“JAVA” is a watercolor painting by Christopher Kuster, resident of the Sunshine State, Florida. Christopher is a Quadriplegic from a swimming accident in 1992. Christopher paints with a brush held in his mouth and enjoys spending time with his art. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Christopher Kuster for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
“JAVA” is a watercolor painting by Christopher Kuster, resident of the Sunshine State, Florida. Christopher is a Quadriplegic from a swimming accident in 1992. Christopher paints with a brush held in his mouth and enjoys spending time with his art. This greeting card was reproduced from an original artwork by Christopher Kuster for THASC Sales Co. which has employed a unique group of handicapped artists who create art to help rehabilitate themselves. They gain self-respect and pride through their artwork.
Did you ever wonder where the expression “cup of Joe” came from? After discovering that the original theory could not be true, I decided to dig deeper. For the record, the original theory dated back to the World War I era when Josephus Daniels became secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson and banned the consumption of alcohol, which, it was said, led to the stewards increasing their purchases of coffee. As a result, the coffee became degradingly known as a “cup of Joe”. This theory was faulty because of the timing of the General Order 99 in 1914 and the spirit ration being abolished in 1862 to already dry ships. Over history, calling the beverage “joe” had 2 stronger theories, but no proof. One of them affirms that “joe” is a contraction of two other jargon terms for coffee: java and jamoke, jamoke being formed by the words java and mocha. Thus it went from a “cup of jamoke” to “a cup of joe”. The last theory stated that since “joe” was a term used for “typical guy, fellow, chap” (dating back to 1846), “a cup of joe” referred to a common man’s drink much as it was used with any other member of a group having common interests like “the average Joe”, “Joe College”, “G.I. Joe”. “Cup of Joe” seems to go with the beverage of the common man with this theory. The best theory seems to be jamoke changing to joe since Java was the primary source of where the world’s coffee came from in the 19th century.


It was believed by historians that coffee plants were found in the year 850 in Ethiopia and then 50 years later were taken to the Arabs. Despite the Arabians guarding their coffee seeds, some were smuggled to the Dutch and in turn made their way to Indonesia in the 17th century and were planted in Sumatra and the island of Java.

Thus java was one of the earliest plantations of coffee and still exports coffee now. THASC artist Christopher Kuster titles his painting “JAVA’ for the reason that, like wine, coffee is classified by its region and species. By saying, “ I’ll have a cup of Java” is similar to saying, “I’ll have a glass of Chianti”.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a coffee drinker in my life unlike my mother who downed at least 8 cups a day, including at bedtime. She was like most of the 80% of adults who consume caffeine every day. According to the FDA Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee a day, which is equivalent to 146 billion cups a year. Some other interesting facts about coffee are that dark roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts, even though the flavor is stronger.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, the first being oil. The majority of coffee (40%) is produced in Brazil which is twice as much as Colombia and Vietnam, it’s second and third place competitors. Believe it or not, Hawaii is the ONLY U.S. state that commercially grows coffee! However, New Yorkers drink seven times as much coffee as the rest of the country. Finland is on top for being the most caffeinated country where average adults consume 4-5 cups a day. I’m sure coffee drinkers must know there are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. 70% are Arabica but Robusta has twice as much caffeine.

Trader Joe's coffee ice cream
Trader Joe’s coffee ice cream
I really wonder where my taste for coffee flavors comes from as I don’t like coffee. For example, my favorite ice cream, by far, is coffee and I love coffee syrup used in milk to make frappes or, as we call them in Rhode Island, “coffee cabinets”. I suppose that is what intrigued me to find out so much about “Java”.

Coffee beans are grown on bushes and are actually the pits of a cherry-like berry, making it part of a fruit. It is a called a bean because it resembles real beans, but is actually a seed. Imagine that! The prettiest cup of coffee, or cappuccino, that I’ve seen was in Florence’s famous ristorante BUCA MARIO. This past May I had the delight of taking my nephew Scot there for his birthday and I must say we were both surprised to see the decoration on the steamed milk.

I’ll close by saying I hope all of you coffee drinkers enjoy your “cup of Joe” as Scot did in Firenze.

Cappuccino at Buca Mario’s, Firenze
Cappuccino at Buca Mario’s, Firenze

Thank you for your painting of “JAVA”, Christopher. It taught me a lot!
This blog is dedicated to my brother Joe.

See you on Thursday!

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

13 thoughts on “Java

  1. Dana October 13, 2015 / 11:59 am


    I don’t drink coffe,or like lt, but l love coffee

    Ice cream and coffee milk, they are my

    Favorite. My husbund ted, drinks alot of

    Coffee, probably about 10 cups a day, so he

    Can stay awake for work,since hes on the

    Rode driving alot. He would love that picture

    Christopher painted,seen he is a big coffee

    Fan. O do love the painting, but not the coffee

    Inside that cup. Maria,we will have to have

    Some of that ice cream some day together,

    From Trader Joe’s,lt looks so good!!!LOL


    • tesoromio315 October 13, 2015 / 8:09 pm

      Isn’t it amazing that we both like the flavor of coffee but not the beverage! I somehow think we’re in the minority though as everyone I know drinks coffee day and night like Teddy. You can buy the cards at our home site and give them to Teddy for a stocking stuffer! Go to :

      Thanks, Dana m

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Richard Sav October 13, 2015 / 6:13 pm

