I have a very addictive personality and one of my shameless addictions is that of the coffee category. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to make lists. So obviously I had to combine the two. Here, I have composed a long list of delicious coffees from all over the world. I have already tasted a few of them (the ones with the check marks) but not all in their home country, where they would be much, much better.
So without further ado, here is my bucket list of cultural coffees from around the world.
Turkey – Turkish Coffee
There are no special beans required for this specific coffee, but they are indeed ground to a very fine powder. This is then gently boiled in water or milk, with or without sugar. Turkish coffee is often served in a copper cezve.
Japan – Kyoto ✓
One of my personal favorites is the Kyoto cold-brew. A drop of water is released, one at a time, over a period of 6 to 24 hours, to create a delicate and sweet iced coffee.
Norway – Turkaffe
With Norway’s vast collection of beautiful mountains and scenery, it’s no wonder they have a coffee specifically for the mountains. Turkaffe (translation “hiking coffee”) is brewed over an open flame in a natural, and slightly ritualistic, process to produce a bold flavored coffee. Most prefer theirs’ black.
Hungary – Kávé
The Turkish brought coffee to Europe in the late 1500s but it still took about 150 years for the Hungarians to finally accept the drink. The coffee, or “black soup” as they called it, has made it’s way to becoming the national drink of Hungary. Brewed as an espresso and heavily sweetened, the Kávé is immensely strong.
UK – BICC
The British, though they do like their tea, know how to make a mean coffee. As a matter of fact, tea sales are at a record low and coffee shops are taking over the pub culture. But the Brits don’t necessarily have their own signature type of coffee. Instead, they have the BICC, the British Imported Coffee Culture, and cater to all palettes and their needs for coffee. All coffee is, of course, accompanied by milk and biscuits. My ideal day in London would be, what I like to call, coffee-hopping, or bouncing from one coffee shop to another.
Mexico – Cafe de Olla ✓
Brewed to perfection in traditional clay pots, this Mexican coffee will stay in your heart forever after you’ve had some. The strong flavors of cinnamon and piloncillo combine perfectly with the lingering essence of the clay pot. This particular brew goes far back into Mexico’s history and has been kept around for good reason.
Cuba – Café Cubano ✓
Since I am not legally allowed to visit Cuba and, more importantly, try their coffee, the closest I could get was Florida. I first got a taste on my 18th birthday in a small Cuban cafe. It was shockingly bold and flavorful. The drink is fairly simple. You start with a really strong espresso…and that’s it. It originated when Italian espresso made its way to the country but the Cubans stepped it up a notch. This stuff could keep you up for days.
Australia – The Flat White
There is a heavy Italian influence in Australia, coffee included. But Australians found a way to take an Italian cappuccino, twist it a little bit, and out comes the Australian Flat White. A flat white has roughly the same ratios of coffee to milk as a cappuccino, but the milk is only steamed, not froth.
Ethiopia – Jebena Buna
The Ethiopians know how to do coffee, and they really go all the way. In one sitting, you would typically drink THREE cups of coffee. The first, known as Arbol, is the strongest and the last two, Tona and Bereka, get less strong as to balance your caffeine high.
These are all cooked through a very specific ceremony. It starts with green coffee beans and makes its way through the grinding and roasting process until it is cooked in a traditional clay pot, the Jebena. The mixture steams until it begins to pours out of the spout. As a result, it has a powerful taste, bitter yet soft, and is usually served with fresh popcorn.
Vietnam – Ca Phe Da
Dark roast coffee and condensed milk seem basic, but the way the Vietnamese make it is anything but. This iced coffee is supposed to be chalk full of intense coffee flavors. The strong coffee, brewed from a French drip filter, is brought to it’s fullest potential when accompanied with a bit of condensed milk, and maybe some sugar too.
You can find recipes for all of these online but nothing compares to the real thing. Just writing this had me itching to pack my bags and fly halfway across the world so I could try these for myself. I’m getting close to some of them, but the others, such as the Australian and Vietnamese coffees, might take a little longer for me to come around. Hopefully not too long though!