Food & Drink Names: Some like it hot

December 20, 2016 Linda Rosenkrantz

By Laura Booher

Ah, December. A month of holidays, great food, and frosty weather. But for me, it also signals that another season is underway: the hot beverage season. I really enjoy hot beverages. You name it, I’ll try it and probably love it. My apartment sports an entire corner devoted to them, complete with loose leaf tea, a stovetop espresso maker, and seventeen kinds of flavored syrup. Thankfully, I have a husband who joins me in this enthusiasm and is tolerant of my paraphernalia.

But really, hot beverages are more than just a pick-me-up or a pleasant flavor for me. They represent a way to pursue friendship and express care for others and myself. I’ve had countless tea parties, coffee dates, and spontaneous cheer-up sessions by buying or making hot beverages.

So with those thoughts in mind, here are ten baby names inspired by hot beverages and the warm feelings they bring to the season. Enjoy!



The name of an Indonesian island, Java is both a place where coffee is grown and a sometime-synonym for coffee. It’s a cute, short girl name with an international flair, but it’s also unusual–it didn’t make the US Top 1000 in 2015. As a bonus, it’s also a computer programming language. So for all the tech lovers out there who also love their caffeine, this might just be the name for you.


Although this girl name is listed as a variant of the name Mocha on Nameberry, they actually have slightly different meanings. A moka is an Italian stovetop pot used to brew very strong coffee. If you want an Italian-sounding name with a twist, consider this girl name, although some people might shy away from the Starbucks association.


A name for boys, this one made me think of French press coffee, which is made by pressing the coffee grounds out of the liquid before you drink it. Press sounds like a cool nickname for Preston, as well as a possible name in itself. It was in the Top 1000 names the 1890s, so it would also be a vintage choice as well as a secret shout-out to your favorite drink.



Elegant, simple, and gender-neutral, this name brings to mind the famous Earl Grey and Lady Grey teas. It evokes cloudy, blustery days, full of warmth and light indoors. It would be a fantastic middle-name option for those who want something short, but slightly more unusual. It ranked near the bottom of the Social Security list for boys but not at all for girls, making it a fairly unique choice for either gender.

Mate (pronounced MAH-tay)

Although this one isn’t in the Nameberry database, it has attractive possibilities as both girl name and nickname. Yerba mate is a traditional herbal tea from Latin America, consumed extensively in several countries. I myself had the pleasure of drinking mate socially when I visited Paraguay, and have many fond memories of both the tea and the welcoming people with whom I drank it. It’s also used as a nickname for María Teresa by a character in one of my favorite books, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Álvarez.


Camellia is actually the genus name for the tea plant, so if you want a name that references tea for your little girl tea without actually naming her Tea, this is a sweet option. Similar to the more popular Camila/Camilla, it is also a less common flower name and has some great nickname possibilities, like Cam or Ellie.

Hot Chocolate


Although Maya has many meanings in different languages, its relation to hot chocolate comes from the Mayan people of Central America. According to some historians, the Maya actually originated the use of hot chocolate, though in an unsweetened form that included hot pepper and cornmeal! Nevertheless, this Top 100 (#69) girl name pays homage to your favorite drink with a name that all will recognize. A notable namesake is famed author Maya Angelou.


Originating as a nickname for the Spanish Rosa, Arriba is a unique baby girl name with an equally unique connection to chocolate: it’s also a cocoa bean variety. Exotic but pronounceable, it is the only chocolate variety that is also a name in the Nameberry database.



Meaning “apple-like fruit” in Latin, this gender-neutral name makes me think of cider. It’s short, cute, and an interesting middle. It´s also a Q name to add to your list, since they’re rarer in the name world than other letter choices. But note that it also means fifteen in Spanish, pronounced KEEN-say, so the written version has the possibility of being misunderstood.


Combining the appealing sounds of Melissa and Laura, this Greek name means “golden apple,” which brought steaming mugs of golden cider to my mind in this chilly season. This combination of popular produces an unusual name combination that is elegant and leaves room for lots of nickname invention.

What beverage-themed names remind you of their warmth in this winter season?