The different ways people around the world drink their coffee
Coffee is ubiquitous in most cultures. In Australia, we have an eclectic taste when it comes to coffee. Some of us like it black, and some of us love our flat whites. Some like it hot, some like it with ice, and some of us follow the American trend of adding sweet flavours like caramel to our morning beverages. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, that around the world coffee is made and served in a variety of different ways. Here is a small sample of just how diverse our taste is when it comes to the world’s favourite hot beverage.
Italians love their coffee, and espressos are the drink of choice. Here it’s also common to down your coffee at the bar standing up. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can try an espresso romano. Italy is known for their delicious lemons, and some take their coffee the Roman way – an espresso served with a thin slice of lemon rubbed around the rim and left to steep in the drink.
Ethiopians have been drinking coffee for over a thousand years, and the country is the birthplace of coffea arabica, the coffee plant. Quite a lot of cultural significance is placed on coffee, and there are ceremonial ways of preparing, serving and drinking coffee – this often includes burning frankincense whilst it is being made. In Ethiopia, coffee beans are roasted on the spot, and coffee is served with either sugar or salt, depending on the region. If that doesn’t sound delicious enough, often popcorn is served as a side with coffee!
Coffee in the United States is taken in many different ways. A popular way to enjoy coffee is the Americano, or what we call a long black in Australia. Drip coffee is also a staple, and is served in many diners and at gas stations. Americans also take their coffee in a variety of different flavour combinations, such as the infamous Starbucks “pumpkin spice latté”. The American obsession with venti-sized cream-topped drinks baffles many classic coffee lovers, but they definitely are creative with their coffee!
The Far East is known for its tea, so its only natural that it is incorporated into their coffee. In Hong Kong, coffee is often blended with milky black tea to make a drink called yuanyang. This caffeine boost packed with antioxidants can be served hot or cold.
Coffee is Colombia’s biggest export. If you go to Colombia, you’re most likely to come across tinto. It’s a thick and very concentrated coffee served in a small cup. In Colombia, coffee is not so much a morning drink, as most cafés experiencing rush hour in the afternoon or early evening. The Colombian attitude towards coffee is less about getting an energy boost, and more seen as something that should be shared.
Greek coffee is extra strong and extra dark, and is served with fine coffee grounds still in the drink. The grounds are given time to settle as the coffee is slowly sipped. Coffee here is boiled rather than brewed, meaning that it has more nutrients that are good for your heart, such as polyphenols. Greek people also love their frappes, which are a blend of milk, sugar and coffee, served over ice. With soaring temperatures and plenty of beautiful beaches, it’s not hard to understand why this chilled drink is a favourite.
Irish coffee has its origins in the 1940s, and you can see it often served in bars around the world. It’s comprised of coffee, whiskey, sugar and whipped cream. It’s typically a kind of dessert drink taken after dinner, but many have it in the morning as well.
Like the Greek, the Vietnamese also love iced coffee. To make Vietnamese iced coffee, coffee is poured over sweetened condensed milk, and served over ice. Here you can also find the Vietnamese answer to the Italian tiramisu: egg coffee. This is made with egg yolk, condensed milk, sugar and coffee. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, these drinks are definitely for you!