Watching baristas grounding coffee beans before their café opens in the streets of Vienna, visiting extensive coffee plantations in Vietnam and Brazil, and actually drinking a warm cup of joe in a new city: there is no doubt that coffee is capable of providing amazing experiences for travelers. And, aside from being comforting and delicious, coffee can help you learn more about a destination’s culture while traveling.
Across the globe, there are infinite ways of roasting, preparing, and drinking this dark elixir of life, so enthusiasts might wanna learn about all the amazing coffee around the world.
In fact, there are many different myths involving coffee around the world. In Africa, Moroccan Sufi mystics stated the existence of birds of unusual vitality only to find out they ate berries from coffee trees. This led the mystics to assume that the coffee beans have healing powers. In Oman, there’s also a belief surrounding the special benefits of coffee. Legend says that there was a man who survived an exile and then turned into a priest after drinking the “miracle drug”. Even Ethiopian hunters used to consume the beans for energy and hunger-quelling on day-long treks.
While you probably won’t turn into a priest or gain healing powers after drinking coffee, you might wanna know more about the coffee-making traditions around the globe. That way, you can travel from Europe to Asia, while drinking some of the most amazing coffees there is.
So ditch the instant coffee, the black tea, and the hot chocolate, because you’re about to learn how to make a seriously good coffee.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Popular coffee drinks, such as flat white, cappuccino, latte, and americano are surely delicious. Plus, you can find them at almost every cafe you go to, in any corner of the world. But there are many other delicious coffee drinks that you might now know of — yet.
In case you want to try something different and spice things up, why not learning how to make a coffee with a twist? From the spicy Mexican coffee to the famous Hong Kong iced coffee, here are some of the unique ways this drink is prepared around the world. You just have to pick your favorite and make it at home!
Morocco is all about rich flavors and spices. So, after making your coffee, mix things up by adding some cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg to your drink. This will provide your coffee with a “warmer” taste, which is even more perfect during fall or winter.
To make your coffee à la Vietnam, use a Vietnamese Phin instead of a French Press or an Italian espresso maker. This brewing tool is perfect for a cold drip coffee, which has a slighter stronger taste, even if you serve it with ice. In case you want a thicker and creamier texture to your drink, try adding a bit of sweetened condensed milk, coconut oil, coconut milk, or butter to it. You can also try it with almond milk, or the traditional milk and sugar.
Make it sweet! Instead of following the conventional white-sugar cube, add some brown sugar or use sweetened condensed milk, as the Vietnamese do. And, of course, you can also try to make the classic Irish Coffee drink, which consists of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar, all stirred and topped with cream. This drink is not originally from Ireland, but it’s still worth the try!
Brazil’s billion-dollar specialty coffee is all about experiencing the popular drink in unconventional ways. The best tip? According to experts, when boiling water is gradually poured, the infusion drips into the jug not too quickly. If you want to drink coffee the Brazilian way, you can have a simple coffee with milk for breakfast, which is the famous “Café au lait”, or drink a strong shot of espresso — without sugar — after lunch.
If you are in a hurry and cannot dedicate enough time to brew the perfect cup of coffee from the grounds (or beans), use the coffee ampules, especially when you want to keep it fresh. You can also try to make a typical Portuguese shot of espresso, which is usually full-bodied and less acid, with Arabica and Robusta beans. You can also prepare a “Galão”, which is the Portuguese version of the Café au lait, made of espresso and foamed milk.
Want to make coffee the Cuban way? Then get ready to prepare a “Café Cubano”, which is a type of espresso shot. The Café Cubano is usually sweetened with brown sugar and can be made either using an electric espresso machine or a Moka pot.
Have you ever heard of Café Touba? Famous in Senegal, this coffee drink is flavored with grains of Selim or Guinea pepper. The spices are mixed and roasted with the beans, and then ground into a powder. You can prepare the Café Touba using a filter. In case you don’t find the Guinea pepper, you can use cloves and make and a new version of the Café Touba.
No coffee tour around the world would be complete without including the famous Turkish Coffee. This drink is made using very finely ground beans, which you might find in your local coffee shop. Then, you just have to mix the powder with cold water on a pot until it’s all well combined. Then, place the coffee pot on low heat and let it cook for a while, stirring two or three times. When the foam rises, use a teaspoon remove it, and place the foams into each Turkish coffee cup. Return the coffee pot to heat and remove when it boils. Pour the Turkish coffee into the cups and serve it!.
This is where things start to get interesting. In Hong Kong, one of the most popular drinks is Yuenyeung, which is coffee with tea. So, to make the famous Hong Kong coffee, you have to combine strong black coffee with strong black milk tea. It’s three parts coffee to seven parts of black milk tea. You can have your Hong Kong coffee with ice and sugar, or even warm.
