Does the U.S. have a “tradition” around its coffee? We say yes. It’s a tradition that revolves around our commute to work: we either brew coffee at home or we’ll stop at fast food restaurant or coffee shop to get a cup – or 20 ounces – to drink during our morning drive. We’ve also made a lot of those coffee drinks we sip on the way to work highly sugared, often with whip cream and syrup on top: dessert, if you will.
But what about other cultures and countries? After all, the brewed coffee bean’s stimulating benefits have been known – and enjoyed – for centuries. The country now known as the U.S. was, in fact, one of the last countries to learn of and enjoy the drink.
So let’s take a short trip around the globe and look at other culture’s/countries’ coffee traditions.
- Many coffee experts believe an Ethiopian shepherd centuries ago noticed that his flock tended to become pretty lively after eating the beans of a certain tree. So with Ethiopia often considered to be coffee’s birthplace, it’s only natural we should start here.
Ethiopians love their coffee, of course, so much so that they sometimes perform coffee ceremonies, social events in which friends and family meet. Incense is burned and flowers are strewn about the room. Coffee beans are boiled until clean and then the liquid is served to all in attendance. It’s a huge sign of love and respect to participate in a coffee ceremony.
- The Japanese often enjoy their coffee – both hot and cold – from cans found in supermarkets and vending machines. Canned coffee first came to the Land of the Rising Sun in the 1960s.
- Mexico’s residents enjoy what is known as café de olla, spiced coffee flavored with piloncillo (an unrefined sugar) and a cinnamon stick. This drink traditionally is served in small clay pots.
- Italy is known for its espresso – almost always served in tiny white cups (often with tiny saucer) The name espresso for this small shot of strong coffee (with no additions) comes from the fact that the drink is finished quickly.
- The Turks serve their coffee – dark and strong – from a cezve (a very tiny pot – often of copper – made specifically to serve Turkish coffee) after meals and social gatherings.
Turkish tradition has it that any beans that stay stuck to the bottom of your cup can tell your fortune. Just turn the cup upside down, leave it for a bit and then look to see if you can interpret what the leftover beans are saying to you.
- Visit an Austrian coffee house try the country’s beloved wiener mélange, a cappuccino-style coffee drink topped with seriously thick milk foam.
- The Irish added whiskey to their coffee and the drink known as Irish Coffee was born. Always top it with cream.
Have you ever traveled to a foreign country and enjoyed a cup of coffee brewed as you’ve never enjoyed it before? Tell us about it. Between foreign trips, may we suggest that you give Ubean Coffee a try?