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Go Juice: English Slang for Coffee and Caffeine

Go Juice: English Slang for Coffee and Caffeine

Are you a coffee drinker?

Many people cannot begin their day without a morning cup of coffee as a part of their daily routine.

Coffee, of course, is a popular drink loved by people around the world. This popularity has resulted in lots of slang and special expressions for referring to it in English. This article will introduce some of the most common names you'll hear for both coffee and the caffeine it contains. Let's take a closer look!

Basic slang terms for coffee

A cup of coffee surrounded by coffee beans and an open book


This name comes from the fact that Java, an island in Indonesia, is a famous coffee-producing area.

I need a cup of java to get my day started.

(Cup of) Joe

There is a theory that sailors began calling coffee "Joe" after Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the US Navy during World War I, who banned the use of alcohol on ships.

Let's grab a cup of Joe during our break.


"Brew" is a verb for the process of making coffee by mixing coffee beans with hot water. 

Just give me five minutes to brew a fresh pot of coffee before we start the meeting.

Sometimes, however, it is used as a noun referring to the coffee itself.

Morning's best start: a fresh brew in my cup.

Bean juice

This nickname for coffee is another reference to coffee beans.

I don't have time for a big breakfast in the morning; instead, I only have bean juice and a bagel.


"Dirt" is coffee that is black and has a heavy flavor.

No cream please; I like my coffee like dirt.


Similar to dirt, "mud" is slang for strong coffee with intense flavor. (If you didn't know, mud is just dirt mixed with water!)

After pulling an all-nighter*, all I want is a cup of mud to get me through the morning.

*An "all-nighter" is the act of staying awake all night, usually in order to complete an urgent project.

Go juice

This name emphasizes the fact that coffee can give you energy, particularly in the morning.

I've got back-to-back meetings today, so I'll need plenty of go juice to stay alert.

Slang terms for caffeine strength

A barista preparing drinks in a coffe shop

The following expressions are names for coffee that refer to the strength of its caffeine.

Rocket fuel

The fuel that powers rockets flying into space needs to be very powerful! That's why some people refer to very strong coffee with this name. 

I'll be ready for the day after I have a little rocket fuel.

Jitter juice

"Jitter" is a verb meaning to shake quickly, usually because of fear or cold. However, sometimes people shake because they have a lot of energy. Coffee with lots of energizing caffeine therefore became "jitter juice."

I had a cup of jitter juice before my meeting and now I can't stop talking!

High octane

The term "high octane" is usually used to talk about a type of gasoline. Similar to rocket fuel, however, it can also refer to coffee with a high amount of caffeine.

I'm going to need a high-octane cup of coffee if I'm going to stay awake for this all-nighter.

Liquid energy

This expression refers to coffee's ability to provide quick energy when needed.

With my busy schedule, a quick sip of liquid energy in the morning really helps me start the day.


This is another gasoline-related term that is also a nickname for caffeinated coffee.

I always take my coffee leaded; decaf just doesn't work for me.

The opposite is "unleaded," which refers to decaffeinated coffee (often shortened to "decaf").

I'll have an unleaded, please. I'm trying to cut down on caffeine.

Common coffee phrases

A mug with "Life begins after coffee" printed on the side

We'll finish our look at coffee and caffeine with some common phrases you are likely to hear from heavy coffee-drinkers!

I need my caffeine fix.

This means that you need coffee to stay awake and alert.

I can't even think about starting my work until I've had my caffeine fix in the morning.

I’m a coffee snob.

This term is used by people who are very careful about the quality and origin of their coffee.

By the way, you can also find people who are wine snobs or beer snobs!

I only drink espresso from locally roasted beans because I'm a bit of a coffee snob.

I’m a coffeeholic.

"Coffeeholic" is a play on the word "alcoholic" and refers to a person who is "addicted" to coffee.

I'm such a coffeeholic that I can't even start my day without a double espresso.

I’m feeling wired.

This expression is used when people are overly energetic because of too much caffeine.

I think I've had a bit too much coffee; now I'm feeling wired and I can't sit still!

Espresso yourself

This is a pun combining the phrase "express yourself" with "espresso," a strong caffeine drink.

When I need some quick energy, I just espresso myself with a strong shot!

Your turn

The fact that there is so much slang is a sign that coffee has become an extremely important part of many people's lives. In fact, because coffee is so common in daily routines, you will have plenty of chances to try out this slang immediately! 

The next time you order coffee somewhere, why not use one of these expressions? ☕