For those casual coffee drinkers who get overwhelmed by the menu options at Starbucks, you might want to sit down for this one.
If you consider yourself a coffee aficionado, you know all there is about coffee. From the region of the bean and how its roasted to the ground consistency and different methods of preparations. You can tell the difference between a cappuccino and a macchiato. You prefer a more laborious process of pouring that perfect brew. You might even have a French press or even a chemex in your kitchen.
Those who enjoy a simple coffee (extra cream, extra sugar from the gas station, you know who you are) are probably already skimming this article with glazy eyes at the thought of options beyond the hipster café menu.
Much like wine, coffee is a highly sought-after commodity around the globe. With different regions come different flavors and preparation. From the basic iced coffee that is popular in the United States to the Swiss adding cheese to their brew, coffee is as diverse as the regions it is served in.
Take a look below at how different countries enjoy their brew served!
The best place to start this list is where coffee began, Ethiopia.
It is said coffee was discovered by Ethiopian goat herders whose flocks did not sleep after munching on a specific type of berry. The herders took note of the berry’s properties and created a drink that would take over the world.
In Ethiopia, coffee isn’t necessarily something to serve in a to-go cup as the process of brewing is quite slow and is treated more like a ceremony called jebena buna. Typically, a woman starts the ceremony by burning frankincense to set the atmosphere. From there, she roasts green coffee beans over a charcoal fire until blackened. The darkened beans are then ground in a mortar before being steeped in a jar, or jebena. The coffee is then served by pouring into individual cups through a single stream. Depending on the person’s taste, the coffee can be sweetened with sugar or honey, and often times butter or salt can be added.
Ask our Tour Consultants about future Ethiopia Tours as we are continuously adding to our portfolio!
The base of most popular coffees in European cafes, espresso is rich in flavor and taken in small doses called “shots” as they are known to be quite potent. By pressing a small amount of hot water through finely-ground coffee beans, a denser beverage is created with a light crema on top. With Italy being the birthplace of coffee culture, Italians begin there day with a quick shot of strong espresso taken in 3 sips or less. Many nations have added to espressos to suit their tastes including France who enjoy a café au lait, espresso, and milk.
Fun fact, the Americano was created during World War II. While stationed in Europe, many American G.I.s asked for their coffee to include water and milk to cut the bitter flavors that the Europeans were accustomed to.
United States, Iced Coffee
Unlike most of the world’s coffee consumers, Americans are devoted to their sweetened iced coffees. Whether it be a sunny summer day in Los Angeles or a bitterly cold winter in Chicago, iced coffee is enjoyed year-round in the states and is usually mixed with a generous amount of milk, sweeteners, and flavors.
Inside tip; Add a pump of raspberry flavoring to your order, instant jelly donut flavored iced coffee. (you’re welcome.)
Türk kahvesi, Turkey
Turkish coffee is one of the strongest coffees one can enjoy as the beverage actually goes unfiltered. That’s right, you drink the coffee with the grounds settled to the bottom of your cup.
Often prepared in a copper cup called a cezve, fine coffee grounds are heated with water.
Rather than being heated directly over a fire or hot stove, Turkish coffee is prepared with a bowl of sand over a hot flame, providing even heat. Prepared cezves of coffee can sit on the surface to keep warm, and fresh brews are heated the deeper in the sand it is submerged. Almost instantly foaming from the heat, the coffee is removed and immersed several times before being poured.
Vietnam, Egg Coffee
Consisting of very strong coffee, condensed milk, egg yolks and sugar, Vietnamese egg coffee is really an all in one morning pick me up and meal replacement. During the French Indochina War, milk had become a hard to find luxury. To combat this, the Vietnamese began using more readily available ingredients to cut the strong flavor of the coffee. This not only made a light, almost fluffy textured drink but provided the perfect meal on the go. With humble beginnings, Egg Coffee has become almost a delicacy around the world.
Japan, Kan Kohi
It is understandable that most would assume Japan’s main source of caffeine would be green tea, however, Japan is one of the top importers in the global coffee trade. Introduced to the island nation in the late 19th century, enjoying coffee was once a popular social event.
The modern Japanese have little time for casual social hours with growing cities and fast passed workforces, leaving them to resort to quick and easy vending machine options. From hot meals to hot and cold beverages to even toiletries and cigarettes, vending machines are now a staple in Japanese culture. With this, Kan Kohi (translating to canned coffee) has grown in popularity with hundreds of varieties. With iced coffee and a more on the go mentality, Kan Kohi has also gained a popular following in the US.
Served frequently as a welcoming form of hospitality in Brazil, Cafezinho is a strong coffee made with finely ground espresso beans. Unlike the other espresso drinks, sugar is brewed with the water before adding coffee rather than being added in later. This creates a strong yet very sweet beverage to enjoy any time of the day. Such a popular drink, many homes serve a little Cafezinho in a glass of milk for children. Although more American style coffee drinks are taking popularity, it is still seen as a big no-no having coffee to-go as it is meant to be enjoyed!
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Would you try any of these coffee variations on your travels? Let us know in the comments and tell us about any other unique coffee experiences you’ve had while traveling! If you’re feeling inspired and undercaffeinated, be sure to discuss with our travel experts our unique coffee tours, tea tours, and foodie tours offered around the world!
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