COFFEE CULTURE AROUND THE WORLD
As a coffee lover, you’re amongst one of the most passionate communities in the world. Millions of people all around the world wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee every day. They delight in the taste of the brown gold all day long. Here in the UK, we enjoy our coffee in many different ways, each as delicious as the last. But let’s have a look at how they do it in the rest of the world.
While there are many occasions to drink coffee in Dutch culture, the most unique is the coffee-and-cake take on the drink. At between 5pm and 6pm, coffee houses (not coffee shops) will fill up with the light tinging of spoons meeting cups. The nation then enjoys a cup of coffee and a slice or two of cake or pie. A primary source of coffee for the Dutch is an Arabica from Indonesia, which produces a seriously full-bodied cup with low acidity. It mixes well with cream or full-fat milk with which it’s often drunk.
The Italian passion for coffee arguably greater than their love of football. But entering an Italian coffee house is not for the faint hearted. There are rules. Rules you must not break. For example, you can NEVER drink any kind of milky coffee after dinner, nor can you add any fancy flavourings without receiving the scorn of the barista. Similarly, coffee is something to be enjoyed on the move, so sitting down to enjoy your drink isn’t common. Order, drink, savour, then leave.
Coffee in Turkey is hugely important from a cultural point of view. There is so much social activity that happens around Turkish tea and coffee that it practically glues the country together. However, coffee houses are very male-oriented places, and unless you’re in a particularly progressive place, women will likely get some funny looks. Turkish coffee is produced with roughly ground beans that settle in the glass. Impeccable presentation is a point of pride for the best cafés. The best places serve their coffee filled to the brim and with a thick, creamy foam on top, so look out for that.
Coffee-drinking culture is a strange beast in Indonesia. Partly influenced by the Chinese migrants during the tin-mining era of its history, and partly by Western countries that traded there, you’ll find some of the most famous and impressive coffee houses in the world in Indonesia. The main coffee-based drink is Coffee-O, a black, intense coffee. Coffee-O is usually served with some kind of bread or pastry snack. Indonesian coffee also has strong connotations with the country’s independence, as many of the colonial plantation owners were kicked out of the country, leading to a situation where over 90% of coffee produced in the country now comes from small farmers and co-operatives.
With a whopping 5 cups per day on average, Finland has the most significant per-capita intake of coffee in the world. However, the Finnish obsession with the drink is a relatively new one, and one that wouldn’t really travel too well. Traditionally, Finnish coffee is very lightly roasted by our standards. This is thought to be because of the incredibly high quality of Finnish water, which allows more flavour to come through from the bean.
How do you like your coffee? Let us know in the comments below.