"drink made from the ground and roasted seeds of a tree originally native to Arabia and Abyssinia," c. 1600, from Dutch koffie, from Turkish kahveh, from Arabic qahwah "coffee," which Arab etymologists connected with a word meaning "wine," but it is perhaps rather from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, a home of the plant (coffee in Kaffa is called būno, which itself was borrowed into Arabic as bunn "raw coffee").
The early forms of the word in English indicate a derivation from Arabic or Turkish: chaoua (1598), cahve, kahui, etc. French café, German Kaffe are via Italian caffè.
The first coffee-house in Mecca dates to the 1510s; the beverage was in Turkey by the 1530s. It appeared in Europe c. 1515-1519 and was introduced to England by 1650. By 1675 the country had more than 3,000 coffee houses and coffee had replaced beer as a breakfast drink, but its use there declined 18c. with the introduction of cheaper tea. In the American colonies, however, the tax on tea kept coffee popular.
Meaning "a light meal at which coffee is served" is from 1774. As a shade or color resembling coffee, 1815. Coffee-bean is from 1680s. Coffee-mill is from 1690s; coffee-spoon is from 1703; coffee-pot is from 1705; coffee-cup is from 1762. Coffee-shop is from 1838. Coffee-cake is from 1850 as "cake in which coffee is an ingredient." Coffee break attested from 1952, at first often in glossy magazine advertisements by the Pan-American Coffee Bureau.
Did you drink a cup of coffee on company time this morning? Chances are that you did—for the midmorning coffee break is rapidly becoming a standard fixture in American offices and factories. [The Kiplinger Magazine, March 1952]
also coffeehouse, "house of entertainment where guests are supplied with coffee and other refreshments," 1610s, from coffee + house (n.). In late 17c. London they were important political centers, serving as clubs did for a later generation; each sect and party had a chosen one of its own.
The coffee-house must not be dismissed with a cursory mention. It might indeed, at that time , have been not improperly called a most important political institution. No Parliament had sat for years. The municipal council of the city had ceased to speak the sense of the citizens. Public meetings, harangues, resolutions, and the rest of the modern machinery of agitation had not yet come into fashion. Nothing resembling the modern newspaper existed. In such circumstances, the coffee-were the chief organs through which the public opinion of the metropolis vented itself. [Macaulay, "History of England"]
trimethyl-derivative of xanthine, 1830, from German Kaffein, coined by chemist F.F. Runge (1795-1867), apparently from German Kaffee "coffee" (see coffee) + chemical suffix -ine (2) (German -in). So called because the alkaloid was found in coffee beans; its presence accounts for the stimulating effect of coffee and tea. The form of the English word may be via French caféine. Related: Caffeinic.
"coffee-house, restaurant," 1802, from French café "coffee, coffeehouse," from Italian caffe "coffee" (see coffee).
The beverage was introduced in Venice by 1615 and in France by 1650s by merchants and travelers who had been to Turkey and Egypt. The first public European café might have been one opened in Marseilles in 1660. Cafe society "people who frequent fashionable dining spots, night-clubs, etc." is from 1922.
THE living-room in a German household always contains a large sofa at one side of the room, which is the seat of honor accorded a guest. At a Kaffeeklatsch (literally, coffee gossip) the guests of honor are seated on this sofa, and the large round table is wheeled up before them. The other guests seat themselves in chairs about the table. [Mary Alden Hopkins, "A 'Kaffeeklatsch,'" "Boston Cooking-School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics," May 1905]
1839, "cafe," American English, from Mexican Spanish cafeteria "coffee store," from café "coffee" (see coffee) + Spanish -tería "place where something is done" (usually business). The sense shifted by 1890s to "self-service dining establishment." The ending came to be understood popularly as meaning "help-yourself" and was extended to new formation with that sense from c. 1923.
Examples of the thing itself date to 1885, but they seem to have become established first in Chicago in the early 1890s by social and philanthropic organizations (such as the YWCA) to offer working girls affordable, fast, light meals in a congenial atmosphere. Their popularity waned after c. 1926, eclipsed by coffee shops, lunch counters, and sandwich shops. Industrial plants began to add them in 1915; schools and colleges followed.
"coffee," 1850, short for Java coffee (1787), originally a kind of coffee grown on Java and nearby islands of modern Indonesia. By early 20c. it meant coffee generally. The island name is shortened from Sanskrit Yavadvipa "Island of Barley," from yava "barley" + dvipa "island." Related: Javan (c. 1600); Javanese (1704).
1763, French café au lait, literally "coffee with milk," from lait "milk" (12c.), from Latin lactis, genitive of lac "milk" (see lacto-). As opposed to café noir "black coffee."
1773, "fine coffee," properly that produced in Yemen, from Mocha, Red Sea port of Yemen from which coffee was exported (the beans themselves grew further inland). Meaning "mixture of coffee and chocolate" is recorded by 1849. As a commercial name for a shade of dark brown, it is attested from 1895.