Cultures of coffee throughout the world
Few individuals start their day without a hot beverage. Morning pick-ups include chocolate and tea. Argentinean yerba maté is gaining popularity across the world. Some individuals mix apple cider vinegar, herbs, and honey in unusual ways. Espresso coffee, on the other hand, dominates the morning hour in every time zone.
While the coffee plant is native to tropical East Africa, two primary species—Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, or Coffea robusta—are now grown in practically every tropical location. Brazil and Vietnam are the world’s top producers, with more than 150 million 132-pound bags produced each year.
Coffee consumption is increasing, and despite not being the world’s largest crop, it is currently the second most sought-after commodity after oil. Coffee, however, takes a vast and unanticipated range of forms throughout the world due to its simplicity in its basic condition and its prevalence in practically every culture.
Here’s a taste of some of the world’s favourite hot beverages’ regional variations, both bitter and sweet.
Italy – The kingdom of espresso coffee
Italy may be the best country in the world when it comes to coffee. Despite being many latitudes north of humid coffee land, Italy has managed to claim the title of coffee king and master. It’s here that the espresso machine was invented, and it’s here that a coffee connoisseur can walk into almost any place, whether a sleek Neapolitan bar or a modest nameless café in the rural Abruggio and expect nothing less than the greatest brown-black coffee.
In Italy, “cafe” is equivalent to “espresso,” so don’t be afraid of instant coffee. When you add milk, a whole new world of frothy, creamy Italian coffee beverages opens up.
Without a doubt, Italy is responsible for our best morning delights. Espresso is a major business, and espresso machines are large investments—they may cost up to $40,000.
This is the starting point for everything. Ethiopia is the centre of coffee country, the Coffea genus’ natural homeland. Ethiopians have been drinking coffee for over 1,000 years.
Today, coffee, known as buna, is still brewed and served in a traditional table-side process that converts raw red cherries into a toasted, steaming beverage, often right in front of the guests’ eyes.
The host toasts grinds and boils the coffee before serving, which might take more than an hour.
The wayfarer in Spain, anxious for warmth and company as he rises from his bedroll on a chilly September morning, need seek no further than the nearest church steeple.
Because of its cross, the plaza has a café on the ground floor. Whether it’s Monday or Sunday, the elderly guys are already congregating there, and the silvery, steel machine is already hissing. Go!
Almost invariably, the facility is referred to as a “Cafe Bar”, and by 6 a.m., it is bustling with coffee and activity. Many people drink their coffee while standing at the bar, hand in pocket. Please don’t order a latte if you want milk. Your ticket is a cup of coffee with milk.
Be warned: In certain regions of rural Spain, long sit-ins at coffee shops may still be an alien concept. I purchased a second coffee while charging my camera batteries in a little café near the Picos de Europa a few years ago. Despite the fact that the pub was almost empty, the bartender had had enough of me after 40 minutes.
She passed my gadget across the table and pointed to the door after unplugging it. As I staggered out, she nearly kicked me in the back. I didn’t even have time to leave a tip because I was so busy. I can freely say that the coffee culture in Spain really shocked me to the core, in a positive way.
Germans prefer using espresso machines
Germans are (much) better renowned for their amazing beer and automotive traditions, but you’d never guess how influential coffee drinking has been in their country.
Melitta Bentz, a housewife from Dresden, created drip coffee in 1908. She was wary of the grounds at the bottom of her coffee and decided to use blotting paper from her son’s school exercise book to make a grounds-free, less bitter coffee.
Gottlob Widmann, a compatriot, followed up by creating the electrical drip brewer in 1954. That is the extent of Germany’s coffee “culture”.
The drip brew is still the most popular way to consume coffee in Germany, and the Germans are hesitant to try anything different.
The French and their espresso coffee preference
The French, the kings and queens of cuisine and the inventors of the French press are coffee connoisseurs. I know, it’s startling, isn’t it? But that’s the way things are.
The French, like the Italians, save their Cafè au Lait (coffee with milk) for the morning. But their espresso coffee is the most popular.
This espresso is bitter, which is most likely a result of their colonial escapades. The French obtained the more bitter robusta kind of coffee duty-free from their colonial areas during that time, making the softer arabica more expensive.
To this day, robusta coffee accounts for half of all coffee drunk in France. Despite the bitterness of their coffee, the French like a good sit down with friends to catch up and have a good talk. Whereas the Italians prefer to stand at “il bar”, the French are more likely to have a few chairs practically spilling out into the street as they relax and enjoy a café.
The United States – What types of coffee do Americans prefer besides Starbucks?
The inky black nectar of the espresso machine has developed an irresistible taste in America.
However, “gas station coffee”, which may be found near the register in a roadside cafe, eerily tea-coloured and made hours earlier, is still a symbol of Americana and proudly oozes from Mr. Coffee knockoffs everywhere.
The huge high-calorie coffee beverages invented by Starbucks, which contain varied blends of espresso, caramel, whipped cream, chocolate, eggnog, and other additives, are on the other extreme of the range.
The appearance of milkshake-like beverages appears to have sparked a backlash in certain areas. So we see a notice on the menu at the occasional bakery café that says, “Just good, old-fashioned drip coffee”, as though we should be relieved.
Although tea, known as “Çay”, is Turkey’s preferred beverage, coffee is also accessible.
Espresso and its derivatives, like lattes and cappuccinos, are popular in Istanbul, while Nescafé reigns supreme in the countryside, poured from three-in-one packages of instant coffee, sugar, and fake dry milk. Turkish coffee served in espresso-style cups, is surprisingly difficult to come by.
