Whether hot or cold, bitter or sweet, strong or weak, coffee is a popular drink across the globe. The different types out there say a lot about the cultures and people who enjoy them and tasting new coffee drinks is a popular activity for visitors and tourists- much like how wine and liquor tasting is popular.
Taking a look at the cultural practices surrounding the different coffee drinks, learning about how they are made, the people who drink them, and how they are presented and enjoyed can teach you a lot about these countries.
Coffee has been around for thousands of years and there are references to drinking coffee like brews recorded in ancient writings and records from places like China, India, South America, and Europe. Fossils of coffee beans and trees have been found verifying that the means to make coffee has existed for as long as there have been humans walking the planet.
Some cultures used coffee in ceremonies and cultural rituals, others saw it as a status symbol, some believed it bestowed special powers to those who consumed it, and many came to associate coffee with social interactions. So here are some of the popular coffee and espresso-based drinks that are enjoyed around the world:
It is estimated that a staggering 12 kilo of coffee is consumed per person per year. Coffee is seen as a drink for all occasions- social or drinking alone, coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the country.
Kaffeost: This Finns have a unique way to enjoy coffee known as Kaffeost, which is cheese served with coffee either as a snack and a drink or with the coffee mixture into the cheese as it cures. It is a uniquely favored combination that is very popular among residents and many visitors develop a taste for it as well.
An estimated half a cup of coffee is consumed per day per person in the country. Popular for snack time and after dinner coffee is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Türk Kahvesi: Turkish coffee is unique in that it is unfiltered- the coffee is ground up finely and added to boiling water to simmer. The ground settles to the bottom of the cup and sugar can be added as desired. It is a thicker drink more of the consistency of a melted milkshake or smoothie than normal coffee.
Around one-third cup of coffee is consumed each day per person every year on average. Coffee is a popular drink among all age group and is popular at social events.
Flat White: This is a double shot of espresso that is topped with the foamy white fluff of steamed milk that is enjoyed in cafes across the country. It is simple but delicious and is popular among those who are big coffee drinkers as well as those who are only occasional drinkers of coffee or espresso.
Surprisingly this tropical area of the world consumes only a quarter cup of coffee per person every day on average. It is found in restaurants and homes but is not as popular as other drinks.
Kopi Susu Panas: a mild coffee drink that is made of coffee and milk or sweet creamer it is usually consumed in a 2 to 1 ratio of coffee and cream. This yields a drink that delivers a light caffeine punch without the bitterness of many other coffee and espresso drinks.
Yuanyang: Served hot or cold, this is a unique blend of strong dark coffee roast mixed with tea and milk for a unique flavor profile that is very distinct. Different teas can be used depending on what is available or what is preferred.
The Greeks enjoy their coffee and the average consumption per year for the country is half a cup of coffee per day per person, demonstrating the national taste for coffee.
Frappé: Cold coffee blend mixed with crushed ice, blended in a shaker, and served in a chilled glass; frappe is a great drink that is popular with locals and visitors. It can be flavored with mocha, cinnamon, vanilla beans, cloves, and other additives to create new flavors and drinks.
The Italians are known for their love of wine but they also love their coffee and drink on average of 3-5 cups per day per person!
Espresso Romano: An Espresso Romano is a shot of espresso with a slice of lemon served on the side. The lemon can be run along the rim of the cup before each sip to give it a citrus flavor. It has a very strong and distinct flavor that is usually described as being an acquired taste.
Antoccino: This drink consists of a single shot of espresso that is served in a small cup with an equal amount of milk, cream, or sweet creamer. It is often the first coffee drink people try and is often given to children who want to try an adult drink like their parents.
Caffe Marocchino: A delicious combination of an espresso shot, cocoa powder, and sugar topped with milk froth. In some regions, the hot cocoa syrup is added on top or whipped cream may be added for a special flare and for added sweetness.
Ristretto: This drink is a shot of espresso that was steeped by forcing a small amount of water through freshly ground beans- the result is a very strong, thick, bitter drink that is commonly used as a source of energy, primarily around lunchtime to get through the final workday push.
Macchiato: Caffè macchiato, is a hot or cold espresso coffee drink added to cream and milk foam and it is poured so the drink is layered in the glass. Easy to make and delicious it has become one of the popular drinks that have made it big over eases in the United States.
Affogato: An affogato is a coffee-based dessert made with gelato and a shot of espresso poured over it topped with whipped cream and chocolate if desired. It can be eaten quickly with a spoon or allowed to melt and mix and enjoyed just like any shake.
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They have a strong coffee drink but on a whole, this nation does not consume much coffee at all each year compared to other countries around the world at less than ¼ cup per person per day.
Cà phê đá: This potent drink is made using medium or coarse ground dark roasted coffee beans, often locally grown in the jungles, that is steeped with a small metal Vietnamese drip filter to get an intense shot of strong coffee drink.
Being in the 1op ten countries for the production of coffee, Mexico has a high rate of consumption as well placing it within the top 20 countries in the world with over a cup a day per person being the yearly average.
