From Italian caffè, from Turkish kahve, from Arabic قهوة (qahwa, “coffee”). Some Ethiopians claim a derivation from Kaffa, an ancient province of Ethiopia where coffee is said to have originated, but this etymology is highly improbable as it fails to explain the initial shift to the Arabic ‘qahwa’. At the same time, qahwa refers only to coffee in liquid form. When it is dry, either as beans or ground, Arabs call coffee بن (bunn). That word comes from ቡና (buna), the Amharic word for coffee.
Many sources state that the Arabic term meant ‘a brew’, especially wine.
- Hyphenation: kof‧fie