why is a coffee table so called

Why is a Coffee Table So Called?

A coffee table is an important furniture piece in our homes, but have you ever stopped to think about how it got its name? Even though it’s usually used to serve coffee and snacks, it’s actually named for something entirely different.

Overview of a Coffee Table

A coffee table is typically a low table that is placed in a living room or family room in front of a sofa or armchair. They’re usually either rectangular, square, or circular in shape and range in size from small to large.

Coffee tables are often used to hold drinks, snacks, books, magazines, or decorative items. They can also be used as a focal point for decorating a room. Coffee tables can also be used to store items such as remotes, charging cords, and other odds and ends.

The Origin of the Name

Now that you know what a coffee table is, it’s time to dive into why it was so named.

The term “coffee table” originated during the Victorian era in England, but the actual piece of furniture has been around since the late 1700s. The first coffee tables were called “tea tables” because they were used to serve tea in the drawing rooms of affluent households.

When coffee become popular in the early 1800s, the tables were used to serve coffee as well as tea. They were also referred to as “occasional tables” due to their versatility in being used for multiple purposes.

Over time, the tables became known simply as “coffee tables.” Today, coffee tables are still primarily used to serve coffee and snacks, but they are also used for a multitude of other purposes.


So, why is a coffee table so called? A coffee table was named after the beverage that it was used for in the early 1800s – coffee. Despite its name, today coffee tables are typically used to serve snacks and drinks and for decorative purposes. No matter how you use it, it’s an essential piece of furniture in every home.

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