Café de Olla: This drink has a long and rich tradition in Mexico and is brewed in earthen clay pots and the rink gets its very distinctive flavors from the cinnamon and piloncillo that are added to the brew and allowed to steep- sometimes added right into the bottom of the serving cup.
Two cups a day, usually enjoyed in the morning and afternoon, is the norm for most of the Senegal population.
Café Touba: This unique coffee beverage that a traditional favorite for the people of Senegal. Café Touba is dark coffee flavored with earthy grains and sometimes other spices such as cloves, nutmeg, or cinnamon bark.
An impressive 4.8 kg per capita worth of coffee is consumed in the country and is used in social, cultural, and even some religious practices in the country.
Cafezinho: Traditional coffee, this is most like the coffee consumed in the United States and is made from ground coffee beans that are added to boiling water, steeped and then strained through a cloth and consumed hot.
Mocha Cola: A combination of drinks that delivers a double caffeine punch this is traditional chilled mocha coffee served with equal part cold cola drink mixed in- often served over ice or blended with crushed ice to form a smoothie type drink.
With 3kg of coffee consumed each year per capita in the country, it is apparent the Spanish residents love coffee and it has made its way into daily life in many areas.
Cafe Bombon: A beautifully layered drink, it is served in a small glass where the chilled cream is poured into the bottom and then a shot of fresh espresso is added on top. It may or may not be topped with milk foam to form three distinct layers starting dark in the bottom of the glass and growing lighter up to the top.
Carajillo: A Carajillo is a coffee drink made from fresh grounds and combined with brandy, whiskey, anisette, or rum for a powerful drink that is often consumed in shots or added to mugs of the regular coffee brew as an added flavor shot.
Cafe con Miel: Sweet and delicious, this is a very light and savory coffee drink made from a combination of coffee, cream or milk, and honey. It is popular among many age groups and is often the coffee people drink for the first time because it is so sweet and low on caffeine.
In Ireland, the average consumption of coffee is 80 grams per day per person, and even higher in the bitter winter as coffee is a popular drink for warmth and energy.
Irish Coffee: traditional coffee and espresso combined with sweet cream and Irish whiskey, this drink is served hot and topped with whipped cream or heavy cream and milk froth. It is popular in pubs and bars and is one of the most famous of the coffee drinks in the world. Can’t visit Ireland anytime soon? Get a Keurig coffee maker like the K575 and enjoy the Irish specialty from the comfort of your sofa.
With an impressive 3.2 kg of coffee consumed each year on average per capita, France enjoys a high level of coffee consumption as part of daily meals, work breaks, and social engagements.
Café au lait: Literally translating as coffee with milk, this is a simple coffee drink that is equal parts hot coffee and steamed milk. Basic and mild it is commonly served at meals and with dessert and is also popular in home and social settings as well.
Consuming around 3kg of coffee per person every year on average, this is one place that knows how to do coffee and they have their own unique way of brewing their cultural favorite!
Spiced Coffee: Dark roast coffee with a strong bitter taste is brewed and allowed to sit to intensify the flavors. Spices are then added to the brew and it is served in cups or mugs and often served with desserts or in social settings.
Accurate figures for coffee consumption is not known for Cuba due to the tight restrictions on information passing in and out of the county but it is common and is part of monthly rations to the residents and a large number of coffee beans are grown and exported each year.
Café Cubano: Super strong espresso, served in small cups with optional sugar or creamer added to it, this is a potent and bitter drink that is very popular among residents and is commonly consumed in restaurants and at home for those fortunate enough to get espresso beans.
Coming in with 2.6 kg per capita for its annual average coffee consumption, this country knows a thing or two about coffee and they use it as part of their social, cultural, and private lives.
Galão: Served in tall glasses, this sweet and creamy drink is made with one-quarter hot coffee or espresso and three-quarters sweet steamed creamer or milk. It is topped with milk foam and chocolate drizzle or other toppings as desired.
126 milligram of caffeine from coffee per person per day on average, making Columbia one of the leading nations for coffee consumption which makes sense given that millions of pounds of coffee are grown and exported from the country every year.
Cortado: Coffee and milk with a twist. The coffee is hot and is usually a very strong roast and the cream often is very dense and more like condensed milk in consistency and sweetness. It is served in a glass layered and is blended together right before drinking.
People here enjoy an average of 40 milligrams of caffeine coffee each day per person with coffee playing a large role in social and family life.
Café Lagrima: A very light and basic drink it is made with a weaker brew of coffee and is topped with a layer of cream and a garnish of milky foam on top. Sugar and other additives are sometimes added to provide sweetness or extra flavor but often it is enjoyed plain.
The Germans do love their coffee with an average of 5.2 kg per capita being consumed each year. Coffee is a big part of social gatherings and meal time.
Pharisäer: A dark roast coffee made with cream and sugar as desired and served steaming hot in a small mug or cup. The cream is often sweetened to counteract the bitterness of the brew and sugar is also used to sweeten the drink.
