Coffee Drinking and Travel Around the World
Travels unravel distinct coffee flavors in a drink that has become the most popular beverage in the world. Even in traditionally tea-drinking countries such as China and Great Britain, coffee still dominates. Distinct coffee flavors persist in countries such as Indonesia with rich Sumatran and Javan flavors.
Coffee drinking itself is prone to misconceptions. The biggest countries in the world that may be associated with coffee drinking are not involved in coffee production. Even though the US is the biggest consumer of coffee in the world, it is not the largest producer. The US coffee presence around the world is due to cafe chains like Starbucks that appear almost everywhere around the world.
Coffee that is in high demand in the US renders a rewarding experience in South America due to the high variety of flavors. The creamy-like texture and floral aroma of Colombian coffee is established around the world as well as in countries like Chile, being the most popular coffee blend around the world.
Brazil produces the largest quantity of coffee in the world and Brazilian coffee is also in high demand in other South American countries such as Chile. Its strong competitor is Peru that produces the largest amount of organically grown coffee in the world.
How to find the Best Coffee in the World?
Apart from popular brands of coffee that are available in shops such as Starbucks, South American coffees are considered to have well rounded and distinct flavors. Especially Cuban coffee is well regarded with its frothy, sweat, and stronger taste. Cuban coffee also tends to be better outside Cuba.
Despite many associations with South America, coffee has the strongest connection with Ethiopia and Yemen, where it originated. It then traveled to Europe through Arabic countries and Turkey.
Ethiopian coffee may be less known. Its characteristic feature is its distinct, sweet, wine-like, and spicy flavor. Yemeni homegrown coffee is Mocha, often blended with Javan blends from Indonesia.
The most expensive and considered by some the best coffee in the world is Kona or Hawaiian coffee that is grown on volcanic soil. Similarly, Guatemalan coffee incorporates a unique taste from the volcanic soil at high altitudes, where it is grown.
Panama and Costa Rican coffees enjoy a good reputation among coffee lovers as well. Other countries producing great coffee are Mexico and Jamaica. Hawaii is the only US region, where coffee is grown due to its tropical temperatures that are needed.
In Europe, traditionally one of the most recognized coffee drinking countries is Italy with its unique coffee culture. Its high-quality coffee blends make Italy the strongest competitor. Drinking coffee in Italy also involves customs and traditions. Italian coffee drinkers may stand at the bar or use china cups. Even though coffee is so popular in Italy, Scandinavians buy the largest amount of coffee per capita.
How Coffee Tastes are Created?
Coffee taste depends on how it is ground. Various methods of grinding coffee can produce coarse, very fine powder or uneven coffee. The most finely ground coffee is Turkish coffee.
Coffee Tastes Around the World
Coffee tastes differently around the world. The same cappuccino in the US will be made differently in Australia or Italy. Italian cappuccino may have no chocolate on top that is also quite common in the US, contrary to how it is served in Australia.
As coffee drinking is on the rise, also the way coffee is consumed proliferates. There are many flavors available that can be added to a coffee. The well known traditional flavors include honey or nut, while other flavors include turmeric or pumpkin.
The way coffee beans are ground influences their taste. Finely ground Turkish coffee has a different flavor than coffee that is more coarse and release more flavor, although it will be inconsistent.
In Australia, there are Italian influences across brands such as Lavazza, Vittoria, and Zegafredo Zanetti. Flat white coffee is a unique Australian coffee with its own unique coffee culture.
History of Coffee in Europe
Coffee culture in Europe is a mixture of old and new. The first person to describe coffee was Leonard Rauwolf, even though the first coffee house in Europe was opened in Venice. This introduction has led to the endless pursuit for the perfect coffee, where Italian coffee is associated with quality.
Turkey is responsible for introducing coffee in Europe. After its siege of Vienna in 1683, coffee became part of Viennese culture and ritual. Coffee is strongly connected with art to the extent that the Cafe Museum in Vienna still serves the same type of coffee that Mozart drank. It also delivers quite a unique experience of stylish design of 1930s furniture along with a uniquely smooth coffee that blends into a specific atmosphere of this place, where everything is done with elegance. Its coffee, as well as the place, are like no other in a true sense of the word, where various artists found its favorite meeting place.
Coffee drinking in Vienna reveals how cultural life is entrenched in various aspects of life in Austria. As Mozart became an important figure in Vienna's arts culture, many places, apart from Mozart's house, including cafes are influenced by this city's heritage. There are Mozart coffees served in various cafes, including Mozart Cafe that also has Mozart cakes and Mozart napkins.
Various other historical associations can be shared via coffee in Vienna. So-called Imperial and Royal (K.u.K.) coffee can be tasted in a restaurant that also serves Maria Theresa coffee along with the food the royals ate. There is also space and a tour available that is devoted to their lifestyle along with authentic memorabilia.
You can taste the royal coffee as well as food and wine, revisiting the royal past through a guided tour on Piaristenkeller Strasse.
