Josephus Daniels (1862–1948) was appointed Secretary of the U.S. Navy by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913.Among his numerous reforms of the Navy was the abolition of the officers’ wine mess. Snopes considers this is unlikely because it says there is no attestation of the phrase "cup of joe" until 1930, 16 years after the 1914 order banning the wine mess. There is a third theory that it may be called a Cup of Joe because it was the drink of the common man. Why is coffee called a cup of Joe? 'A cup of Joe' also refers to the GIs' favourite drink. Cup of Joe – The common story that the term “cup of joe” for coffee originated from Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels’ order to prohibit alcohol in the fleet is probably a myth. As you can tell, the above sentence is a fairly good reason on why I never attempted a career in comedy. I literally thought a person was inside a coffee cup and his name was Joe. From that time on, the strongest drink aboard navy ships was coffee and over the years, a cup of coffee became known as "a cup of Joe". Unlike “java,” which refers to a specific coffee-growing region, the origins of “cup of joe” are unknown.The term first started appearing in print in the 1930s, with the first occurrence of it in a book coming in 1936. Well, the origin of this phrase is uncertain. I always thought it sounded kind of cool either way, but the name behind the drink was often elusive in meaning for me. That is why many feel that it has to do with a common name that was used for the beverage at the time, Jamoke (a combination of mocha and java). During World War II the US defence workers were supplied with as much coffee as they … Confusingly, some other sources consider the Daniels derivation unlikely for the opposite reason: they say "cup of joe" predates the order. It was dubbed 'a cup of Joe' after the secretary. Those who believe this theory claim that sailors, angry about the ban, began to call coffee a “cup of joe" in protest. It's origins are still a bit mysterious. Over time, it is thought that the more complex name of Jamoke may have been shortened into Joe. Why is Coffee called Joe? For starters, alcohol was not widely available on Navy ships prior to the ban, so the ban would've had very little, if any, practical effect. A “cup of joe,” is one of coffee’s most common nicknames — and one of it’s most puzzling. There are several theories that have been put forth, but none of them can claim to be the definitive explanation. August 17, 2010, radan, Leave a comment. However, historians have cast doubt on this theory. From that time on the strongest (and apparently therefore the drink of choice) on board navy ships was coffee. Being an avid coffee drinker for quite a few years now, I often wondered why the term ‘Joe, was used to describe a hot cup of coffee. 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