Coffee tables and end tables are examples of occasional furniture. There are alternative definitions for this type of furniture, the two most common being furniture that is used on an occasion, and furniture that is used only occasionally. Each of these definitions is so broad, that they could practically be said to be fundamentally the same. The former definition would include coffee tables, used on the occasion of drinking coffee - or any other beverage or drink.
Whatever the case, if it was the decision of the British, or even Chinese, wed be calling it "tea table" today. And actually in those lands they do often use that term. But as the fact stands, the cup that most often lands on American tables is filled with coffee, and so the name has stuck. So here we have it, the modern coffee table, now more popular then ever. And its true it doesnt really matter where it gets its name, I mean some people wont even let you put coffee on their supposed "coffee" table. But its just neat to see how things have come a long way and evolved through time.
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