Coffee drinking in Central Europe
In Central European countries, coffee drinking started via the Turkish invasion. Coffee culture has been poor during communism. In some countries such as Poland, there has been a coffee shortage at the time. Following the collapse of communism, coffee drinking resumed, although Poland has always been more of a tea-drinking country and coffee received less attention.
There is quite good, mainly Italian coffee in various coffee hot spots. Coffee can feature additives such as maple and hazelnut syrup in maple leaf coffees in cities such as Krakow or popcorn coffees with real popcorn in them that are also surprisingly good.
Coffee in the Czech Republic
In Czechia (the Czech Republic), former Czechoslovakia, coffee was not widely available during communism, because many cafes were closed. Czech people started drinking this beverage only in the 18th century, a bit later than it was the case in other European countries, but once they embraced it, it became more widely popular than in countries such as Poland. As coffee was scarce during communism, people had to become inventive and create their own brand of coffee that was called “Turek”. It has not resembled Turkish coffee but involved simply pouring hot water over coffee grains. Czech people have a preference for a different type of coffee taste which is aromatic, medium strong, a little sour, or slightly sweet. Czech people drink coffee at least once a day and they don't fancy instant coffees.
Coffee in Egypt
Coffee, as well as tea, is a great social occasion in Egypt. Coffee is also a drink that became more of a habit. You can start a day with a coffee or drink it in the evening. It is similar to Arabic coffee, but in Egypt, cardamom is most frequently added. There can be other spices, such as cinnamon also mixed, but most commonly coffee has cardamom. And like many things in Egypt, even coffee can be an adventure. It can be served in a glass just like in the picture below.
Canary Islands Coffee in Tenerife
Tenerife has a unique cuisine and a unique traditional coffee made only there. Apart from widely available Spanish cuisine, there is also traditional cuisine as well as traditional coffee called barraquito. The barraquito is skillfully made with various layers consisting of condensed milk, coffee, and a liquor, commonly Tia Maria, with added lemon and cinnamon, providing it with a distinctly appealing flavor. It has been a tradition there for at least 100 years. Anyone traveling there and not trying it would miss a lot.
Coffee in Spain
The most popular Spanish coffee type is called cafe con leche or coffee with milk. It has a stronger and rich flavor with a generous amount of milk added, making it distinctly Spanish.
Coffee in Italy
Coffee in Italy is part of a tradition as well as part of a particular region of Italy. Almost every region in Italy has its own coffee flavor while drinking coffee is part of a ritual unrivaled in other countries.
In the morning, Italians drink a different coffee than in the afternoon. It is usually cappuccino or another milky coffee.
In the afternoon, it is usually espresso. Coffee, in Italy, means espresso.
The coffee here is tradition and to some extent a way of life.
In Liguria, coffee has a rich and somewhat bitter flavor. In the north, in places such as Milan or Bergamo, the flavor is stronger.
In Genoa, for example, the capital of Liguria, tourists can find cafes that offer individually prepared coffee made according to one's preferences that can be chosen from Brasil, Salvador, or Rwanda roasted coffees.
Coffee has always been associated with being part of the Italian lifestyle and culture even though coffee origins are in Africa. Italy made its own coffee types, such as espresso, and distinct flavors. In Italy, regions may also have their distinct flavors. When ordering a coffee in Italy, a coffee means an espresso.
Venezia also has its own unique coffee that is also made for its vast international clientele, as it is one of the most frequented regions in Italy. Coffee in Venezia, just as in other regions defines not just a specific taste but also represents culture such as family values.
The most recognizable Venitian coffee can be found in Saint Mark's Square. Cafe Florian is more than 300 hundred years old making it the oldest coffee house. The Florian family has been providing its own carefully prepared flavor that is a balanced mixture of coffee and liquor and can be drunk in the evening to the tune of famous orchestra pieces as well.
Drinking coffee in Greece is an experience, such that it is worth going there just to have Greek coffee.
Greece is the first country in Europe, where coffee arrived. It was brought there by the Turks through their occupation that started in the 15th century. The Turks influenced Greek coffee along with their other influences involving the name of the country itself which remained the way the Turks used it. The Greeks made this coffee also their own. As such, Greek coffee has a slight foam on top of it while also being poured from a somewhat wider than the Turkish bronze kettle. This is also how we know that we drink traditional Greek coffee.
Greek coffee can be ordered especially in cafes frequented by the Greeks and not so much tourists. There is no need to know the Greek language to order it. It can be ordered by simply asking for a Greek coffee in English, as English is relatively commonly known there. When ordering a Greek coffee we also need to specify if we want unsweetened, moderately sweet, or very sweet coffee, as sugar is added during the making of this coffee. When we receive it we should also receive a glass of water. Just as in Italy, if just order a coffee, we may receive an espresso. Greek coffee has a rich but fresh and distinct, unique flavor.