Coffee Around The World: Part 2
Last week, we jumped all over the globe to put together the trillions of pieces that make up our coffee culture today. Styles of drink, traditions behind specific ingredients – the how, the why and the way countries drink coffee; we traveled through time to gain a greater perspective on what exactly we’re consuming when we touch our lips to our mugs every morning.
Most of us can’t live without our coffee. It’s a beverage that has stood the test of time, since being discovered in ancient Yemen – where a Sufi monastery mistook it for wine. Its popularity spread as quickly as its pulsating power possessed every avid drinker. Within each country, coffee has set its roots as a type of drink, a type of attitude, a type of culture; all of which contribute to the greater evolution of coffee today. Its diversity grows with each piece of tradition we integrate into our collective coffee culture. Let’s begin another journey around the world to see what else goes into the melting pot of modern day java.
Rooted in a long, rich history of coffee, Portugal offers coffee literally everywhere. It is an integral part of their culture. Coffee, here, is a beverage that bonds; family, friends, colleagues. It is abnormal to not have a cup in your hands. Needless to say, Portugal’s menu is diverse. Preference is strongly taken into account and no combination is too complicated. In fact, this country thrives on the infinite complexity of different styles – it is expected you have distinct, individual preferences. Coffee is truly a national treasure here, deeply nestled into the hearts of the locals. A few of their more popular combinations:
- Cheia – a full espresso.
- Um Italiano – the first few seconds of the machine’s coffee.
- Não Quente – a bit of added cold water.
- Um Pingado – a drop of milk.
- Um Galão – weak in strength, 3/4 milk added.
- Mazagran – espresso, water, ice, lemon juice.
Australia’s drink of choice is called a “Flat White” – a shot of espresso, steamed milk and foam. Local history jokes a flat white was the by-product of a failed cappuccino. A Flat White is similar to a cappuccino, but uses microfoam, a thick, liquid foam, as opposed to macrofoam; the more traditional, dry, bubbly foam used with cappuccinos. Despite falling “flat” of a cappuccino, Australia’s Flat White was responsible for propelling a new branch of art: latte art. Microfoam is the secret ingredient used to create those beautiful, swirling images atop certain espressos.
Spanish coffee is rather dynamic – it can be sweet, strong, iced or completely black, but one ingredient goes into all of them: the fiery vigor and creativity of Spanish culture. Spain’s Cafe Bonbon uses sweetened condensed milk with espresso. Their Cafe Con Miel: espresso, honey, steamed milk and cinnamon. Of course, their more popular “Spanish coffee” is where the real action takes place. Made with rum, whiskey or brandy, and topped with plenty of whipped cream, Spanish coffee foams over with cultural fun and heart – and fire. It is a spectacle when this beverage is done correctly – the brandy gets lit, the alcohol burns up and then the coffee is added. Talk about dynamic.
Well, we don’t know about you, but our taste buds have officially been teased. Gaining a culturally diverse perspective of coffee allows us to appreciate the beverage on another level. It encourages us to explore more flavor options, try new styles, experiment, call our travel agent. There are a lot of different ways to make a cup of joe, and each style carries a rhythm behind it; an entire country, really. Rich with tradition, packed with local flavor, coffee around the world continues to thrive and incorporate bits of itself into the US. What a delicious blend.
Stay tuned for next week, where we’ll take a look at how our own country does coffee, along with the rich flavors of Italy and Ireland. In the meantime, if you’re itching to get your hands on your own deliciously diverse coffee, give our Java Geniuses a call at 866-4-JAVA-2U, or click below – let’s start adding some unique flavor to your environment!