8 coffee cultures from around the world
Jan 1st, 1970 at 8 coffee cultures from around the world
Every country brews and drinks their coffee differently. We’ve gone around the world to show you some of the different coffee cultures.
Italians are very passionate about their coffee, so passionate that they have even come up with strict unwritten rules to drink coffee. If you want to fit in with their coffee culture, follow these simple rules:
- Never order a cappuccino after 11am. Italians see this milky delight as a breakfast drink. You can order cappuccinos at holiday resorts but it’ll be very difficult to find somewhere else that will serve this after dinner!
- Requesting an espresso is a big no-no instead ask for an “un caffe per favore”. You will receive a long black with a side of water. If you’re wanting milk, then it is ok to ask for a “caffe macchiato” which will come with steamed milk.
- Standing or sitting at Italian coffee bars is a BIG decision! In Rome, they will charge (sometimes substantially) more if you’re wanting to sit down. Most Italians usually drink their coffee standing at a coffee bar then head off.
Unlike the Italians, the French like to sit and relax while enjoying their coffee. It is a wonderful thing to sit at a French cafe and chat with friends, people-watch or read a newspaper or book. Don’t be surprised that chairs face the road and people sit next to each other, turning the streets into a theatre. There is no rush and the waiter won’t rush you either. Here a few tips to order a coffee in France:
- “Un cafe” small cup of strong black coffee or “un cafe serre” which is a stronger espresso
- “Un cafe au lait” coffee served with steamed milk. This is also a breakfast coffee so try not to order it at dinner!
- “cafe glace” on a hot day you might want to order an iced coffee
American coffee culture
Coffee culture in America is dominated by corporate chains like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts.
Here are a quick few coffee facts:
- the US consumes 90% of their coffee in the morning.
- there are over 87,000 possible drink combinations at Starbucks.
- there are over 20,000 Starbucks stores globally
- Americans consume over 400 million cups of coffee per day
Brazil coffee culture
Brazil produces almost a third of the world’s coffee so it’s no surprise that Brazilians love their coffee! Brazilians like their coffee to be strong, but not bitter and very sweet. Most cringe at the thought of having a straight espresso shot.
Coffee is prepared differently in Brazil:
- the water is boiled (rather than at the usual 90C),
- coffee is added and stirred for a long time
- a heap of sugar is added
The most common coffee served is cafezinho. It is filtered coffee served in a tiny china or plastic cup and is very sweet. Often restaurants and gas stations will give it to you free of charge to show their hospitality.
Ca phe – Vietnamese coffee
Vietnamese people love their coffee. This type of coffee is made with ground Vietnamese-grown dark roast coffee that is filtered through a drip filter that sits on top of the glass. Sweetened condensed milk is stirred into it to create a smooth, delicious coffee that can be served either hot or poured over ice.
Ever fancied luwak coffee or cat poo coffee? This is found predominantly in Indonesia but has been exported around the world. It is considered to be the most expensive coffee in the world reaching to US$30 – $100 per cup. Here is how luwak coffee is made:
- wild civet cats eat the coffee cherries
- In the digestion stage, fermentation occurs, giving the beans their unique flavour, bitterness and aroma.
- The beans are then picked out of the cat’s poop by farmers, cleaned, and roasted to make coffee.
However, while there are a few ethical luwak suppliers, be careful as to which luwak coffee you buy. Some luwaks have been subjected to cruelty due to demand and commercialisation.
Coffee has played an important role throughout Arabia, Middle east and North Africa throughout the last 1,000 years. Here is a quick introduction into the Arabic world of coffee.
- It was brewed to help the Sufi pray but developed into the signature gesture for hospitality, generosity, and sophistication.
- The beloved Qahwa (coffee) shows respect and value, and most importantly it is where trust is built.
- Strong relationships are built over a cup of coffee.
In some parts in the Middle East, if a young man refuses to drink coffee while visiting a family household, it can mean that he is asking for something personal such as a daughter’s hand in marriage or for forgiveness. If his request accepted, only the best Qahwa is drank in celebration.
Turkish coffee culture is rich with tradition. It has even been placed on UNESCO’s “Intangible Cultural Heritage” list. Coffee’s important role in culture is evident in the word for “breakfast”, kahvaltı, which literally means “before coffee”. Brewing Turkish coffee takes special preparations and technique.
- The beans are grounded into a fine powder
- the coffee, cold water and sugar is added to a coffee pot
- It is brewed slowly on a stove until the desired foam is produced.
People consume the coffee from tiny cups mainly in coffee houses and the grounds left in the cup are often used to predict a person’s fortune. Coffee plays an important role in special occasions and ceremonies and is celebrated in literature and song.