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10 Countries With Amazing Coffee Culture

Updated on November 22, 2015

Coffee is one of the most loved, and most drunk, beverages in the whole world. With this it’s not surprising that a lot of countries are obsessed with coffee and have their own unique culture and traditions surrounding it that have been passed down for generations.

1. Turkey

Turkish Coffee
Turkish Coffee | Source

Turkey is very proud of its unique method of making coffee and the rich culture surrounding coffee that it has had for centuries. “Turkish coffee” is not exactly a kind of coffee, as you may think, but a way to prepare and serve it. The coffee is brewed in a special copper coffee pot called a cezve, very carefully and attentively, not letting it boil in order to avoid the bitterness, and then served in very specific cups. Different amounts of sugar and/or milk can be added to the coffee by your desire. The method of preparation of Turkish coffee is a part of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage program. The other amazing thing about Turkish coffee is that it is often prepared on hot sand, which gives a great show to the tourists who are often allowed to watch and looks like a real life alchemist’s lab.

2. Austria

Vienna Coffee
Vienna Coffee | Source

Vienna, the capital of Austria, is known for its love to coffee. Thousands of coffee houses all around the county gladly serve thousands of cups of coffee every day, and while in other countries coffee is nothing but a morning drink, in Austria it is an art. The most specific thing about the country’s capital is its coffee houses themselves, for they keep the unique coffee culture alive for centuries, and centuries of experience add to it. In these 19th century-looking cafes you can sit for hours enjoying your cup of coffee, a book or a newspaper, talking to friends and sharing the unique Austrian cakes with them, which the country is very well-known for as well. People say in the Vienna coffee houses time stops while you are enjoying the atmosphere, and listening to the classical music or poetry, which is sometimes being read, and probably for this option these wonderful places and their culture became a part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The other wonderful thing to try in Vienna is a Vienna Coffee, made with a traditional recipe. Vienna coffee is very strong, and decorated with whipped cream on top of it. It is almost as refined as Austria itself and greatly adds to the spirit of the local coffee houses.

3. Czech Republic

Czech coffee
Czech coffee | Source

Although Prague doesn’t really have any way specific way of preparing coffee, and its coffee houses are not a part of UNESCO heritage, it still has a very rich coffee culture, and there are more than plenty coffee houses located in historical parts of the city. The interesting thing, though, is that many of them have an exciting history, as some were visited by famous people such as Franz Kafka, Albert Einstein, and other notable historical personalities, who stopped by for a pastry or a cup of coffee. The country even has a coffee festival, and along with all of these, Prague coffee is often praised for its quality, so if you really enjoy good coffee and like historical places then the Czech Republic is a good place to visit.

4. Italy

Italian macchiato
Italian macchiato | Source

Every city in Italy is absolutely obsessed with coffee. Coffee is a part of life, an everyday thing and a way to enjoy living even more. If you will say to an Italian that you don’t drink coffee, a weird look may follow, for the residents of this country can barely imagine such a person existing. The most well-known kind of Italian coffee is espresso. This strong coffee, served in a little cup, is the start of the day for many Italian citizens, and in fact “espresso” is pretty much of a synonym of the word “coffee” here, for if you order a cup of coffee, you automatically get a cup of espresso. The most of the other kinds of coffee are based on espresso, like macchiato would be an expresso with a little bit of milk in it, and coretto is an espresso with a drop of liquor. Caffè Americano, or “American coffee”, is espresso with water added to it, making it less concentrated. A lot of other variations exist, but they are usually based on espresso, with different things, or water added to it. Whatever you like espresso or not, you must try a classical Italian one for it is not only a coffee, but a culture.

5. Greece

Backgammon and frappe
Backgammon and frappe | Source

Greece is not very well-known in point of coffee. In fact, most of the people come here to see the magnificent historical buildings and beautiful statues, and a very few tourists know about the fascinating coffee culture of Greece. The coffee life here usually goes outdoors, so people could enjoy the sunny days and the pleasant sea breeze. Greeks like long coffee breaks, and no one usually hurries up anywhere, enjoying their cup of coffee, and—most often—a talk. Some people even play chess or other board games during their coffee sittings, and sip a little cup of coffee slowly; not hurrying anywhere is a part of this relaxing socializing ritual. Traditional Greek coffee is somewhat similar to the Turkish coffee, it is brewed in a briki, an authentic coffee pot, and sugar is added to your taste, though it is rarely drunk without sugar. Aside from the very traditional coffee drink the country has frappe, a cold coffee drink, perfect for outside coffee meetings during hot summer days. Frappe is made from instant coffee with addition to milk, shaken to add delicious foam to it, and ice cubes are added to make it even colder. It is the most favorite drink of Greek youths and is popular for several decades already, so if you like cold coffee you can give it a try.

6. Ethiopia

Ethiopian coffee ceremony
Ethiopian coffee ceremony | Source

Ethiopia is one of the world’s greatest coffee exporters, and the well-known Coffee Arabica comes from there. Having plenty of coffee of course affected the local culture. Some of the country’s regions have been producing coffee for centuries, and are still highly valued among people who love the drink, praised for its unique taste and flavor. Aside the rich coffee production, the country has a very unique coffee-drinking rituals, a symbol of hospitality and friendship to the visitors. The coffee ceremony is served three times a day, or any time the house owners have a visitor, or during a celebration. A large amount of sugar or salt is added to the drink, and Ethiopian coffee would probably be the strongest kind you have ever tried. During these ceremonies coffee is usually praised, which is an important part of a ritual, and the people who participate it share news and discuss the recent events happened in their village. You should have at least three cups before you leave, and the coffee is served on the tray in very little cups. Ethiopian coffee is surrounded by legends, and considered a very sacred part of country’s unique culture and history, making people call it “their bread” and add it to every singly celebration they have.

