How Countries Around the World Take Their Coffee

Coffee is a beverage that’s universally beloved (and obsessed over) by people of all nations.

You don’t need to speak the same language to appreciate the comfort of a steamy cup of Joe on a bitterly cold winter morning. Worshipping the same God isn’t a prerequisite for experiencing the always faithful boost of energy an espresso can provide at any hour, day or night.

For centuries, coffee has been a come-as-you-are kind of beverage, a conduit for communication and connection whether the person sitting across from you is considered a friend, family member, stranger or foe.

No matter where you roam in the world, coffee is most likely a given — which is why it’s essential, especially for caffeine diehards, to understand the customs and rules that govern a peoples’ coffee culture.

Here’s how countries around the world get their caffeine fix.

Café de Olla – Mexico

Getty Images

According to legend, café de olla was born during the Mexican revolution of 1910. Cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined sugar) were mixed with coffee, which was then steeped in clay pots over an open fire and served to soldiers in need of an energizing caffeine boost.

Since then, café de olla has retired from the battlefield and become an honored tradition in Mexican culture. Today, in addition to cinnamon, café de olla is often prepared with orange peel, star anise and clove, making for a truly intoxicating blend.

Café de olla traditionalists still insist on brewing the coffee in earthen clay, but in modern times a metal pot with a sturdy handle will suffice.

Filtered Coffee – Southern India

Getty Images

India’s coffee fate was sealed in the 17th century when Sufi saint Baba Budan, while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, smuggled a handful of coffee beans from Yemen’s port city of Mocha back to Karnataka, India. Upon his return, Budan planted the beans;  as the story goes, he had exactly seven, which was all it took for coffee plants to sprout up all over a mountain range, making coffee plentiful in Southern India.

For an authentic cup, boiled water is poured over coffee grounds packed into a filter. This process creates a decoction, a concentrated mix of coffee that drips through the filter and into a cup. Once the coffee becomes thick, boiled whole milk and sugar are added to create the robust brew that Southern India has come to know and love.

Caffè Normale – Italy

Getty Images

From Milan to Naples, caffè in Italy is hailed as both an institution and an art form. But to enjoy it properly and avoid getting the stink eye from your barista, a few rules and standards must be obliged.

For starters, all coffee in Italy begins and ends with espresso. A standard caffè normale or caffè is served black as a single shot meant to be consumed in one quick gulp while standing. Unlike in the U.S., to-go coffee is not common here, and attempting to order it this way will most likely result in a few discreet eye rolls from nearby locals.

Also contrary to coffee culture in The States, the cappuccino — a quintessential Italian drink made of equal parts espresso, milk and foam — should only be enjoyed with breakfast and never after 11 a.m. However, if you’re jonesing for an espresso with a touch of milk, the macchiato is a safe choice, and like espresso, it’s generally considered acceptable to order throughout the day.

Café au Lait – France

Getty Images

Wake up in France, and you’ll most likely start your day with a tartine, a toasted baguette served with butter and jam. And you’ll probably wash it down with a creamy French favorite: the café au lait.

A simple combination of coffee and hot milk, the café au lait is traditionally served in a generously sized bowl. As in Italy, it’s considered inappropriate to consume after 10 a.m.

While France often receives bad marks for its coffee, there’s something undeniably Parisian about sitting solo at a bistro table with a café au lait and losing track of the time while watching the city and its people pass you by.

Turkish Coffee – Turkey

Getty Images

Contrary to popular belief, Turkish coffee isn’t precisely Turkish. Rather, it’s an interpretation of coffee preparation that is common in the Arab world.

Regardless, Turkish coffee remains an indispensable part of Turkish heritage and culture. No social gathering or special occasion would be complete without a meticulously crafted pot.

The brewing process starts with finely ground roasted coffee beans. The beans, along with cold water and sugar, are added to an ibrik, a wide bottomed, long-handled copper coffee pot. This mixture is brought to a boil and then removed from the heat before it’s placed back on the stovetop for a second boil.

During this double-boiling process, a caramel colored foam builds on the surface of the coffee, which can be scooped off the top if desired. After cooking, the coffee sits for a few minutes to allow the grounds to settle. At this point, spices such as cardamom or cinnamon can be added for a kick of flavor.

Importantly, the coffee grounds remain at the bottom of the cup, and are not meant to be consumed. Instead, the remaining streaks of black sludge can either be tossed or used for fortune telling.

Kouhii – Japan

Getty Images

Since the 1600s, Japan has slowly been cultivating its passion for coffee.

The love affair began during Japan’s self-imposed isolation period, when Dutch traders brought coffee (aka koffie) through Nagasaki. At first, the Japanese disliked the drink, but once the isolation period ended and coffee flooded the island, reaching a wider range of taste buds, coffee experienced a surge in popularity.  