The most traditional Mexican coffee is the Cafe de Olla, which is made on a traditional earthen clay pot. This utensil gives a special flavor to the Café de Olla. When making this Mexican coffee, also add some cinnamon, and raw dark sugar, which provides the coffee with a sweet, spicy taste. Cafe de Olla is a perfect drink for winter, as it has a very warm feel to it. Just avoid adding milk, as it might overpower the taste of the delicious spices. The Cafe de Olla is served hot and can be paired with some homemade churros dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
Cafè Crème is the most traditional German coffee, which is served in a large cappuccino cup, which is filled 3/4 full with long coffee. But there’s also another drink called “German Coffee”, which is a cocktail made with Kirschwasser, coffee, and whipped cream.
If that is not enough, here is a tip from Jamie Foster, a mathematician from the University of Portsmouth:
“If you want a stronger cup of coffee, you should grind your coffee finer.”
The Best Coffee Around the World
Now that you know what are the best brewing methods and recipes from around the globe, here are the best coffee varieties you’ll find.
If you go to Africa, an Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a must-see (and must-taste!). In the origin country of Arabica beans, coffee is brewed in large coffee pots, but contradictory to a Japanese green tea ceremony, it is served in a hurry by only one host. The pot, called jebena, sits in hot coals and when served, sugar is added for an additional dose of energy.
In Morocco, mint tea is more popular, yet coffee is occasionally served as well. You’ll find Arabic coffee beans roasted on charcoal fire and ground in a mortar. Take a break from the mint tea and experience Morocco by drinking some of the best coffee available in the region.
You will find Poland’s specialty coffee, Robusta, in every store you go – from Krakow’s coffee stores to Warsaw’s cat cafes. They’re actually from central and western sub-Saharan Africa, but most cafes in Poland use this small, round, and brownish to yellowy grains.
From Nestle and Lofbergs Lila to other widely known Quora coffee brands, Swedish coffee is mostly characterized by its differences in brewing water. In the South, the water is hard which has high mineral content and leaves plenty of calcium deposits. Whereas in the North, the water is softer which pulls a lot more essence and taste out of the coffee grounds. In the end, it all depends on the coffee brewing. Regardless of where you are in Sweden, try the local coffee brand Zoegas or the famous Arvid Nordquist Classic.
Japanese are known for their tea tradition, but in recent years, coffee is the king. Japan is now among the world’s largest importers of coffee! Their national brewing techniques of the siphon and pour over (hand drip) are impacting the global modern coffee movement.
Apart from eating Pizza Ebraica and gelato, making an Italian caffe from a mokka pot is a must-do when visiting Italy. Originally used by Muslims in Kaffa (the Southeastern side of Ethiopia), the mokka pot was later distributed through Europe and eventually became a staple for Italy. You can easily find them from local vendors and coffee shops!
What makes Indonesian coffee unique? The answer is two-fold. Indonesian coffee cultivation began in the 17th century and has grown to be one of the largest producers of coffee in the world today. A cup of Indonesia’s premium coffee, Kopi Luwak, can cost as much as $100 a cup; it is considered the most expensive coffee in the world. The drink is made from coffee cherries digested by Asian palm civets that remove the fruit pulp. However, it is not the most animal-friendly or sustainable practice so we suggest going on a budget and animal-friendly when visiting Bali. There are plenty of delicious (and animal-friendly) coffee cafes and roasters in Bali!
The coffee culture is a big deal in Guatemala, and among the most well-known in the world. Rightly so. Currently producing more than 3 million bags of coffee beans a year, the mountainous and cloudy regions are perfect for producing toffee-sweet and nutty coffee beans.
Jamaica is known for its Blue Mountain Coffee. It is the lack of bitterness that makes it so special. Growing in high altitudes on mountains, the coffee is bold in taste and specially farmed by the Jamaican government. The coffee beans are a must-buy when shopping for souvenirs from Jamaica.
Vietnamese coffee or cà phê đá uses Vietnamese grown coffee with a metal drip filter. Grown in Trung Nguyen in Buon Ma Thout, Vietnamese coffee drinks can vary from simply ice-cold coffee with condensed milk to the traditional egg coffee.
Hawaiian Kona coffee is one of the best known in the world and compares well with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee due to its full-bodied flavor. Coffee trees grow in rich volcanic soil, providing the special taste that Hawaiian coffee boasts. Hualalai and Mauna Loa Mountains are a place to go if you want to visit coffee plantations on the island.
In Vienna, coffee is made especially fluffy and is enjoyed as a dessert type of coffee. Made from two espresso shots and topped with a fluffy layer of heavy cream, you can’t go wrong with a coffee in Vienna. Ask for Mellocino, Einspanner or even Kapuziner types when visiting Vienna.
Thought as a serious rival of the Irish stout, the rich black coffee drink is flavored and full-bodied with a shot of whiskey. Also topped with heavy cream, the Irish coffee will not leave your sweet tooth unsatisfied.
While a caffe latte or an Americano may be your way to go around the world, people watch, work, or get warm during winter spell, there is much more to making a perfect cup of coffee. From Moroccan spiced coffee to the highest-quality Guatemalan bean, there is amazing coffee found everywhere in the world.
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