Coffee is the second most traded item in the world after petroleum. It is literally the global beverage of this era. Well, you’re super-duper lucky if you can afford to go to different places and try each country's coffee culture as you wish whether it’s in a local coffee shop or the real authentic place. But, if you haven’t had a chance to land in different countries yet, today, I will take you to travel virtually on the journey to see how coffees are served differently around the world.
However, talking about coffee culture, each country absolutely has their own remarkable characteristics, originality, and uniqueness. Which makes us, as coffee lovers or explorers have the urge to try them all if possible.
First of all, before we land you in each country of coffee heaven. Let’s have some basic understanding regarding the so-called typical types of coffee beans. Despite being served differently in each specific part of the global geography, there are only several main kinds of coffee beans.
Coffee bean is divided into three types: Arabica, Robusta, and Riberica. There are also several hybrids being made. The most consumed coffee beans are Arabica, which accounts for nearly 70% of the world's output, while Robusta accounts for the remaining 30%.
Arabica (arabicas) is native to Ethiopia and is mainly cultivated in highlands with an average temperature of around 20℃. Additionally, Arabica has excellent sweetness, sourness, and aroma, and has a low caffeine content, which makes it expensive. If we compares Arabica to Robusta, it is flat, elongated and has a dark green color.
In comparison, robustas grow well in harsh environments and can grow at low elevations. Normally, it is grown in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Regarding the coffee beans, robusta has a strong bitter taste and a poor scent but is mainly used to make instant coffee because of its low price. Also, robusta is round and has a yellowish-brown color, unlike Arabica. These coffees are used through a roasting process called roasting.
The way of drinking or serving coffee varies by region around the world. Islamic coffee, the home of coffee, is characterized by being thick. Such coffee is called Turkish coffee. In contrast, in Europe, coffee grounds are filtered off and milk is added to drink softly. The most common type of coffee is Vienna coffee from Austria. Besides, the espresso that is well known among people, has thickness and softness which is in the middle of Turkish and Viennese coffee. Also, in the United States, espresso was mixed with water and this coffee is called Americano. So now let’s take a look at how the coffee is served in each selected country.
Ethiopia is the first coffee found and is one of the top five coffee producers in the world. It is also known as one of the famous for its high local consumption of coffee. It has a coffee consciousness like an oriental tea ceremony. This ritual is called ‘Bunga Maprat'. It is often the best example of a guest, especially when a guest arrives. When a customer comes, they burn the incense first and then prepare the food. After washing the green beans with water, put them on a frying pan and roast them. After roasting it so strongly that it has an almost black color, grind the beans with a mortar.
Put the ground beans in a kettle-like bowl to boil. When it's all boiled, this coffee is poured into a small cup of coffee for the whole family and customers to drink. Usually, it is basic to provide 3 cups. The first cup is for friendship, the second cup for peace, the third cup for blessings and well-being, and is a sacred ritual of long-term fellowship. Coffee can be simply served with sugar, salt, ginger or butter.
Taleran who was an 18th-century French priest/diplomat said that coffee is black like a devil, pure like an angel, hot like hell, but sweet like a kiss. If you are longing for a cup of coffee that has that special kind of French taste, you will be served with Robusta beans. The process of “French Roast” will be completed when the beans are almost burned. The combination of Robusta and French Roast style will normally make the coffee taste a lot more bitter than the standard coffee that are made elsewhere across Europe.
With that dark, smoky aroma and strong flavor, French Roast Coffee does not contain more caffeine than the typical dark roast. Like they said, “When in Rome do as the Romans do”. So, when in France, simply ask the barista to get your order of “Café”, Voilà, you’ll be offered with a cup of classic, short, dark and bewildered espresso with a glass of water for free just in case you’re dehydrated by the caffeination.
The most familiar Armenian coffee to Americans is Turkish-style coffee. Boil very finely ground beans in a small metal pot "Jazzve" and pour directly into a small cup. You can add sugar, but little milk. At the espresso café, you can drink Americano or French press coffee.
On top of that, Armenia has a different way of making coffee culture. For instance, people take coffee beans and roast and grind them by themselves to make it powder. And the coffee is served in a very small cup as well. After that, they enjoy that small cup of coffee right away while it is hot. Thick flavour is the main point of Armenia coffee.
Australian coffee style was flat white for several years before. However, nowadays, it is espresso. Also, espresso is also common in local cafes and famous brands such as Starbucks. However, drip coffee and milk are also not difficult to find. However, the milk comes out steamed, and the staff may get confused if they ask for cold milk to add to the coffee.
Moreover, Australian coffee is served in small sizes with a high price as its daily expense is very high. Additionally, the taste and flavour of the coffee is very strong compared to the American style. As one of the top coffee consuming countries, Australia sells more than 1.3million cups each day.
If you go to Bulgaria, you would be asked to look for instant coffee “Nescafe 3-in-1” with sugar and cream. In Bulgaria, coffee comes in large cups, or the store offers a powder package, such as hot chocolate, in cups of hot water. Large cafés also have espresso, and "long coffee" is similar to Americano because it is also a kind of espresso. It is in a bigger cup than espresso, so there is plenty of room for milk if you like to add.