In the early 1900s, the first kissaten cafes began popping up in Japan, attracting writers and artists looking for a comfortable spot to enjoy a fresh cup. In the 1980s, when Japan experienced unparalleled prosperity, coffee shops began to take over the country, ushering in the coffee culture that prospers in Japan today. (In the country, coffee is called kouhii.)

In recent years, specialty coffee shops in Japan have turned coffee into a distinct art form, cleverly using milk foam to sculpt anime characters, rabbits, kittens and puppies.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony – Ethiopia

Getty Images

Both a spiritual practice and a social activity, Ethiopia’s elaborate coffee ceremony dates back centuries and remains an integral part of daily life.  

Traditionally, each ceremony lasts up to three hours and is performed three times a day. To begin, the woman of the house prepares the ceremonial room by burning incense to ward off evil spirits. Next, a jebena, a clay coffee pot, is filled with water and set on a pile of hot coals. The hostess then takes a handful of raw coffee beans, adds them to a large pan and shakes them over an open fire to remove the husks.

Once clean, the beans are roasted and crushed by hand with a mukechawooden bowl, similar to a mortar, and a zenezena blunt-end cylinder identical to a pestle. The grounds are placed in the jebena, now filled with boiling water, and once ready the coffee is served to the guests of the ceremony. The ritual is then repeated two more times.

Kahvi – Finland

Getty Images

Imagine a world where workplace coffee breaks are mandatory. Where every piping hot cup of java is served alongside a flaky cinnamon roll, and where drinking 10-plus cups of coffee a day is considered normal.

For coffee aficionados, there is such a place, and it’s called Finland.

Recognized as the world’s top coffee consumer Finland is a place where locals refuse to live without their kahvi, even during times of war. According to one source, during World War II, when coffee disappeared, desperate yet resourceful Finns boiled pine bark, potato peels and anything else they could find to approximate a close-enough-to-coffee substitute.

Luckily, Finland’s coffee coffers are beyond replenished now, and finding the stuff, even in the most remote corners of the country, is never an issue. And if you’re fortunate enough to be invited into someone’s home for coffee, it’s considered rude to refuse the offering.

No matter how many cups you’ve already had.

Viennese Coffee House – Austria

Getty Images

The heart of Austria’s coffee culture has been beating for over 300 years inside Vienna’s elegant, chandelier-lit coffee houses.

It all started in September 1683 during the Siege of Vienna, when defenders of the city crushed the invading Turks of the Ottoman Empire. As the Turkish troops retreated, the Austrian forces swooped in and collected their abandoned coffee beans, along with other treasures. On that victorious day, Vienna’s love affair with coffee began, and coffee houses started popping up across the city.

While most of the original cafes in Vienna have been renovated, many of the customs that inspired UNESCO to add the Viennese coffee house to the 2011 intangible cultural heritage list remain untouched. Locals still refer to the establishments as extended living rooms, where it’s okay to spend your entire day sitting, reading, nibbling on strudel or discussing the day’s news.

The coffee itself, after 300 years, is still served on a small silver platter, with a polished silver spoon, a few cubes of sugar and a glass of water.

Café Touba – Senegal

W

Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, creator of the Mouride Brotherhood and founder of the city of Touba, first introduced café Touba to the country of Senegal in the late 1800s. Initially, Bamba exclusively shared this coffee — which is boiled with Selim pepper, a warming spice — with his followers, who needed the extra energy to remain awake during long chanting sessions.

Over time, the drink spread across Senegal, and today the people of this West African country not only enjoy it, but consider it a symbol of their identity and a staple of their culture.

Much like Turkish coffee, Touba is boiled with cloves, sugar and Selim pepper. However, unlike with the Turkish style, the resulting brew is aerated by rhythmically pouring the coffee back and forth between two cups before serving.

Cà Phê Trúng – Vietnam

@foodsnapper26/Instagram

In 1946, in response to milk shortages triggered by the First Indochina War, Nguyen Van Giang, a bartender at Hanoi’s Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, began adding whisked egg yolks to coffee as a substitute for milk. Patrons of the hotel immediately embraced his creamy, caffeinated invention, and soon Giang opened Café Giang, where his infamous egg coffee, or cà phê trúng, became fixed in Vietnam’s coffee culture.

In addition to whisked egg yolks, the modern version of cà phê trúng includes sugar, condensed milk, cheese and even butter. The result is a decadent coffee that has often been compared to tiramisu or a creamy Cadbury egg.

Source: www.farandwide.com

Filed Under: ResearchUncategorizedWine and Food

About the Author

Passion and love for my work has helped me to explore and travel to many places all over the planet. There is an amazing amount of food variety, quality and flavor combinations out there. Here, we would like to present you with some ideas; some maybe new, some old, some healthy, some sweet, some spicy, but mostly; just simply delicious and for you to enjoy! Best Wishes and Great Dishes

Comments are closed.