Whilst we have a diverse coffee culture where any occasion and time of day is appropriate for coffee, with a coffee shop on nearly every city block, other countries have more regimented coffee cultures. We also have a sweet tooth compared to other nations as 35% of Americans prefer their coffee black whilst 65% prefer it with half & half and sugar. However, one thing most countries have in common is the admiration and celebration of coffee. As a result, many cultures possess a rich coffee drinking history and have developed traditions associated with coffee. These traditions range from the preferred coffee blend, how the coffee is served, time of day and situation it is consumed. Here are four countries with some aspect of difference in their coffee culture.
Italians have quite a regimented drinking style. Interestingly, instead of sitting at a table most Italians opt to stand at the bar of their local café to drink their coffee. Standing at the café bar allows for quick consumption and reduces the cost of the coffee. Also, Italians have a different type of coffee for every occasion and time of day. For instance, Cappuccino is never consumed after a meal and is usually consumed in the morning (until 11am). Latte is Italian for the word ‘milk’, so in Italy ordering a latte will get you just milk and coffee in Italian is ‘caffé’ so when ordered comes as an espresso, not filtered coffee as we would expect.
The Germans and the Dutch are like us in regards to how they consume their coffee. Majority have a coffee machine in their home and enjoy drip filter coffee. However, what is interesting is the quantity that they drink. On average, Germans drink 150 litres of coffee per year, which is more than beer, wine or water! What is more interesting still is that the Netherlands is the biggest consumer of coffee per capita, with the consumption nearly doubled the next biggest consumer. To put this in perspective, when looking at coffee consumption per capita we don’t even make the top ten countries!
Turkey has a long coffee history, coffee was known in the year 1000 and has important historical connections with the Ottoman Empire. Coffeehouses, rather than cafes, are the preferred location to drink coffee in Turkey. Coffeehouses can be found on every corner in Turkey and are characterized by only selling drinks and table games are played. The Turkish way to drink coffee is black, strong and sweet. When ordering coffee in Turkey the amount of sugar wanted needs to be specified: no sugar, with a little sugar, semi-sweet or sweet. Turkish coffee is served in small cups, but is not meant to be consumed quickly like an Italian espresso because it is meant to be a social affair. So unlike us, no quick morning cup of coffee (or several) for the Turkish!
Our mates from down under have a relatively young coffee culture compared to the rest of the world, yet their passion for coffee could rival any nation. The birth of coffee culture in Australia was in the early 20th century and post WW2 when the Italian and Greek immigrants brought stove-top espresso coffee makers to Australia. The Aussie majority prefer milk based coffees, which makes up 90% of coffees sold in Australian cafes. As a result, Australians developed a unique way of drinking coffee, which is called a ‘Flat White’. A Flat White is apparently an espresso coffee made like a Cappuccino (though without the foam and chocolate sprinkle).