Coffee Around the World
Coffee is a part of life for many. Believed to have originated in Ethiopia, the use of coffee dates back to as far as the 10th century. As a beverage, coffee was first prepared in the 15th century in Yemen. However, the practice quickly spread over the Middle East and certain regions of Africa. By the end of the 16th century, coffee drinkers were found all over the world: Europe, Italy, Indonesia, the Balkans, and America. Today, coffee has become its own culture. There are over 55 thousand coffee shops in the United States alone and over 54% of all Americans drink coffee every day. Coffee is not just a stimulant; it is a ceremonial tradition that brings people together.
In honor of National Coffee Day, transport yourself to various countries around the world by learning more about coffee and the various ways in which it is prepared in those places.
The coffee plant originated in Ethiopia. As the birthplace of this famous beverage, Ethiopia remains a country where traditional coffee ceremonies are a part of the daily culture. Buna, the most traditional of coffee beverages is prepared in a clay coffee pot, which provides the coffee with a unique flavor. The coffee itself is dark and bitter. The coffee is served with either salt or sugar and – almost always – popcorn to the side.
Instead of getting a coffee “to-go,” Italians enjoy espresso served in tiny cups. In Italy, coffee=espresso! The beverage is drank while standing up in the café or coffee shop. In addition, the world-famous cappuccino is never ordered after noon. It is a morning beverage consisting of espresso and steamed milk, which Italians believe serves as a meal replacement in the morning.
The most famous coffee drink in Turkey is called Türk Kahvesi. It is a thick brew coffee enjoyed by the residents after a meal. Oftentimes, the coffee is also served with Turkish candy, or a sweet dessert. The Turks say that coffee should be “Black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” The dark roast should also have a thick foamy froth and be accompanied by sweet sugar and enjoyed slowly, sip by sip.
Coffee is a big part of Danish culture – coffee shops can be found on nearly every corner in the big cities of Denmark. People gather in coffee shops to enjoy the aroma of coffee and cookies, surrounded by books and candles. Coffee shops in Denmark are designed to provide a warm, comfortable, and home-y atmosphere. Most frequently, residents order coffee or lattes made through a micro-roastery, which requires a wait. However, in Denmark, patience is a virtue!
To start off the day, the French prepare Café au Lait. This is a beverage that is prepared by brewing strong coffee in a French press and top off with scalded milk. The coffee is served in large, wide cups, as it also serves as a dip for croissants and breakfast breads.
Café de Olla is a traditional Mexican drink served in clay pots, which provides the coffee with a special, original flavor. Coffee is prepared from coffee grounds and poured into the pot. The coffee is sweetened with panela, a traditional unrefined cane sugar from Latin America. Next, a cinnamon stick is dipped into the coffee. The coffee is enjoyed in the afternoon.
Arabic Qahwa is Arabic coffee enjoyed by the residents of Arabic countries in the Middle East. Coffee beans are lightly roasted on a stove in a Dallah, a traditional Arabic coffee pot. Next, crushed cardamom, a spice, is added, along with rose water and cloves. The coffee is transferred to a thermos and served in finjaans – small handle-less coffee cups.
The Irish enjoy freshly brewed black coffee with whiskey and heavy cream. The tradition originated in 1942, when a restaurant owner at Foynes Airport added whiskey into coffee to help the passengers warm up after being exposed to the cold, damp Irish weather. The coffee is prepared by being poured into a mug. Brown sugar is then dissolved. Irish whiskey is mixed into the beverage, which is then topped off with heavy cream (slightly whipped).