Different Ways to Drink Coffee Around the World
This history of coffee is a long and fascinating one. Indeed, coffee has been around since as early as the 15th century, and it has developed alongside many of the unique and distinct cultures around the world. Nowadays, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world each and every day!
As such, coffee can be as much of a cultural experience as a tasting experience. In this post, we will be discussing some of the many ways coffee is enjoyed as the drink of choice around the world, exploring how it forms a central part of some of the world’s most fascinating and revered cultures.
You can’t have a conversation about coffee without mentioning espresso, the famous italian coffee drink. In fact, most of America’s coffee terminology comes from Italy. On a basic level, an espresso just refers to a particular brewing process. Every day you’ll find people at the local Starbucks waiting in line to buy a macchiato, mocha, cappuccino, or latte - all of which are espresso-based drinks!
Some of the oldest cafés in the world are in Italy, and there are multiple cultural customs in the country surrounding coffee and how and when it should be consumed. For example, while Italians consume a multitude of different coffee beverages, it is customary that milky coffees, like cappuccinos and lattes, should be consumed during the morning - if you order one of these milk-based drinks in the evening, odds are you’ll look like another one of those crazy American tourists!
There is no shortage of cafés in Paris, but it is considered no secret that French coffee is far from the greatest in the world. That said, their culture has taken to coffee in a way similar to the Italians (they also don’t drink milky coffee drinks past the morning hours). If you are in France, it is one of those situations where drinking coffee is far more of a cultural experience than a tasting experience.
There is no shortage of coffee in Paris. Indeed, a classic Parisian breakfast at a local café includes a few croissants, a tartine, a glass of orange juice, and a café au lait, which is a French coffee served with hot milk.
Some other unique customs include the terrace at French cafés. If you are looking to drink a cup of coffee and take in the atmosphere of Paris from a restaurant terrace you should never sit at a table set with dishes and napkins. The French restaurateurs expect these to be taken by people looking for a meal - and they won’t be too pleased when you only order a cup of coffee and stay for an hour or more!
Don’t forget, the French press, one of the most popular ways to prepare coffee, was patented by French inventors in the early 20th century, modeled after an early forerunner that was also patented in France during the mid-19th century. Today, you can find a French press in nearly every coffee shop!
Mexico has built its own coffee traditions as well, one of the most famous of which is their Cafe de Olla, which is popular not only in Mexico but all over Latin America. The Mexican drink was originally served to soldiers during the Mexican Revolution as a way to energize them, however, nowadays, it has become a household staple throughout Mexico.
The preparation of the drink itself involves cloves, anise, cinnamon, and sugar. These combined ingredients give the coffee its signature fragrant aroma. During the brewing process, all of the ingredients are brought to a boil in ollas, which are Mexican clay pots. The coffee is then strained and served hot. The coffee is then traditionally served in a clay mug.
Part coffee, part dessert, Vietnam’s Cà Phê Trứng is an egg coffee that is a nationwide favorite. Condensed milk, egg yolks, and sugar are whisked together to create a rich, creamy topping for any dark, strong blend of coffee. Served either hot or iced, Cà Phê Trứng is a typical crowd-pleaser and a must try for anyone visiting Vietnam and/or looking to learn about Vietnamese culture. Plus, the drink is so rich and filling that it can even serve as a meal or afternoon snack for some!
The great melting pot of the world, the United States lacks the extremely distinct coffee cultures of nations like Italy. In fact, much of American coffee culture arrived with the immigrants who have flocked to the United States over the past few centuries. However, that doesn’t mean Americans don’t have their own unique coffee tastes and habits. One of these unique tastes is iced coffee! While iced coffee isn’t non-existent outside of the United States, the zeal and fervor with which Americans consume it cannot be rivaled anywhere outside of the 50 states. In fact, iced coffee is rather unpopular outside of the US. This is not the case in the United States. It’s not uncommon to see Americans ordering iced coffee in a Starbucks during the middle of a New York City or Chicago winter!
There is one other country where iced coffee has become a cultural staple. In Greece, the frappé has become an essential drink, and has been popularized across the Mediterranean region. The roots of the drink itself don’t date back far, being invented as recently as 1957. However, that hasn’t stopped the drink from making its mark, particularly in the United States.
Yuanyang is a particularly popular type of coffee in China. The drink’s name itself translates to “coffee with tea”, which is exactly what it is. By mixing three parts of coffee and seven parts of milk tea, you get what is essentially the Arnold Palmer drink of the coffee world. The drink can be served either hot or cold, making it a great beverage option for all seasons.
Turkish coffee has become an essential part of Turkish culture. Interestingly enough though, the coffee was brought over from Yemen during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Today, the coffee is popular throughout the world and variations exist in many Eastern European nations.
The coffee itself is made by using very finely ground coffee beans. The brew is brought to a boil with sugar until it reaches the desired level of froth. Any coffee beans can be used for the drink, though some beans are considered better than others for the process. The coffee itself is not filtered at any point, leaving the finely ground beans in the beverage. The end result is a rich and intense coffee, and a sure crowd pleaser.
Coffee as Culture
It goes without saying that the number of ways coffee is prepared and consumed around the world far exceeds the aforementioned variations. This is just a brief sample of the unique ways coffee has been incorporated into cultures around the world. So, the next time you have a cup of coffee, think about where it originated from. Odds are there is a fascinating backstory behind the preparation process of your favorite coffee!
Many of these cultural customs revolve around the preparation of coffee and can be done with the coffee beans of your choice. Here at Amora Coffee, we have blends that are perfect for all different kinds of coffee drinkers and preparations, and each of our blends is crafted to maximize both its flavor and aroma. So now that you know some of the different customs surrounding coffee throughout the world, be sure to take a look at our premium blends and see how they might help you further your own coffee drinking traditions!