This is a perfect discussion while we are in Seattle, the world’s most famous city for coffee drinkers. Seattle consumes more coffee than any other American city. There are 35 coffee shops (which is TEN times more than the U.S. overall) per 100,000 residents. The average person in Seattle spends $36 a month for coffee. Starbucks (currently 424 stores here) was founded here in 1971. In addition, there are 694 independent coffee places. If you have ever been to the famous Café’ Nervosa you will know what I am referring to.
How did the phrase, “cup of Joe” originate?
Was it a barista named Joe? Or Jose?
Was it named by coffee importers in Johannesburg, SA (often called Jo’burg by locals) when they specialized in Arabica beans?
Was it named after the witch hunt by Senator Joseph (don’t call me Joe) McCarthy?
Was it where have gone Mrs. Robinson, Joltin‘ Joe has gone away?
Was it named for the greatest QB ever, Joe Montana after he won his first Super Bowl?
No!!! The answer is below, though it is not very romantic.
Joe refers to Josephus Daniels, former secretary of the US Navy under president Woodrow Wilson. During the World War I era, Daniels tried to reform the Navy morally. He increased the number of chaplains, discouraged prostitution at naval bases, and, most controversially, banned the consumption of wine and alcohol, suggesting that soldiers would be better off drinking coffee instead. For soldiers, a “cup of joe” became a frequent part of daily life.
Well, enjoy your cup of joe on Sunday morning like I do!!! We will have ours with croissants from the best French bakery in the world, Le Panier, near Pike Market. We also found out one of our favorite Seattleites got engaged! Congrats to dear young lady Ms. M.