes away, and you get a sweeter brew. However, most regular coffee is dry processed.

Caffeine Levels

Java coffee contains less caffeine as compared to Robusta or regular coffee. Multiple brands produce Java, so different varieties have different caffeine levels. However, since Java is a form of Arabica coffee, we will compare the caffeine level of Robusta coffee with Arabica coffee.

The caffeine levels in Robusta coffee are double that of Java coffee. Java coffee has only 1.5% caffeine, while Robusta has a 2.7% caffeine content. Java coffee has a sweeter tone, as the caffeine is less while Robusta coffee is bitter. Java coffee has 60% more lipids and double the amount of sugar that Robusta coffee does.

Comparison Of Java And Regular Coffee

Comparison Of Java And Regular Coffee
 Java CoffeeRegular Coffee
TasteSweet, nutty, and chocolaty.Burnt and bitter taste.
Caffeine content1.5%2.7%
Sugar contentDouble of robusta coffee.Half of the amount in Arabica coffee.

Health Benefits Of Java Coffee

Java Coffee has several health benefits. According to Dr. Health Benefits, Arabica coffee reduces the risk of cancer, helps maintain a healthy mouth, helps prevent Parkinson’s disease, and even helps maintain stamina.

What Is Mocha Java?

Mocha Java is one of the most well-known and earliest coffee beans. Mocha Java is a hybrid of Yemeni Mocha beans and Indonesian Java Arabica beans, making it a fantastic multicultural mix. Both Mocha and Java beans are known for their high quality and mouth-watering flavor. When the two of them come together, you can guess what a fantastic duo it will be.

Bright and delicious African coffees are combined with earthy and deep Indonesian beans in this composition. Mocha Java can be savored as a traditional brewed regular coffee, but the beans also work nicely in espresso drinks. However, if you want a more bitter taste, you should switch to Robusta coffee.

Coffee next to a book and a girl working.

Why Is Coffee Called Coffee?

The word “coffee” first appeared in the English language in 1582, when it was derived from the Dutch word koffie. The term “coffee” comes from a variety of languages. It was given the name “qahwah” in Yemen, derived from a poetic word for wine.

It was then shortened to Turkish “kahveh,” then to the Dutch word “koffie,” and ultimately to the English word “coffee.” The Dutch have taken the word “kahve” from the Ottoman Turkish language. The word qahwah can also be related to the Arabic word “quwwa” which means energy.  Unfortunately, these names for coffee or “qahwah” have been challenged, and there is no concrete evidence of their original origin.


Java coffee is an excellent beverage if you are looking for a nutty and chocolate drink instead of a highly caffeinated and bitter one. There are multiple health benefits of Java coffee, and it can be called the mother of coffee. While it may be a little pricey as compared to regular coffee, Java is undoubtedly worth it and will not disappoint you!

Bilal Ahmad

Bilal Ahmad

A coffee enthusiast on his way to exploring more about coffee while helping others solve all their Coffee Queries!