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. Over time, it is thought that the more complex name of Jamoke may have been shortened into 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. Why is Coffee called Joe? 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. Why, though, is this drink referred to as ‘a cup of joe’? Well, the origin of this phrase is uncertain. A “cup of joe,” is one of coffee’s most common nicknames — and one of it’s most puzzling. 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. However, there are a few theories. Those who believe this theory claim that sailors, angry about the ban, began to call coffee a “cup of joe" in protest. Indeed, how did coffee get this nickname? I always thought it sounded kind of cool either way, but the name behind the drink was often elusive in meaning for me. 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". However, historians have cast doubt on this theory. Why coffee is called “joe” ... Say hello to Josephus Daniels, former secretary of the US Navy and namesake of the proverbial cup of joe. The Origin Of a ‘Cup of Joe’ After waking up in the morning, millions of people choose to drink a hot (or cold) cup of coffee. Joe is, of course, short for Joseph. There are several theories that have been put forth, but none of them can claim to be the definitive explanation. 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. It's origins are still a bit mysterious. From that time on the strongest (and apparently therefore the drink of choice) on board navy ships was coffee. Confusingly, some other sources consider the Daniels derivation unlikely for the opposite reason: they say "cup of joe" predates the order. 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. I literally thought a person was inside a coffee cup and his name was Joe. During World War II the US defence workers were supplied with as much coffee as they … It was dubbed 'a cup of Joe' after the secretary. Why is coffee called a cup of Joe? 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