In the world of coffee, it may seem that convenience is king. However, countries with strong coffee traditions take the time to do it right when it comes to preparing their homeland’s favorite caffeinated beverage. Here are some of the different ways that people around the world brew and enjoy their coffee.
Turkey. Turkish coffee is so world-renowned that it even has UNESCO World Heritage status. This finely-ground coffee is boiled in a small brass pot with a long handle that’s made for this purpose, and it’s served in small cups that are similar to espresso size. However, you aren’t supposed to down it quickly like a shot of espresso, but should instead savor this dark, potent brew that can be taken sweet or black. The coffee grounds that remain at the bottom of your empty cup are meant to be there. The grounds can be used to tell your fortune, similar to how some cultures read tea leaves.
Brazil. Their home country produces more coffee than any other, so it’s fair to say that Brazilians know coffee.
A cup of Brazilian-grown coffee should be clear, medium-bodied and low in acid. Locals typically begin their day with a creamy cafe com leite. This double strength brew is served with a generous pour of milk.
During the rest of the day, Brazilians enjoy cafezhino or “little coffee,” which is a small serving of strong, dark coffee that’s always served sweet. Traditionally, coffee in Brazil is made by boiling the grounds, similar to Turkish coffee. However, the grounds are strained when pouring the coffee into the cup.
Japan. Japan is historically known for its tea, but it’s also one of the world’s largest consumers of coffee, experiencing a surge in demand for the caffeinated brew after World War II. Bottled, canned and instant coffees keep a jolt of caffeine always within easy reach of Japanese city-dwellers.
In general, people here take a more functional-than-artisanal approach to coffee. Grab-and-go instead of sitting and have a chat is the norm although specialty coffee shops are a growing trend in Japan.
Italy. Like Brazilians, Italians like to start their day with a milk-laden coffee beverage. However, it’s frowned upon to consume lattes as anything other than an eye-opener due to a traditional Italian belief that milk doesn’t sit well in the stomach with food.
Espresso is the signature Italian drink and for a good reason: it originated here. In response to the proliferation of substandard offerings being presented as espresso, the Italian Espresso National Institute was founded in 1998 to “safeguard and promote espresso.” An espresso-like beverage needs to meet their exacting standards of quality beans, machines and staff to get certified as “Espresso Italiano.”
Espresso is made with a machine that presses pressurized hot water through very finely ground coffee powder. Fine espresso should have a taste that’s substantial, balanced and smooth according to Coffeeholic Guide.
The United States. In the United States, the hot drink of choice is coffee. While the U.S. is one of the world’s largest consumers of tea, 85 percent of the tea consumed here is of the iced variety.
Most folks in the U.S. still depend on coffee for their hot daily dose of caffeine. Americans like drip-brewed coffee, but their coffee of choice tends to lean heavily toward affordability and convenience. That preference for convenience is evident in the massive rise in popularity of pod coffee brewers like the Keurig K-Cup, which currently puts out the top-selling brand of coffee in the United States.
Mexico. In Mexico, a flavorful blend called café de olla is considered the official coffee beverage. While you can find espresso and lattes here like anywhere else, the pot-brewed Café de olla is a traditional Mexican drink. It’s served with a type of brown sugar called piloncillo. This gives it a flavor similar to molasses.
Cafe de olla is sometimes served spiced with cinnamon, anise or cloves. Enjoy a cup of this drink after a good traditional Mexican meal.
Finland. Finns consume more coffee per capita than people almost anywhere else in the world, coming in second only to Luxembourg. Finns prefer to use lightly-roasted coffee beans.
Reportedly, the water quality is so good there that the beans don’t need as much flavor roasted into them to produce a tasty cup. The usual at-home method is drip-brewing with a filter although pods are catching on.
If you visit this country, you can expect to board your plane home very well-caffeinated.
This article looked mostly at traditional coffee habits around the globe. However, sales of instant coffee have nearly tripled since the year 2000, and according to one source, close to half the world prefers instant coffee.
The countries that are seeing the most growth in its popularity tend to be places that don’t have their strong coffee traditions, such as tea-devoted China and India.
That said, Australia takes the prize for being the biggest lover of instant coffee; 75 percent of the brewed coffee sold there is the instant type.