Coffee drinking customs around the world

Depending on the country, it is possible to find cheese, black pepper or lemon in the coffee cup

Though an ordinary espresso will always be the one true choice for real coffee fans, as this is the best way to savour all the aromas, the most popular beverage is consumed in many different ways around the world.

Cinnamon, cheese or whiskey – these are but a few of the additions added to enrich espresso, depending on the part of the world where it is drunk.

In the prehistoric home of coffee, Ethiopia, the preparation of coffee today can still take up to two hours, despite an increasingly rapid lifestyle. The fresh coffee beans are roasted just before consumption, then ground and prepared to make buna, as the Ethiopians call espresso. Some choose to add sugar, though the ancient Ethiopians used to drink buna with salt and butter.

Coffee will have a different flavour in western Africa, especially in Morocco, where they adore spices. To make the coffee as intensive as possible, they often prepare it with a blend of spices, such as sesame, black pepper or nutmeg.

For the same reason, many Italian cafés serve espresso with a slice of lemon, which is used to rub the rim of the cup to enhance the flavour. Italians drink coffee with milk in the morning, while in the afternoon, a short espresso is the preferred beverage.

The French tend not to complicate this popular beverage too much – in the morning they drink café au lait (coffee with milk) with a croissant or other pastry.

In some parts of the world, drinking coffee has turned into a real mini-meal. In Vietnam, espresso receives a boost in the form of whiskey mixed with egg whites, powdered milk, butter and goat’s cheese. The coffee cup is served in a dish of warm water to keep it hot longer.

The Finns enjoy an unusual coffee combination, which is served with the traditional cheese - juustoleipä. The cheese is cut into small pieces and placed in the bottom of the cup, which is then filled with hot coffee.

In many countries, coffee is drunk all day and in the evening as well. In Turkey, coffee was enlisted on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013, and here they drink strong, black, sweet coffee after dinner as part of the dessert, with well known Turkish sweets such as halva or Turkish delight.

Coffee is also drunk sweet in Mexico. Their popular Caffe de Olla is prepared in a clay dish with cinnamon and piloncillo, unrefined cane sugar.

On the Arabian Peninsula, particular care is taken in the preparation and serving of coffee. In line with the culture and customs, espresso is prepared with cardamom and served with dates, and the eldest person at the table is served first.

Coffee is loved in many parts of China, particularly Hong Kong, where they have a special way to prepare it – coffee is mixed with tea in precisely defined proportions.

Evening coffee was invented by the Irish in the 1940s so that American tourists would not be cold. The famous Irish coffee contains whiskey, sugar and whipped cream, and is traditionally drunk after dinner.

In Havana, Cuba, you could say that the aroma of coffee exudes from every home. In Havana, there is not a home that does not have an espresso making pot, but they best love to drink it on the street, buying it from the ventanillas. These are open windows of private homes where espresso is brewed and sold.

By Franck d.d.