Each country has its traditions when it comes to coffee. Though, some countries’ traditions are rooted deeply in the history and national pride of those places. Whenever you travel to one of such places, you simply must have a sup of their most beloved coffee. If you can, try to find some of the locals’ favorite places to make the most of this experience. Here are six countries where you should try coffee.
You don’t know strong coffee until you try espresso in Cuba. The three main characteristics of Cuban coffee are bitter, strong, and hot. You will be served your espresso with a glass of water which you must drink before your coffee. The water needs to purify your taste palate, so you can experience your coffee to the fullest. Though, most Cubans will also smoke their cigars or cigarettes with their coffee, which kind of kills the point of the water thing…But the smoking part is the tradition! Though, be aware that Cuban coffee can surely make your blood boil if you are not careful.
Italy and espresso seem to be inseparable. It is just like Italy and pasta. You have to travel to Italy just to order a shot of espresso in one of the local cafes. It is more than just coffee that you can get there. It is the experience that is worth the most. One of the reasons no global coffee shop like Starbucks can’t tempt the locals is in the Italian respect towards the traditions. And their tradition is to get a shot of espresso on their way to work in their local cafe.
Italians don’t just come to a cafe for a shot of espresso. They come to discuss the news, chat, read the newspaper, and meet people. Often it is the center of life, especially when it comes to small towns. Oh, and when you are there, remember that Italians are not big fans of coffee with milk. Though, if you order one, which most likely will be a cappuccino, do it in the morning. Cappuccino is often believed to be too heavy to drink later in the day or during the meal.
When people from North America think about coffee, chances are, they think about Colombian coffee. Colombia is one of the largest coffee producers in the world. It has been one for decades now. The locals are extremely proud of the high-quality of their coffee. More than that, they keep their coffee plantations a family business, not letting any large producers to their land. Sometimes the plantations grow so high in the mountains that no cars or other technologies can’t get there. So everything has to be done manually and transferred down to the cities by mules. This is why Colombian coffee is nothing like anywhere in the world. It is produced with great care for the product and traditions.
Colombian coffee often is very high in acidity. Its level can be so high that you may feel the wine aftertaste. There is no better way to make new friends in Colombia than to have a cup of coffee with them.
Vietnam is a rare example of an East Asian country that consumes large quantities of coffee. Moreover, some of the Vietnamese coffee drink recipes are world famous now. One of such drinks that you absolutely must try when you are in Vietnam is brown (or milk) coffee. This beverage has a shot of espresso along with sweetened condensed milk and lots of ice. You can also try this coffee hot, though a cold version feels like a good match to the humid Vietnamese climate.
Turkey has a centuries-long tradition of brewing and drinking its coffee. After all, this country even has its own methods of brewing coffee. This is their secret in brewing one-of-a-kind delicious strong Turkish coffee. If you wonder what the difference is between Turkish coffee vs espresso, the answer is in the tools used for making the beverage. Turks have been making their coffee in Cezve for as long as they had coffee in their region.
Cezve is a small, uniquely shaped pot. It gets broad on the bottom and slowly turns more narrow almost to the top, before it gets wide again. Coffee made in a cezve has strong, robust, bold flavors. Traditionally, Turks used hot sand to brew coffee in a cezve. These days watching cezve in hot sand can be one of the most authentic experiences you won’t get anywhere else. You can also ask for cardamom in your coffee, just the way most Turks drink it.
France is well-known for its traditional breakfast made of coffee, croissant, and a cigarette. Although we shouldn’t think of foreign countries in stereotypes, this one seems to be absolutely accurate to this day. French can’t start their day without a cup of coffee. It is the tradition, after all! Moreover, the French often come up with their versions of coffee drinks just to make them look more authentic.
One of the most popular coffee drinks, there will be an espresso with a teaspoon of heavy cream or milk. The sweetness of milk brings a nice balance into the strong bitter espresso, especially since in France they often prefer Robusta beans over Arabica.