Java was initially called Oak, but later they found out that Oak was copyrighted by another company already.
After a brainstorming session for a new name, they had the following approved names: Silk, DNA, Java. Later, the people associated with the company were asked to vote for their favourite and least favourite names. So it was dropped and of the remaining two, Java had more votes.
Java was then named “Java”, paying homage to the large amounts of coffee consumed by the team.