COFFEE CULTURE AROUND THE WORLD


Different cultures around the world differs by various habits. One of them is the way they appreciate their coffee. These behavoiurs are mixture of our grand parents customs, large coffee companies marketing campaings and many other factors. There is no doubt - coffee is a global phenomenon. That is why, I will try to take you around the world with an aromatic smell of coffee. Just to have an idea of what I am talking about, start your imagination in Italy and Italians who introduced their coffee "to-go" called espresso, via Turkey and Turks with their traditional dark, strong and sweet coffee made in cezve to Ireland and its after-dinner Irish coffee, where we've got a feeling that coffee meets cocktail. 

 

Italian contribution to the world of coffee 

Nowadays it is not dificult to find the business model that shares its coupons for free cups of coffee or maybe offers discount on their coffee. It's all connected to promote a better understanding of all the people who participate in coffee-making process. We have already mentioned one of the most known coffee trading nation - Italy, which has its own approach. They developed their own coffee beverage according to their lifestyle, as most of them still don't have a lot of time to sit down and just chill out. Joining people who love drinking coffee and on the other hand not a lot of free time, they have come to the solution – a short and strong concentrated coffee also known as espresso. It is being served in a small ceramic cup so it can be enjoyed in just a few sips. A slice of lemon can be added over the cup, just due to a better flavour. And yeah allow me a tip – just don't order a cappuccino late in the day in Italy. They drink it only in the morning and if you're going to try it at the afternoon, everybody look at you strange.

 

Turkish coffee

On the other hand, the Turks say: »Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love«. They usually serve coffee after meals in pot called a cezve. They also add a sweet candy just because of sweetness – a lot of sweetness. And if in Italy and most other places they drink coffee mostly early at the morning, the Turks enjoy it later - after dinner and as a desert.

 

Some prefer Irish coffee

If you want to try some »strong« coffee, probably the best place to go is Ireland. Since 1940 you can enjoy in Irish coffee. It starts with coffee, then some whiskey is added and at the end there is also some sweet cream topper. Yes, you have got it. The adjective strong comes out of whiskey. In Ireland tea is still the most popular hot drink, but also coffee is not far away from it. We should say that coffee in Ireland connect people and coffee shops are more popular than pubs or restaurants. The survey in Ireland showed that 55% of Irish tea and coffee drinkers consume one to three cups a day and there around 10% of people who drink more than five.

 

Nordic approach

Nordic countries are the largest consumers of coffee world wide. It might be because of dark Scandinavian winters or they might also simply just like it. As i do. And they also drink it just the way I do - no special way. In Denmark for example, coffee is a completely normal part of their day and their culture. As such, there are all kinds of coffee shops and bars where you can enjoy your cup of coffee on nearly every corner.

 

Netherlands - Coffee shop vs. café

Here, the coffee usually comes black, but always with a small and sweet cookie on the side, also known as bakkie troos. The Dutch kaffe is enjoyed any time of day. They made a difference between a coffee house and a café. It's interesting that in cafés they can't serve alcohol and other kind of drug such as cannabis as they want to make a difference between »marijuana tourism« people and other tourists.

 

France and their café au lait

The typical French just loves to begin his day with his café au lait – coffee with hot milk. It's served in a huge and wide cup, that allows dunking baguetts and croissants. I can't believe that they have three different prices (in one coffee shoop) for the same drink! Why is that so? Just because it's up to you to decide, where you want to drink it. Yes, you will get different price if you choose a table or outdoors!

 

Greek coffee

What about Greece? They say there is nothing like Greek coffee. You can find people sitting at tables, chilling and talking all day and slowly drinking frappé. Frappé is iced drink made with Nescafé, cold water, sugar and milk. There's a reason why people can drink it for hours – it just can't become cold by the time. Just kidding. Outside the home, most Greeks get their coffee from either a kafeteria or a kafenio. Average Greek drinks about two cups of coffee a day on average.

 

Do British people really just drink tea? 

England has been, similar as Ireland, always trapped between coffee and tea. And even though the tea was first served in England in coffee houses in 1650, nowadays a specialty coffee wave is apparently slowly taking over! However, in England there's no better place to meet, discuss with people and make business than by a cup of coffee. British people drink around 70 million cups of coffee each day and they are so far away from Stereotypes like: »British people only drink strong tea from fine china cups«.

 

German relation with coffee

Even though there is a strong coffee culture in Germany and they are one of the strongest coffee nation in the world, there are no rules how to drink it. Hot or cold, at the beginning or at the end of the day. Germans drink coffee with or without milk and sugar, they are completely liberated about it, they enjoy its aroma and nothing else matters. They drink an average 5,2 kg of coffee per year.

 

Ethiopian coffee 

It just would not be right to skip the Ethiopians, as they have been drinking coffee longer than anyone else. Their strong coffee is called Buna (brewed over several hours). One of many interesting facts is that they serve it in small cups with salt and butter instead sugar and cream. Just wow! Their traditional coffee ceremonies are so amazing to me that I really want to try coffee Buna!

 

Coffee in Saudi Arabia

At my first visit, the alcohol was illegal. So, as we couldn´t get a glass of wine, we have ordered a coffee. It was served black and extremely bitter. The bartender taought us that there's a protocol for serving and drinking coffee: men drink it with men while women drink it with women. Another tip, you have to show the respect and never leave the table until the cup of coffee is finished

 

Japanese (stil) prefer tea than coffee

In Japan, they like to say: »won't you go for tea?«, which indicates that their coffee culture is not so strong as tea tea culture. Of course, you can always order coffee instead any other drink, but it's just not as conventional. Even if we look to graph of the world's bigger coffee drinkers we'll se that Japan is located on the bottom. But anyway – Japan is waking up in their coffee culture over the years.

 

It really looks like, that independent of different way of enjoying it, coffee is the most popular and worldwide spread beverage nowadays. No matter where, coffee makes people friendly and brings them together, undoubtly its popularity grows. However, I am a little bit afraid by the emergence of the digital age, as there is a lot of bars and restaurants around the world, where laptops, mobile phones and other modern devices became a constant distraction in the perfection of the moment of having a coffee. Hopefully this trend will pass. I hope you have found some interesting and new type of coffee that you are as eager to try them as I am. Enjoy, and in case you have some feedback of any of them please let me know.

Andrej Gobina