7. Colombia

Colombian coffee
Colombian coffee | Source

Colombian coffee is considered one of the best ones in the world, and some years ago it became a part of UNESCO World Heritage. The coffee has been grown there since 19th century, and both the unique landscape and the talents of the people who were into its production ended up with it as a very outstanding, high-class drink known all around the world these days. Colombia is full of coffee farms and plantations, big and small, and now, just as it was centuries ago, coffee still remains the main thing produced in the country for export and local use. Many coffee farms are opened for tourists, and on many of them one can enjoy a cup of hot coffee right from the field, or looking at the surrounding coffee plantations, which is definitely a unique experience to have. Aside from that the cities are full of little coffee houses, many of them taking it as a rule to serve only authentic Colombian coffee and the tourists rarely miss a chance to buy a pack or two of premium quality coffee they can find there.

8. Brazil

Brazilian coffee
Brazilian coffee | Source

Coffee is a great part of everyday life in Brazil. The country is the South America’s largest exporter of coffee and it is natural that the drink became a necessary part of life there. Unlike many other countries, though, in Brazil coffee is being drunk all the time during the day, from morning till evening, and the opportunity to take a sip of the aromatic drink is never missed. Wherever you go and whoever you visit the first question you get when you come there would most likely be if you want a cup of coffee. The country has its unique type of coffee: cafezinho. Cafezinho literally means “small coffee” and is usually served very hot and very sweet, basically as hot and sweet as possible. The coffee is added to previously boiled water and served in the tiny cups. The word cafezinho is also used as a local greeting, which makes you understand what a great part coffee takes in the life of the country.

9. Australia

Flat White
Flat White | Source

We don’t hear about Australian coffee that often, although the country enjoys the drink greatly, and even has some unique cultural traditions connected to it. Australia is obsessed with its little coffee shops, which do their very best to make the coffee perfect, so international coffee house brands and chains usually fail to take their place in the Australian coffee market. Australians take coffee very seriously, some even think too seriously, and are very picky and demanding about its quality, wanting perfection and nothing else. With such a unique obsession with the drink, it is not a surprise that the country created its unique kind of coffee—the flat white coffee. Flat white is prepared by pouring a microfoam (which is a steamed milk from the bottom of the pitcher) over the coffee, and most often decorating it with well-known cappuccino art. In fact, flat white reminds of cappuccino in a way, but the amount of milk added to it is smaller, and the consistency of milk is usually different. Australians are naturally very proud of their coffee, and with such treatment of it, it is a very well-deserved pride.

10. Spain

Carajillo
Carajillo | Source

One more country which sees coffee as a part of their lifestyle is Spain. Spanish people start a day with coffee, enjoy it during the lunch, and during late afternoon, basically every time they have a meal, and of course they naturally share it with friends and family, for the locals are known for their natural friendliness. In Spain coffee can be found literally everywhere, from little cafes to gas stations, and is enjoyed everywhere too. Aside from the regular kinds of coffee Spain has the interesting Café Carajillo, which is a coffee combined with alcohol, like rum or whiskey. Lemon and cinnamon are often added, making the taste even more unique, and though Carajillo is not an every-day drink in Spain, it really deserves a try. The most popular way to drink coffee here is when a half of a cup is coffee, and the other half is milk. It gives the drink the soft wonderful taste, and drinking it in a little coffee house might really become a great experience.

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    • Linnea Lewis profile image
      Author

      Linnea Lewis 21 months ago from South Carolina, USA

      That's great, peachpurple! I'll buy Italian coffee if I'm ever in Asia :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 21 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      Australia coffee and italy are famous in asia

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 21 months ago from Malaysia

      You are probably right!

    • Linnea Lewis profile image
      Author

      Linnea Lewis 21 months ago from South Carolina, USA

      I think in regions like this they are just too cold so they need a lot of coffee to warm up! Besides in some very northern regions like the Scandinavian countries it can get dark for months without a single sunrise, so they probably need a lot of coffee.

    • greatstuff profile image

      Mazlan 21 months ago from Malaysia

      In my article on coffee, I mentioned The Netherlands as the worlds biggest coffee drinker at 2.4 cups/day. This was reported in The New York Times (2011). But in my latest update on this figure, The Netherlands have now slipped to number 3. The world's biggest coffee drinker (as of March 2015) is now Finland at 2.64 cups a day!!! (rated at kg/capita basis)

      Who would have thought these countries to be heavy coffee drinkers?

    • Linnea Lewis profile image
      Author

      Linnea Lewis 21 months ago from South Carolina, USA

      I'm very glad you liked it, Anne! I've never heard of Vietnamese coffee before and I will love to look into it, thank you for the suggestion.

      I do, too. In fact I'll be in Turkey within a couple of months and I'll gladly try to find Turkish coffee there.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 21 months ago from Australia

      As an Australian and a coffee obsessive, I love this hub! May I make one suggestion - Vietnam? The French influence, but made in tiny percolators over a small burner, with a healthy dollop of condensed milk. Unique and interesting.

      I have made Turkish coffee, but look forward to having the real thing one day. Great hub, thank you