coffee

Definitions

General English

Agriculture

  • noun a bush or small tree widely grown in the tropics for its seeds, which are used to make a drink.
  • noun the drink prepared from the seeds of coffee bushes

Food

  • The water extract of ground, roasted coffee beans used as a beverage and for flavouring

Travel

  • noun the crushed beans of the coffee plant Coffea, used to make a hot drink
  • noun a drink made from ground coffee beans or powder, mixed with hot water

Wine

  • an aroma associated with oak-aged red wines made from the Pinot Noir or Carmenère grape varieties

Origin & History of “coffee”

The word coffee first reached us in a form which we would now recognize in the 17th century, probably via Italian caffè. It is ultimately, however, of middle Eastern origin, and the earliest spellings recorded in English reflect this: chaoua, cauwa, kahue, cahve, etc are modelled closely on Turkish kahveh and its source, Arabic qahwah. where the Arabic word came from is not known for certain: probably it is based in some way on Kaffa, the name of an area in the south Abyssinian highlands from which the coffee tree is said to originate, but it has also been claimed to have signified originally some sort of wine. Café (19th c.) comes of course from French café, whose source was Italian caffè. From the French word was derived caféine, from which English gets caffeine (19th c.), while Spanish café produced cafetero ‘coffee-seller’, source of English cafeteria (20th c.).
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