Coffee is a majestic potion, wouldn’t you agree? So much can be done with a sip of it, either by brightening your morning or keeping you inspired throughout the day. Wherever you are in the world, people come together to enjoy coffee; but every single culture has their own unique spin on coffee. Have you been trying to change things up a little? Then why not get some international influences to try with your daily cuppa!
How do the French start their day? With cafe au lait, of course. The French version of cafe au lait (or coffee with milk) comes straight from a French coffee press with scalded milk (not frothed—this is not a cappuccino) in a wide diameter cup. Alongside is a baguette or croissants.
Known as “Turk Kahvesi,” this coffee is brewed according to an old proverb: “As black as hell, as strong as death, and as sweet as love.” Sounds intimidating, I know, but it is actually treated as a dessert instead of a morning energizer. It is usually served after dinner with some chewy candy and brewed in a copper pot and is absurdly hot. Perhaps the proverb should start off with “hotter than hell.”
The Greek have a well-known concoction, the frappe. The delicious iced drink is often made with instant coffee (though you could always use homemade cold brew coffee), cold water, sugar, and evaporated milk. When made in Greece, you will notice that they froth, shake, or blend the entire drink to produce a luscious foam.
Getting a shot of caffeine in the morning has never been easier than the Italian way. Strongly brewed Italian espresso is poured into tiny cups. Drinkers knock back their highly concentrated morning brew before heading out the door. Or, if they have some time on their hands, they might stick around to drink the traditional morning cappuccino (or espresso with frothed milk).
In the northeastern reaches of Africa, you can find an ancient coffee preparation practice that stems throughout multiple ethnicities, like Ethiopian, Egyptian, Eritrean, and more. While there are some variations on African coffee ceremony, the fundamentals remain the same. Over the course of a couple of hours, the lady of the house brews up, filtering and pouring it repeatedly in front of the guests. After it has been filtered enough, she then pours the coffee into cups without pausing it. It is quite a sight to behold. Afterward, guests add butter and salt to their coffee and enjoy.
6. Saudi Arabia.
Since alcohol is illegal in Saudi Arabia for most people, caffeine is the addiction of choice. Saudi Arabian coffee is absurdly thick and bitter. So bitter is “kahwa” that when people drink it, they need to eat something sweet, like dates or candy, in between each sip. No one leaves the coffee drinking session until everyone has finished.
The Vietnamese are the masters of cold brew coffee because it is made with their incredibly delicious and aromatic coffee beans. Dark roast is first percolated then poured over condensed milk. An ice cube is dropped in last. The finished product looks more like dessert in a shot glass, but it tastes like nirvana.
The country that brings us Aztec hot cocoa also has the delicious “cafe de olla.” In Mexico, this is brewed in individual earthenware cups and infused with cinnamon sticks. The result is a drink that is fiery, delicious, and truly eye-opening.
The glory of coffee is universal. When you need a creative influence, well, more creative throughout your day, consider making your cup of coffee different from the day before. Mixing up routine is one way to bring about change, after all. If your day starts with coffee, there is no better way to get productive.