Coffee. A way of life to some, and to others a means to fuel each hazy morning. From the millennial sipping on their instagrammable paper cup to the middle aged mechanic with his morning brew – we all have a little time for a cup of Arabica. Myself for example, I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with it. Starting out like most- with an utter disgust for the smell let alone taste – reminding me of my french teacher : a certain je ne sais pas.
Then I reached 16 and it was cool to have an iced drink doused in sugar, cream and syrup. I realised quickly that this was not sustainable for both my health and wallet at almost 3.50 a pop. Exams came and the next rung up Jacob’s ladder was the warm embrace of a hot, smooth milky latte – essentially an adult milkshake, not proper coffee but not all milk – so 100% judgement free!
And then one summer I became a fully fledged adult – I moved on to the big boy – a nice, fresh Cup of Joe.
But how does a cup of coffee become anthropomorphised into Joe? And why Joe and not Tom, Dick or Harry?
The origins of this phrase are thought to originate on the sails of the American Navy in the early 20th century . Josephus Daniels held the elusive role of Secretary of the Navy and his lasting legacy was that of banning alcohol on navy ships. Like flotsam, the sailors found themselves lost at sea and so replaced a cold beer with plenty of hot coffee – naming it aptly after the man causing their caffeine fuelled vendetta.
Another belief is that Joe is used to represent that it is a drink of any man and everyman – Joe around the corner enjoys a coffee so why shouldn’t you?
All I know is that life is too short for bad coffee – in an instant it will all be over . All the memories of the past will filter through your mind and you’ll ask yourself if given another shot would you have done anything differently?
Open your eyes – it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee.