What do you do first when you wake up in the morning and you cannot open your eyes? Of course, you rush to the coffee machine in the kitchen and make yourself a cup of strong espresso or you drink a cup of cappuccino. This is the only way to get rid of the sleepy creature in you and become a human being. Later you take another cup, just in case, and in the afternoon you might take a third one. On the other hand, it’s very common to serve Kaldi’s berries to your guests at home after lunch and dinner or simply to go out for a cup of Wine of Araby with friends.
Nowadays various coffee shops offer a great variety of the drink and that’s because various cultures prepare it in a different way and with various ingredients. If you are a traditionalist, you would probably just want a coffee without any java mix-ins like pepper, lemon and even cheese. But if you are an experimenter you would possibly be eager to try other types of coffee different from the traditional one.
Small, strong & sugary
Surely, when it comes to coffee the first thought that comes up is related to Italian Espresso Romano or this is true Italian espresso (or simply called caffé). It is only one sip but it hits you in the heel of your foot immediately. I was told some time back that this coffee is, actually, with a lemon slice because this way lemon brings out the java’s sweeter aroma.
Brasilian cafezinho is much similar to Italian espresso since it’s a strong cup of java. The only difference is that it’s much sweeter than it. As a matter of fact, cafezinhos are always pre-sweetened and in general, coffee beans are brewed straight with sugar. Today this Brazilian sweetened espresso is the most famous and spread out drink among locals, not Brazil’s caipirinha cocktail which is thought to be the national drink in the country. The same “recipe” for preparing coffee in Cuba is the same as the one in Brazil, i.e. a Café Cubano is a small and extremely strong Italian espresso brewed with much sugar.
Being on the “sweetened coffee” topic, you should definitely try Spanish Bombon. It is an intensely thick and sugary black coffee with stirred condensed milk in it.
Icy & milky
If you are somewhere in Vietnam your coffee drink will be Viatnamese Cà phê đá. It’s sweet and strong as it’s made of coarsely ground dark roast coffee. It is also brewed straight in condensed milk but unlike some of the above-mentioned types of coffee, it is icy.
The Greeks have a “summer” coffee but in fact they drink it all the year round. Greek Frappé was invented by Nescafé in 1957. Since then, it’s been a Greek summer beverage whose ingredients are iced instant coffee richly drowned in milk foam.
Foamy & creamy
If you’re a fan of cappuccino-style coffee, for sure, you ought have a stop at Landzeit in Austria and get a cup of Wiener Mélange. It’s almost a “relative” of cappuccio and it consists of espresso with steamed milk and milk foam above, garnished with cream and cocoa powder. When you buy Wiener or Kaizer Mélange at Landzeit, it’s served in a coffee cup which you can keep as a gift.
Another foamy “coffee relative” is Aussie Flat White which is again a shot of espresso generously poured with microfoam from steamed and velvety milk.
Of course, the most famous representative of the foamy-and-milky coffee family is French Café au lait. The freshly brewed coffee equals steamed milk and it’s oftentimes served in a big cup. Do you know what a big cup serves for? To dip your croissant that always accompanies your French morning drink.
Spicy & offbeat
If you are not afraid of new tastes, it’s recommended that you try spiced coffees with extraordinary falvours. If it’s your first coffee of this type, you ought to begin with a less “extraordinary” spiced coffee, i.e. Mexican Café de Olla. The traditional coffee of Mexico is served in a clay mug and thus the coffee’s flavours are brought out, according to locals. And what is the flavour, actually? The Mexicans put unrefined cane sugar called piloncillo in coffee and simmer it with a cinnamon stick.
If you have already overcome the initial fright of an extraordinarily flavoured coffee, continue with Café Touba from Senegal. It’s a blend of spices (Guinea pepper and cloves) roasted with the coffee beans, then ground and filtered for a cup of aromatic coffee.
In the end, you will be brave enough to try Morocco Spiced Coffee which is an extremely fragrant blend of several ingredients. Dark coffee melds together with spices like cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
Hmmm …. If your insatiable desire tells you to go on experimenting, don’t stop as you will definitely find out several offbeat coffee tastes. Malaysia could surprise you with its deliciously powerful drink named Yuanyang. It can be consumed either hot or cold. The three parts of black coffee are poured with seven parts of Hong Kong-style milk tea (a blend of black tea and milk).
Türk Kahvesi (Turkey) or Greek Coffee (in Hellas) is prepared in a special copper or brass pot which bears the name of cezve in which coffee-makers put roasted and finely ground coffee beans and make them simmer. This coffee is prepared unfiltered and thus the grounds remain at the bottom of cezve. This way you drink coffee itself as well as the grounds.
I will add with two more traditions in preparing coffee. I will not surprise you with Irish coffee at all. It is a hybrid (some even call it a coffee cocktail) which is prepared in Ireland and locals add Irish whiskey and sugar to hot coffee and then garnish it with a thick cream. But see, Finish Kaffeost is another story. People in Finland make strange combo between coffee and food. They prepare their coffee and pour over cheese curds (or chunks of juustoleipä).