Around the world in 11 coffees
Just like art, coffee reflects local customs and traditions. From the Americas to Japan, from Australia to the heart of Africa: each different culture has come to terms with its ineffable charm.
Here is coffee around the world in 11 anecdotes and interesting facts!
Japan – A “drink and run” coffee
In Tokyo, everyone is in a hurry. Here coffee (kōhī) is an energy drink, bought in bottles in vending machines and in iconic combo machines. Old-fashioned coffee bars also exist but the espresso coffee ritual at the bar is something rare here.
Vietnam – How to slow down the day
Cà Phê Sữa Dá is a cold and creamy bitter coffee. It is made using the Vietnamese coffee maker, which allows a mixture of condensed milk, water and coarsely ground coffee beans to slowly drip, with the addition of ice as the final touch. Preparation requires much patience: drinking coffee is a slow ritual in Vietnam.
Indonesia – The “shitty” coffee at €12 a cup
Known as kopi luwak, it is made from coffee cherries that are eaten, digested and defecated by the palm civet. It is not only the most rare and expensive coffee in the world – €800 a kilo – but also the most controversial coffee: animal rights activists do not approve of it due to the exploitation of these friendly mammals.
China – Love & Caffeine
Chinese coffee, known as yuanyang, is made with coffee, condensed milk and black tea. It is drunk at outdoor kiosks, preferably in couples: the name recalls mandarin ducks, which symbolise the love between husband and wife.
India – Ocean aroma in a coffee cup
Monsooned Malabar is a special coffee bean ripening process practised along the Malabar Coast. Coffee beans are put in warehouses, without walls, near the sea and exposed to the Monsoon winds for several months. Heat and humidity give the coffee its golden colour, with a woody aroma and salty nuances.
Senegal – Miraculous peppery coffee
Touba coffee is drunk in traditional street kiosks called “tangana”. Flavoured with cloves and jarr pepper, it has a strong, balsamic and spicy taste. The Senegalese believe it has miraculous power against asthma and respiratory diseases.
Ethiopia – The age-old coffee ritual
Coffee beans are roasted in homes on burning coals; then ground with a mortar, boiled in a ceramic pot and flavoured with black cardamom, ginger or cinnamon. The hostess, strictly dressed in white, serves each guest with three rounds of coffee while the room, sprinkled with flowers, fills with the fragrance of incense and acacia gum.
USA – The false cliché of watered down coffee
Despite what the purists say, who call it dirty water, American filtered coffee is becoming increasingly popular among young people all over the world. It is made by two methods: by infusion or in a special coffee maker, which drips boiling water onto ground coffee.
Cuba – Short, sweet and… archaeological!
Can a plantation become a UNESCO World Heritage Site? It can in Cuba: cortadito, the typical Caribbean milky coffee, originated in the “Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations”. This protected area, in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its historical and social importance.
Colombia – The coffee of champions
The recent FIFA World Cup recalled how coffee has deep roots in the culture of Colombia, one of the main producers and exporters of coffee in the world. The nickname of the Colombia national football team is Los Cafeteros, which means “those who make or drink coffee”.
Australia – An energy drink for real coffee addicts
A coffee bar in Adelaide patented the strongest coffee in the world: Ass Kicker, the coffee with the highest caffeine content ever made. A single cup of it contains the equivalent of 32 espresso coffees!
The ingredients, doses and meanings change but one thing remains the same everywhere: drinking a cup of coffee with others is always synonymous with friendship and conviviality. It is an essential ritual in all parts of the world.
Cover pics by pixabay.com
Did you like the article and want to know more about Caffè Mauro?