Eiskaffee: Iced coffee like this is brewed using a unique cold brew method so the coffee is made cold, yielding different flavor profiles, strengths, and textures depending on the grounds used. It is a common drink in Germany and is a favorite in many cafes and restaurants.
Surprisingly not higher on the consumption most residents only enjoy about half a cup of coffee per day on average and coffee is usually consumed as part of rituals or cultural traditions.
Buna: Famous more for the process than the drink itself, Buna is made in a special coffee making ceremony where the beans are roasted, ground and then the coffee is brewed and enjoyed by all participating in the ceremony.
With an impressive 5.5kg of coffee being drunk per person each year, it is easy to see that this brew is popular among the majority of the population.
Wiener Melange: A Wiener Melange is a specialty coffee drink similar to a cappuccino. It has several varieties, largely due to the strength of the roast used in brewing the coffee. Additives can be used to change the flavor profile and to create new drink choices.
Vienna Coffee: Rich and creamy, this is a sweet coffee drink that is made from equal parts coffee and sweet creamer. Spices such as cinnamon and other additives like vanilla and chocolate can be used also and it is a popular drink among locals and visitors alike as either a hot or a cold drink.
With a national average of 5kg of coffee being consumed per person every year, India really packs away the coffee, and this is especially true when one realizes that the citizen lower on the social caste system do not drink coffee nearly as much as their wealthier counterparts.
Indian Filter Coffee: this iconic drink is a dark, strong, bitter coffee that is consumed hot in small glasses or cups. Usually consumed without cream or sugar, it is seen as a social status symbol to many in India as only the elite have easy access to the beans or the means to brew the drink.
They enjoy their coffee drinks as much as anyone else as apparent with a 3.9 kg per capita average for the amount of coffee consumed each year. A chocolate coffee is a staple of the Swiss way of life.
Cafe Melange: A delicious mix of coffee and sweet whipped cream, this hot drink is popular among all age groups in Switzerland and is commonly served with cocoa powder or chocolate slivers added into the brew. Locals of all ages love the drink and it is also a popular choice for coffee among visitors as well.
A staggering 369mg of caffeine from coffee is consumed each day per person on average. This ranks the country as one of the leaders for coffee consumption in the entire world and shows how vital it is to their daily lives.
Cafe Melange: A popular layered coffee drink, it is made from a shot of espresso, layers with sweet cream, and topped with whipped cream. The espresso can be flavored with cocoa powder, vanilla, cinnamon, or other additives as desired.
Preferring other drinks over coffee, the average consumption of coffee in Japan is1.5 kg per capita and is usually regulated to the young millennial generation or the older population.
Aisu Kōhī: A refreshing iced coffee this drink combines extra strong coffee brew poured over ice with a splash of milk or sweet creamer for a refreshing and invigorating drink that is popular among many of the younger generation especially those of higher school age or college age.
Ranking with an average of 1.6 kg of coffee drank per capita each year, there is still a traditional love for the drink and it is still common throughout all age groups and economic divisions within the country.
Oliang: Simple to make and enjoy, dark brewed coffee is poured into a glass of ice and is topped with a layer of cream. No sugar is typically added but the cream can be sweetened or flavored if so desired. It usually is consumed black.
One of the lowest coffee consuming countries on this list, residents get about 50mg of caffeine each day on average from drinking coffee based drinks as part of cultural practices and morning routines.
Kopi Tubruk: Kopi Tubruk is unique style coffee where super coarse coffee grounds are added to boiling water along with solid sugar, and allowed to steep together. The resulting product is a thick drink similar to Turkish coffee that has an almost half-melted smoothie consistency to it.
A Cup of Coffee a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!
There is no doubt that coffee is popular all around the world and there are some very good reasons for this- even beyond cultural and social norms. Did you now that drinking coffee and espresso drinks can actually be good for you?
1. Coffee has lots of antioxidants
A cup of normal black coffee contains more antioxidants than the same serving size of green tea or cocoa. This challenges the idea that green tea and cocoa are the largest sources of antioxidants. As many as 1,000 separate antioxidants have been found in unprocessed coffee beans, and many others are present only in processed coffee drinks.
2. Coffee guards against cognitive decline
Everyone knows coffee gives a good energy boost but it is also a source of temporary boosting power for recall, memory, and problem-solving. Current research and studies are looking into further powers of coffee when it comes to being able to help prevent symptoms of cognitive decline associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
3. It’s good for your heart in moderation
Europeans love their coffee as much as we do and one Dutch study followed more than 37,000 people for 13 years to monitor their coffee consumption. The study found participants who consumed 2 to 4 cups of coffee for at least 4 days a week showed a 20 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. Current studies are looking into these findings further.
4. Can help alleviate symptoms of depression
Many studies have been done that link coffee drinking lower rates of depression, anxiety, and paranoia. Researchers do not yet fully understand the particulars of how this works but it is known that caffeine helps release more of the mood-controlling hormones like dopamine and serotonin, so it is believed coffee helps maximized these hormone levels.
So, grab some coffee and enjoy a cup today, in whatever blend or style you wish, and enjoy the taste and benefits for yourself!