Drip coffee is common because it is the origin of coffee beans. If you order, as usual, it's OK. If you go to CA, you will see that the take-out cafes and gas stations also sell iced coffee. However, there are a lot of sweet slushies.
There is a coffee type that is closest to American-style drip coffee in Hong Kong. Black coffee is served at a local restaurant in one of the Chinese regions. However, if you order a regular coffee condensed milk will be served, and it would be nice to add sugar to your coffee as well. Iced coffee in China is sweet.
Besides, coffee culture has not taken root in mainland China. Regardless of Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing, coffee is very expensive and is limited to Starbucks-style chains and third-wave coffee shops. It is said if you order coffee besides these regions, Nescafe would be served for you.
*Third Wave Coffee: This is an approach to coffee that considers coffee beans like the work of artisans. It is not a commodity, but a movement to enjoy it as an art product like wine.
Espresso machines are common in Greece cafes. Americano is okay, but there is also the hassle of having to explain to ask for espresso and hot water. The most popular iced coffees are "Fred Cappuccino" and "Fred Espresso", which, as their name suggests, have a rich taste. However, it comes with cold water, so you can dilute it as needed and drink it.
Besides, Nescafe is very popular in Greece coffee culture. The quick frappe is served by adding the Nescafe with sugar and milk. And it is one of the most loved coffee drinks in Greece. Last but not least, the latte and cappuccino are very beloved by people.
Spain also has various coffee styles as well. They offer every taste from sweetness to strongest flavour. Just like other coffee consuming countries, it also serves espresso and black coffee a lot. However, according to the customer’s order, coffee can be served with added milk. Normally, in Spain, the baristas would not add sugar for your coffee. Therefore, if you like to drink sweet coffee, then you should add it by yourself.
Overall, Spanish coffee might be bitter than you used to drink before, which is because of the different coffee beans roasting methods. If you order an Americano in Spanish cafes, you will get an espresso and hot water (milk is steamed only). The coffee is made with espresso and hot milk, similar to a latte, but without bubbles.
In short, we can define Spanish coffee as coffee with no or little milk or coffee with lots of milk.
Here is another highly coffee consuming country among northern european countries. Espresso is the top consumed coffee style in Sweden as well. Besides, Sweden prides itself on drip coffee, but it is very thick compared to Americano. But Sweden's pride does not seem to stop the Americanization of coffee. Iced coffee was not available a few years ago, but now it is available in summer. In large cities, there is also Dutch coffee served as well.
Moreover, Sweden has a tradition of having social interaction with families and friends with a cup of coffee and delicious cake. They have this occasion whenever they want with their lovely ones. Further, this tradition has been more than 100 years already.
One of the important factors that determines the taste of coffee is the speed at which the coffee tree grows. Of course, this is related to the temperature, altitude, and above sea level. Moreover, the way the beans are dried and the timing of harvesting is also important in making delicious coffee. But the type of coffee produced by the interaction of climate, altitude, and topography can be said to be a more decisive factor. That's why we put the name of the region in the coffee variety, in which region, and in what environment the coffee was grown.
In this way, just by hearing the name of the coffee bean variety, we can guess in what natural environment the coffee is made and what taste and aroma it will have. Mainly in areas with low elevation, the temperature is high, so coffee trees grow quickly. In places like this, we usually grow a breed called Robusta, which has a strong bitter taste and a weak aroma. And it is characterized by a large amount of production. In areas with high altitude, the daily temperature difference is large, so the density of the fruit is high and it becomes hard. In places like this, we mainly grow a variety called Arabica, which is characterized by a strong sour taste and a soft taste.
The rapid spread of coffee to the public was associated with the industrial revolution in the late 18th century. Workers in factories used to drink rum during short breaks to relieve fatigue. However, the employers were worried because the employees were drunk and production did not increase.
So, to solve this problem, at this time, the employers gave them coffee instead of alcohol. Workers who drank coffee not only weren't drunk but also the caffeine effect allowed them to work with a clearer mind.
Let's take a look at some most typical types of espresso coffee. Firstly, Dofio means ‘double’ in Italian, meaning a coffee with twice as much espresso. Secondly, a Cafe latte is a coffee made with milk to soften it, and ‘latte' in Italian means milk. Thirdly, Macchiato, also known as caramel macchiato, is a coffee that stains steam milk in Italian called marking. Fourthly, Caramel macchiato means ‘stained with caramel'.
Last but not least, our favorite cappuccino was named after the cappuccino monks who wore a triangular hood, and the shape of white foam on top of the coffee was similar to the monks' clothes.
So far, we introduced 10 amusing ways coffee is served differently around the world with more interesting stories and information. If you are a coffee lover, you should be aware of the above facts. Every country has its own style of how coffee is serving and of course, the taste and aroma are also different from each other. We all should know about these things and take a sip of the coffee from each country’s tradition and culture.
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