It’s worth noting that the Turks refer to their coffee as “Turkish coffee”, while the Greeks refer to it as “Greek coffee”, and Georgians refer to it as “Georgian coffee”.
But it’s all the same stuff—a thick, gritty, tar-black fluid that smells like an espresso machine gone wrong. It’s virtually usually served with a side of sweetness.
The frappe is Greece’s favourite coffee drink.
A frappe is a frothed-up mixture of milk, sugar, and Nescafé served over ice made using Nescafé.
The drink can be made with or without sugar, however, on a hot summer day on the islands, a frappe is incomplete without ice.
This is at least one version of instant coffee that is easy to enjoy.
In Baja, “coffee” almost sounds like “hello”. During my years of trekking across Baja with a spear and backpack a decade ago, some unknown man or woman would emerge from a hut on the dirt road ahead, gesture at me, and exclaim, “Cafe”?
As a result, I frequently found myself perched beneath a tree in a broken plastic chair or an upturned fishing bucket while my host boiled water over a mesquite fire and spooned out the Nescafé. That’s right. The drink is nearly always instant coffee granules, and while the coffee isn’t particularly good, in the sparsely populated cowboy nation of Baja, it’s the gesture that matters.
Café de olla is a Mexican coffee made with cinnamon sticks and piloncillo, the rawest type of sugar cane.
Clay pots are used to brew the coffee. Both the earthenware and the cinnamon sticks intensify the strong coffee flavour.
You’d be silly to suppose they don’t drink a lot of coffee, given that they produce 40% of the world’s coffee. They drink so much coffee that they can’t afford to use the high-quality beans set aside for export. I mean, it’s still great coffee, but you get the idea.
They have their own form of espresso coffee called a Cafezinho, which is an extremely sweet and boiling hot drink.
Cafezinhos are so sweet because they require a lot of sugar to balance out the naturally bitter coffee cultivated at lower elevations in Brazil. Cafezinho is frequently available for free at a petrol station or restaurant.
Australia and New Zealand – Which coffee has influenced these two countries the most?
The flat white is the coffee of choice in Australia and New Zealand. It’s comparable to a latte, but with a velvetier texture. They pour microfoam (steamed milk with little bubbles) over a shot of espresso to make it. In comparison to a latte or cappuccino, there is a larger proportion of coffee to milk in this drink.
When I was in New Zealand, I tasted some of the best coffee I’d ever experienced.
Just be careful to order a “long black” rather than an “Americano”. It’s practically the same thing, except it’s not called an Americano in Australia or New Zealand (which I discovered when a barista gave me a sassy look when I requested it that way at Auckland Airport).
Cubans are coffee connoisseurs. A powerful drink, offered at any time of day, is their favourite routine.
While the coffee is brewing, Cubans add sugar to it and serve it black. Then they pour it into little glasses and sip it with their friends and family while mingling.
In Saudi Arabia, coffee, or kahwa, is flavoured with cardamom. The harshness of the coffee is countered by serving dried dates with it.
Many etiquette requirements apply to their coffee ritual, such as serving the elderly first.
It’s no wonder that Ireland, with its lively bars and chilly evenings, is where coffee first became truly enjoyable.
The Irish coffee was created in the 1940s and is now a popular cocktail in pubs all around the world. It’s made with hot coffee, whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream, and while it’s usually served after dinner, Irish coffee is hard to resist on a cold morning.
However, Irish coffee may not be to everyone’s liking. Years ago, a friend of retired travel writer Stanton Delaplane of the San Francisco Chronicle claimed that Irish coffee spoils three fine drinks: whiskey, coffee, and cream.
Although many of us dislike sugary coffee, Vietnamese iced coffee is excellent. In the 1800s, the French introduced coffee to Vietnam, and native palates rapidly developed their own version of the beverage.
Because fresh milk was not as readily accessible in Vietnam as it was in France’s pasturelands, the café au lait evolved dramatically: the Vietnamese poured their coffee over sweetened condensed milk—from a can—and served the drink over ice.
Morocco – Ingredients for a quick Moroccan coffee recipe
Café des épices, a Moroccan spiced coffee, is a specialty. To prepare café des epices, combine coffee beans with a spice combination.
- Sesame seeds
- Black pepper
- Cassia bark (cinnamon)
- Cumin seeds (make up the spice combination)
Everything is ground together to make a fragrant and spicy beverage.
When ordering coffee in Ecuador, all bets are off. They may pre-sweeten the drink for you unless you specify differently. If you order a café with leche, you’ll be handed a mug filled entirely with boiling hot milk, along with a container of instant coffee granules. Whether you ask your host if they’re offering Nescafé, they could respond no—not because they’re using a French press, but because they’re serving another instant coffee brand, such as Buendia or PresCafe.
If you request a cappuccino at a fancy countryside bed & breakfast with a gleaming espresso coffee machine, they may grab for the sweetened mocha sachets in the cabinet. Maintain vigilance. In Ecuador, genuine coffee is sometimes accessible as café filtrado or cortado (they cultivate it; why shouldn’t they serve it?) at other times. Grab it while you still have the chance!
Coffee franchises like Starbucks and Costa, on the other hand, have caught the hearts of the younger generation and now dominate the scene. If you would like to explore around more coffee cultures from countries like Japan and their Sumiyaki coffee, visit this hyperlinked article.