From circa 14th century when an Ethiopian goatherd discovered that his goats are more frisky when they eat bitter little berries growing on the highlands to becoming one of leading industries in the world, coffee has gone a long way. It is today one of the favourite beverages in most world cultures. But, not everyone drinks it the same way.
Italians are particularly inventive when it comes to their coffee. But, if you thought that espresso is their favourite brew, you would be wrong: it is affogato: espresso poured over a scoop of gelato in a chilled bowl. Optional ingredients are bits of nuts, biscotti, berries, your favourite booze or whipped cream.
Swedes are very fond of their coffee and they call it caffeost roughly translated as ‘coffee cheese.” It basically involves making your own cheese from the mix of milk and cream and dropping its cubes in a mug of your favourite coffee.
Turkish coffee is a synonym of strong, unfiltered coffee. While modern Turks are as fond of designer brews in their local Starbucks, the traditional Turkish coffee is made by boiling water with sugar, adding a few spoons of ground coffee with a bit of cardamom and returning to the heat until the mix foams and threatens to spill out of the pot. It is served from small cups and it is a good idea to let it sit for a while until the grounds set at the bottom.
Austria is another country that takes its coffee-making method very seriously. They call their coffee the Einspänner and it is made of espresso topped with whipped cream.
Vietnamese call their favourite coffee brew Ca Phe Trung and they make it in a special locally made coffee pot called phin. They start by brewing strong, dark local robusta coffee. In a separate bowl, whip egg yolk with condensed milk until frothy, slowly adding brewed coffee. This delicious concoction is becoming increasingly popular in the upscale coffee shops in the West.
Brazilians call their coffee Cafezinho. They start by boiling water with sugar, adding coffee grounds to it and stirring well. This mix is then poured through a filter placed over a cafezinho or espresso cup. Part of the ritual is waiting patiently while coffee slowly drips through the filter.
Saudis make their qahwa (Arabic word for coffee) by adding ground coffee beans to a pot and boiling it for ten minutes. After adding crushed cloves and cardamom, they boil it for five more minutes. Once the pot is off the heat, it should rest for five minutes until coffee grounds settle at the bottom. At that point, you can add rose water and saffron. Coffee is filtered into a serving pot or flask before serving and folks drink it from small demi-cups.
Yuanyang is a mix of coffee and milk tea, very popular in Hong Kong. It is made by mixing slowly simmered tea with condensed milk and coffee. The ratio of coffee and tea is up to you. You can drink it hot or let it chill and drink it over ice.
Café Touba is spiced coffee gaining popularity in many countries around Senegal. It is made by roasting grains of selim or Guinea pepper. Grind roasted selim together with coffee grains into a coarse texture. Pour it into cold water and bring to boil. Simmer for about five minutes before pouring into a regular coffee maker.
Indonesian Kopi Joss looks like a perfectly normal coffee, normally brewed and sweetened with sugar, until at the very end you drop a piece of very hot coal into your coffee cup. Take the coal out in a few minutes once it is cooled.
Irish coffee stopped being Irish a long time ago and become everyone’s favourite alcoholic coffee beverage. It is made by pouring coffee into a tall glass, adding sugar, Irish whiskey and whipped cream.