Why is Coffee Called Java? A Simple Guide

Last Updated on May 31, 2023

Have you ever wondered why coffee is sometimes referred to as “java”? Well, you’re not alone! As coffee drinkers, we use the phrase ‘a cup of joe’ as well as ‘a cup of java’ to refer to our beloved coffee. But why the term, java?

The word Java is actually a term used to describe coffee beans that come from the island of Java in Indonesia. It’s one of the oldest coffee-growing regions in the world and has been a significant player in the coffee industry for centuries.

why is coffee called java

We’ll also dive into the history of coffee in Java, including the cultivation of Java Arabica coffee and how the region became one of the most renowned coffee producers globally. So, without further ado, buckle up, and let’s answer the question, why is coffee called Java?

By the way, if you click on a link and then decide to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

It Started with the Dutch

The coffee trade that we know today owes its origins to the Dutch, who were the first to cultivate coffee outside of Africa and Arabia.

In the 17th century, the Dutch were the most powerful commercial maritime nation in the world. The Dutch East India Company was actively seeking new commodities to trade, and coffee caught their eye.

The Dutch government prohibited the export of coffee seedlings to protect their monopoly on coffee cultivation, so the Dutch decided to smuggle them out. The Dutch East India Company sent a man named Pieter van der Broecke on a secret mission to smuggle seedlings to Indonesia.

Fast forward to today, Indonesia, particularly the island of Java, is one of the largest producers of coffee in the world. The coffee trade may have started with the Dutch, but its growth and influence are due to the hard-working farmers on the island of Java and across the world.

The Island of Java – A Short History

the island of Java in Indonesia

As coffee lovers, we may have heard of Java coffee which is a popular type of coffee globally. And of course, we’re wondering why coffee is called java.

Let’s learn more about Java’s significant role in the worldwide coffee industry. We will dive into the history of Java coffee, its current status in the global coffee market, the working conditions of the coffee workers, and the legendary Mocha Java coffee.

whiskey barrel coffee gift

Where is Java Island?

Java Island is an Indonesian island, located between Sumatra and Bali. As highlighted previously, the Dutch introduced coffee to the island in the early 17th century. The unique climate and soil conditions of Java make it an excellent coffee-growing region. Coffee plants love this!

Soon after introducing coffee to the island, the Dutch established plantations and began exporting the beans. The Java coffee trade then grew over the centuries, making it one of the most important coffee-growing regions in the world.

Coffee Production Today on Java Island

Currently, the annual coffee production of Java Island is over 800,000 bags, with 60% of the export coffee being premium quality Arabica. The coffee beans undergo wet-hulled processing, which results in earthy flavors with low acidity levels. The beans from Java Island are famous worldwide due to their rich, full-bodied flavor and distinctive taste.

While Java Island’s coffee trade has been successful for centuries, the coffee workers in the region face challenges. Many coffee workers earn less than the minimum wage set by the government, and the workers often work in poor conditions.

Additionally, climate change has led to decreased coffee production and has impacted the coffee industry workers’ economic conditions. NGOs and companies have been stepping up efforts to address these issues, but there is still a need for long-term and sustainable solutions.

Mocha Java Coffee

Mocha Java is a popular coffee blend that’s been around for centuries. It’s a combination of Yemen Mocha coffee and Java Arabica coffee.

Yemen coffee is known for its chocolatey flavor and light body, while Java coffee is known for its earthy and robust profile. The blend creates a unique, balanced cup of coffee comprising a fruity and tangy flavor with notes of chocolate and earthiness.

The Mocha Java blend became popular in the 17th century and these arabica beans are still highly regarded by coffee enthusiasts today.

Here are some of the current best-selling mocha java coffee blends. Would you like to try some today?

Bestseller No. 1
Allegro Coffee Mocha Java Whole Bean Coffee, 12 oz
  • Amazing products, exceptional ingredients, no compromises
  • Specialty whole bean coffee
  • Medium roast
  • Berry, chocolate, warming spice
Bestseller No. 2
Allegro Coffee Mocha Java Ground Coffee, 12 oz
  • Amazing products, exceptional ingredients, no compromises
  • Specialty ground coffee
  • Medium roast
  • Berry, chocolate, warming spice
Bestseller No. 3
San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee – Moka Java (2lb Bag), Medium Roast
  • Moka Java is a classic mix of beans from Indonesia and Africa. This aromatic, medium light roast is…
  • FOR FINEST TASTE: Store in a cool, dark place and grind beans just berfore brewing
  • QUALITY COFFEE: San Francisco Bay Coffee uses only 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher coffee…
  • SUSTAINABLY AND ECO- FARMED COFFEE: We offer a wide selection of sustainably grown, sourced, and…
Bestseller No. 5
Larry’s Coffee Organic Fair Trade Whole Bean 5 pound pack of FBA-|278514, Mocha Java Blend, 80 Ounce
  • Five pound bag of whole bean coffee.
  • Sweet and fruity, full-bodied with hints of caramel and spiced chocolate.
  • USDA Organic; Fair Trade; Shade Grown for bird safety; Kosher
  • Air vaccuum packaging to ensure freshness.

Wrap It Up

Java Island has been a significant contributor to the global coffee market, with Java coffee and its distinct flavors having a loyal following on a global scale. The coffee trade on the island may face some challenges, but it continues to produce some of the world’s most flavorful coffee beans.

The evolution of Java coffee and the production of Mocha Java coffee shows examples of how coffee agriculture has adapted to market trends over the centuries. As coffee lovers, let us savor a cup of Java’s coffee while acknowledging the hard work of the coffee workers and supporting sustainable coffee practices on the island.

FAQ

What is Java coffee?

Java coffee is a type of coffee grown on the Island of Java in Indonesia. The beans are known for their earthy flavor and distinctive taste.

Where can I buy Java coffee?

You can find Java coffee from specialty stores or online retailers. Some major brands also offer Java coffee.

What is the Mocha Java blend?

The Mocha Java blend is a combination of Yemen Mocha coffee and Java Arabica coffee. This blend creates a unique, balanced cup of coffee with fruity and tangy flavors with notes of chocolate and earthiness.
It has been popular since the 17th century.

Is coffee called java because of the island of Java?

Yes, the name “java” comes from the Island of Java in Indonesia where coffee was first grown and exported. The Dutch introduced coffee to the island in the early 17th century and the unique climate and soil conditions of Java make it an excellent coffee-growing region. Today, Java Island is one of the most important coffee-producing regions in the world.  

Conclusion: Why is Coffee Called Java?

cup of fresh hot coffee

As we’ve learned, coffee is called java because it was first grown and exported from the Island of Java in Indonesia. The Dutch introduced coffee to the island in the early 17th century, and its unique climate and soil conditions make it an excellent coffee-growing region. Today, Java Island is one of the most important coffee-producing regions in the world, and its beans are famous for their rich flavor and distinctive taste.

Whether you prefer a cup of regular coffee or mocha java, next time you’re drinking coffee you can appreciate both its history and flavor, you’ll have the answer to the question, why is coffee called java, and now you’ll know why we sometimes call our ‘cup of joe’ a ‘cup of java!

RESOURCES:

Why is Coffee Called Java? Get your answer here, short and sweet!