Long before coffee outlets and chains had set up in every part of the world, coffee was made and served with traditions and rituals. Be it in its making or how it is served and consumed, different countries around the world have their unique ways that are endlessly amusing to coffee lovers.
So, if you are one, read on to find out about some of the many such fascinating coffee traditions from around the world.
In Sweden, coffee is not something you grab on the go and drink while commuting or while finishing work; it is to be had when you are taking a break, sitting down, and either enjoying it by yourself or having it with someone while engaged in a conversation. In fact, they even have a word for their coffee culture, fikawhich is used both as a noun as well as a verb.
In Italy, coffee drinking is almost pious. While cappuccino is only had in the morning and never at night, cups of espresso fill the day as people order their poison from bars (cafes in Italy) in small cups, Espressowhich means ‘fast’, is never had sitting down, always standing up.
In Turkey, there is a saying, “Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love”. There, coffee is made in a small brass or copper pot called cezve. Turkish coffee is unfiltered as the finely ground coffee is brewed with water on an open flame. It is often served with Turkish candy to counter the bitterness.
The birth place of the coffee plant arabica, Ethiopia has declared coffee its national drink. Here, the coffee beans are roasted by women in a ceremonial show in front of guests using a clay pot called jebena. There are three servings of coffee in Ethiopia – the first, called abolwhich is the most condensed and strongest, then the second, ton, made using the same grounds of coffee followed by the third, barracks.
In Mexico, the coffee drinking tradition follows a practice quite contrary to what nutritionists and health experts suggest – they have their coffee not just in the morning, but also at night, before going to sleep! But no matter what the time, the coffee always has to be café de ollareferring to a brew made in a clay pot called olla. The Mexicans like their coffee brewed with brown sugar and cinnamon which is strained before serving.
The Irish like their coffee spiked with alcohol; it consists of hot coffee, whiskey, sugar, and whipped cream. This coffee was invented out of necessity when in the 1940s, a boat from Ireland’s west coast of Foynes en route to Newfoundland had to turn back halfway through the voyage, the chef onboard, Joe Sheridan, conjured the idea of making the coffee way stronger to warm up the passengers on board. And that’s how whiskey landed in coffee in Ireland.
In Vietnamtoo, people enjoy having coffee all day, every day, Their brew is made using a phin, which is a tin, aluminum or stainless steel filter that is placed over the top of a glass and then filled with coffee. Many say this is a reflection of the fact that for many decades, Vietnam did not have electricity. They typically use robusta beans for their brew which ensures a thick and concentrated cuppa. There are three variations Vietnamese people love, and you should try, too – cà phê den (black coffee), cà phê sữa (coffee with condensed milk), and cà phê sữa dá (iced coffee with condensed milk).
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