    I’m a coffee addict and want to purchase Christopher’s cards. How can that be done?
    The common monikers Java and Mocha came from the ports of the same name which exported beans in the early years.
    Sad to know that the poorest countries in the world produce coffee for the richest countries and that the poorest of the poor are generally those individual farmers who grow it- and until “Fair Trade” ( if they can become certified) never are/were paid a fair price for their product. The amount paid to a farmer in Guatemala for the 50 or 60 “cherries” used in a cup of coffee is less than 2 cents! And what do we pay for a cup at StarBucks?
    Mark Prendergrast wrote a very interesting book on coffee entitled ” Uncommon Grounds, The History of Coffee and How It Transformed our World”. I

    Liked by 1 person

    • tesoromio315 October 13, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      Wow! Dick, I knew you would be a wealth of information about coffee and it’s history. I enjoyed your reply so much. These cards can be purchased at
      Thank you so much for adding more knowledge than I ever had about coffee. I hope you found it interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rosaleen Melone October 13, 2015 / 7:12 pm

    Maria, what a wealth of information you so generously shared with us about coffee! I am going to print a copy of this blog to share with my many coffee drinking friends! I always did wonder where the expression a ” cup of Joe” originated. Fascinating! And I really like Christopher Kuster’s watercolor painting, Java. I can smell a “cup of Joe” just looking at it. Watercolor is not an easy medium to work in and Mr Kuster did a very nice job. Bravo to him for his painting and to you, Maria, for your very interesting and informative blog. Mille grazie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tesoromio315 October 13, 2015 / 8:01 pm

      I really worked hard on this one, Rosaleen.
      I found it especially interesting to research since my mother was such a coffee addict as you know! I’m amazed at how many requests there are to buy these cards but when you see how many coffee drinkers there are in the States alone, I can see why.If you’re interested in purchasing them go to our home site:
      Grazie a te!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. bobby bear October 13, 2015 / 7:13 pm

    I love my coffee black with no sugar, and the dark roast are the best for me.
    you would not put ketchup on a steak so why put milk and sugar in ones coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tesoromio315 October 14, 2015 / 8:24 pm

      Good point, Bobby. It’s so nice to see your comment here. If anyone knows about coffee it’s you. Hope my info was enjoyable for someone who knows nothing about coffee! I did my homework!
      Come back and comment again on my next blog!!! Thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bill Ellis October 15, 2015 / 9:45 am


    Como sta bella? Cuppa Joe? Never thought about the origin of the term but can say that your brother Joe introduced me to appreciating a good cup from his little espresso machine on N St. in the 60’s. The little piece of lemon peel tasted divine.

    I actually grew up drinking something called Postum which is grain-based. Then moved through freeze dried and Bustelo before settling now on an unground espresso bean for our most recent Breville machine which is very tasty when making single cup but not the double. Normally use the Starbucks espresso roast.

    First experience with the dark roast was in Asmara (then) Ethiopia where beans were roasted in pan over open flame. We never managed to get this technique to give a tasty cup but it is possible as they demonstrated.

    The darker roasts do have less acid but an unhealthy chemical called acrylamide is formed by the additional roasting. This chemical is found in many of the crunchy things that we eat like potato chips. In fact the brand Pringles is said to be dangerously high in it. It is the high temperature that causes this formation so perhaps a lower temperature and more time? Predict that some day a great little roasting machine will hit the market.

    Am still dreaming of a Karina Forno wood-burning stove and perhaps roasting coffee beans in the oven.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Maria Libera Vallone October 15, 2015 / 2:43 pm

      Ciao Guglielmo (in Italian) , I was hoping I would get replies from both you and Chad and low and behold, both of you wrote. I was very touched that you read and enjoyed my blog and was able to teach me even more about coffee (which I desperately need to know), as I never drink it. Your world experiences give me more facts about coffee than most people probably have experienced. I’ll certainly look forward to seeing you again on another blog.
      In fact today’s is about wolves. If you didn’t get it, I’ll send another copy. All the paintings I write about are done by handicapped people as you have read in the caption. Hope all is well in DC. Stai bene!!! Con affetto, Maria


  6. Chad October 15, 2015 / 10:13 am

    For anyone who likes the taste of coffee, but wants to stay away from the caffeine and acidity, try Teeccino; it’s an excellent coffee substitute. According to the company, it also helps to promote organic and fair trade values.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maria Libera Vallone October 15, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      Dear Chad, First let me tell you how much I appreciate you taking the comment to read my blog. It was wonderful seeing your name. For a non-coffee drinker like me, perhaps I should try your suggested product. Where can you find it? In whole foods stores?
      I hope you got my blog for today on wolves. If not, I’ll send it to you and would love for you and Ulla to comment if you have time. I tried looking for her email, but cannot find it. Would you send it along?
      Thanks again for the reply and info. Love to you both.


  7. Charlene October 15, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    Wow , who knew that there was so much history behind the name. I’m not much a coffee drinker myself but I do enjoy an iced coffee on a hot summers day. America is obsessed with caffeine at my place of work all things coffee are our bigest sellers everything from your average regular flavored roasts to seasonal favorites, pumpkin spice cappuccino being a top seller for next few months. People can not get enough, personally I sell over 200 cups between the hours of 4 and 6 a.m. I can’t wait to return to work tomorrow and share my new found knowledge abound coffees most common name with a few regular customers for whom ” a cup of joe” is a necessity to starting their day.


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