9 Travelers’ Guide to Drinking Coffee Across the Globe
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Are you a coffee lover who has a passion for traveling? You have more reasons to travel and sustain your passion because drinking coffee is an important daily ritual for many cultures across the globe.
From the quaint cafes of Europe to the side streets of South America to the high-tech districts of Japan, there’s so much to discover in how different countries enjoy their coffee. Here’s your traveler’s guide to drinking coffee around the world.
1. Italy: Quick Caramel-colored Goodness
You’ve surely heard of the word “espresso.” This important coffee drink is integral to Italian culture, as well as to other drinks enjoyed by coffee lovers such as the latte, mocha, and Americano. Sometimes mistakenly pronounced with an X, as in expresso, this drink is a popular choice for people in a hurry. The espresso is the go-to drink of those who need a quick boost of energy. As such, the espresso was invented by the the Italians to drastically cut down the waiting time to brew a coffee. It should downed in one gulp, and the perfect cup has a foamy cream atop a thick, full-bodied drink.
2. Morocco: Spicing Up the Java
Morocco’s Café des Épices (“spiced coffee”) deliciously blends coffee with spices such as cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg. This tradition is linked to the country’s famous spice markets. The celebrated Moroccan coffee is cultivated and processed in a way that produces healthy and highly fragrant beverages. Moroccans spice up their cup of coffee depending on the occasion. Weddings and happy events call for sweetness, while funerals require a bitter brew. For travelers, spiced coffee is fantastic when taken at Moroccan markets while enjoying flatbread sandwiches and gazing over the bustling scenery.
3. USA: Customizable Dessert Coffee
The milkshake-coffee, popularly known as the frappuccino, is an offspring of American cafe culture. It’s preferred by people who crave for that dessert-like coffee taste. Although the Starbucks company has made frappucino so massively present worldwide, the drink remains customizable to suit the drinker’s sweet tooth. Frappuccinos are best taken cold and with a generous serving of whipped cream. There are also so many flavor combinations, from chocolate to green tea. You want it a bit stronger? Request your version to go with a shot of espresso mixed in. Try having it at Pike Place Market in Seattle, considered to be today’s motherland of coffee shops and one of the oldest public markets in the USA where the drink first made its appearance.
4. Brazil: Small Coffee with a Splash
Brazil is important to coffee culture because it produces a third of the world’s coffee beans. This huge contribution makes the name cafezinho (“little coffee”) somewhat counter-intuitive. Brazil’s national coffee is filtered using a cloth strainer and is usually served in tiny cups. It’s mostly pre-sweetened, very strong, and normally served after a meal. Today, cafezinho may come with an array of other flavors, from condensed milk to fruity add-ons. Skip the fancy cafes and go to sidestreet spots to get the most authentic version of this drink.
5. France: Bread Dipped in Milky Succulence
Café au lait is a signature French drink that combines coffee and hot milk. It is usually taken in the morning and served in a wide-mouthed cup (usually white) to allow the dunking of pastries and bread. Of course, you can also enjoy it with easy and healthy food options. Do you like it with less milk? Ask for the lighter version of this drink called cafe noisette (hazelnut coffee). There’s really no hazelnut flavor added. Rather, the name is inspired by the nutty taste produced by a dash of milk. If you want a piece of history to go with your drink, head for the famous Café de Flore in Paris where influential philosophers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir used to hang out.
6. Philippines: Uniquely Strong and Rich
The Philippines is one of the few countries that can produce the four varieties of commercial coffee, namely Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica (Barako). Kapeng Barako is popular in the Philippines because of its uniquely strong and rich taste. Barako takes its name from a local word for “wild boar,” which is associated with toughness. Take this coffee plain or you may add sugar or milk, or in combination with pandesal, a popular local bread usually eaten for breakfast or as a late afternoon snack.
7. Turkey: Delightful Drink that Can Tell Your Future
Turk kahvesi or Turkish coffee is known for both its thickness and how it is prepared. This brew is made using a long-handled copper pot and usually served after meals with a chewy candy called Turkish delight. The bottom of the cup has a layer of sludge from leftover grounds, so it’s not the custom to drink this coffee bottoms up. The muddy sediment at the bottom of the Turkish coffee mugs has another special function—it is used for fortune telling. For a memorable experience, enjoy this thick brew and have a fortune teller give you insight to your future.
8. Ireland: Coffee with a Kick
How do you like your coffee with whiskey? Combining two great elements—coffee and alcohol—makes Irish coffee a must-try. Because of the whiskey, this warming beverage is more an evening drink than a morning pick-me-up. Irish coffee is not meant to be stirred; the cold whipped cream on top is meant to stay mostly on top as you drink the spiked coffee underneath. This drink is wonderful for those who seek to experience a different coffee session, whether it’s for condo living, weekend parties or after work.
9. Japan: Eye-catching and Yummy Latte Art
3D coffee art in Japan is giving green tea a run for its money. Although green tea remains the hot beverage of choice in the country, more and more Japanese are drawn to the attractive designs and various flavors of latte art. Latte art is one of the most creative ways to drink your coffee with a unique foam design. The sheer creativity of the designs can convince a coffee lover to give this drink a try. The short-lived designs compel you to take a photo and share on social media before consuming the drink.
Indeed, coffee is reflective of so many different cultures. Some even extend their love of coffee to the art of designing cups and mugs. Should you find yourself traveling to any of these places, remember that choosing a cup is about more than the usual sugar and cream. Try how the locals drink their coffee, and experience a new culture in every sip.