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coffee (n.)

"drink made from the ground and roasted seeds of a tree originally native to Arabia and Abyssinia," c. 1600, from Italian caffe, from Turkish kahveh, from Arabic qahwah "coffee," said originally to have meant "wine," but perhaps rather from the Kaffa region of Ethiopia, a home of the plant (coffee in Kaffa is called buno, which itself was borrowed into Arabic as bunn "raw coffee"). Much initial diversity of spelling in earliest English use, including chaoua (1598).

Yemen was the first great coffee exporter and to protect its trade decreed that no living plant could leave the country. In 16c., a Muslim pilgrim brought some coffee beans from Yemen and raised them in India. The beverage appeared in Europe (from Arabia) c. 1515-1519. Introduced to England by 1650, and by 1675 the country had more than 3,000 coffee houses. Coffee plantations were established in Brazil by 1727.

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]