Coffee is more than just a popular beverage, as drinking coffee is mostly a social event where people can talk and bond over the drink. A café is where people can work, think, and speak to others, but the café experience isn’t the same in every part of the world. But what are the countries with the best coffee culture?
Each country defines the coffee culture differently, making it unique to the locals and foreign visitors. In this article, we’ll explore countries with the best coffee culture, so you can know what to expect the next time you’re enjoying your cup of coffee.
It’s no surprise that Italy would come at the top of the list since it’s home to latte, espresso, cappuccino, and all the other related coffee-based drinks and desserts. However, Italy’s coffee culture is rather different from the one that you can find in other parts of the world.
The Italians are really known for sitting down to have their coffees, although they pretty much like to take their time enjoying their food and drinks. People would order their coffee to go, but they would still stop to have a quick chat or talk with a friend about how their day is going. In that way, coffee is actually bringing people together. If there’s no one around, people would simply engage in a friendly conversation with the barista.
Being in Italy means that you can have your coffee in an outdoor café where you can see the people passing by and enjoy the views. It’s quite common for strangers to bond over the drink and the love they share for coffee, and in most cases, it’s quite common to order a delicious Italian dessert with your coffee.
Since there are several coffee types available, Italians usually drink cappuccino and latte in the morning, but never after a meal. In the afternoon and evening, people would usually order an espresso. Later in the day, Italians will most likely order a Caffe Corretto, an espresso shot served with brandy that would serve as a good way to experience Italian nightlife.
Author Note: In Italy, Caffe Sospeso is quite common. Its people would order two espressos but only drink one, leaving the espresso for someone else who might need an espresso but doesn’t have enough cash for it.
Drinking coffee is related to the history and traditions of Turkey. Turkish coffee is prepared differently from espresso, and Turkish cafés are great places where you can sit and meet people. As a matter of fact, coffee culture was initiated in the coffeehouses in Turkey in the 16th century.
Unlike other countries, Turkish coffee is usually presented in colorful small mugs, and the flavor is quite different from espresso. People take the preparation and serving of coffee too seriously, and it’s an excellent way to show someone that you appreciate their presence.
Coffee is prepared in a unique coffee pot called a cezve. The coffee beans are roasted, sometimes with other condiments and spices to enhance the flavor, and mixed with boiling water and sugar.
The beans are allowed to sit at the bottom of the cup and left to simmer for a strong flavor. The coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the cup, and you can keep on stirring.
After drinking your coffee at someone’s house, you might want to let it cool while putting the cup outside down. In some cases, someone might offer to read your fortune by interpreting the shapes forming due to the way the coffee grounds have deposited at the bottom of the cup.
Turkish coffee has a stronger flavor since the coffee is unfiltered and highly caffeinated. The intense flavor might not work for everyone, but it’s definitely an experience that you will enjoy with others.
Drinking coffee is quite popular in France, and the coffee culture is made up of several elements that relate to other parts of the French culture. The French appreciate food and drinks, and coffee just has this special spot as one of the most popular beverages.
French coffee shops are rather friendly and warm and represent an excellent spot for people to meet up. It’s quite common for people to head to the café all by themselves if they want to indulge in their coffee while watching the people passing by or reading a book.
When you order “un café” at a French coffee shop, you will most likely receive an espresso shot, rather than drip coffee that you would get in other parts of the world. It’s also more popular than filtered coffee. By adding some hot water to dilute the coffee, it becomes a little closer to drip coffee.
Adding milk is quite common in France, which makes Noisette quite popular. It refers to the color of coffee after adding a shot of hot milk. A bit of foamed milk creates a popular drink that tastes a lot like Italian cappuccinos.
Top Tip: If you’re having coffee at someone’s house, they’re likely to serve you café au lait, or coffee with milk. It’s usually served at breakfast time in a big mug with a typical French breakfast like brioche, croissant, or buttered baguette with jam.
According to the French coffee culture, it’s not really recommended to order your coffee in a paper cup. The French love to enjoy their coffee time, so they will be ordering coffee in a bar, a café, or enjoying it at a friend’s house over a meaningful conversation.
Adding milk to coffee is only restricted to morning drinks, and people don’t usually eat while drinking coffee unless it’s for breakfast. In some cases, people serve coffee after a dessert.
Vietnam is the world’s biggest producer of Robusta coffee beans. These bitter yet affordable coffee beans made coffee culture a special element that is perfectly woven into the Vietnamese culture’s economic and social aspects.
The Vietnamese are fond of their coffee, which usually has a bolder and stronger taste than the coffee that you can get in other parts of the world. The coffee beans are usually mixed with chicory root to add a unique flavor, and then dripped through a Vietnamese coffee filter or phin, and then mixed with condensed milk, creating what is known as the ca phe sua da.
The popularity of coffee can be traced back to the 19th century when France colonized Vietnam. The French brought their love for coffee to the country and managed to find ways to grow the beans, causing the coffee industry to boom. They used condensed milk to create a special version of their beloved café au lait, which later became what we know as traditional Vietnamese coffee.
Since Vietnam is the world’s second-biggest coffee exporter and one of the biggest consumers, Vietnamese coffee shops are quite popular, where people can enjoy warm and cold coffee-based drinks. The Vietnamese even invented the special egg coffee, where a whole egg is stirred into the coffee to make it creamy.
In Vietnam, it’s quite common to see traditional and western-style cafés around every corner. People will pick up a cup for a quick energy boost or actually sit down and engage in a meaningful conversation while enjoying the incredible drink.
According to legend, coffee was discovered as a drink in Ethiopia when a goatherd found that his goats were incredibly active after feeding on a special kind of berries. Today, coffee represents an integral part of the Ethiopian culture, as there are currently more than 12 million people who are involved in the coffee industry in Ethiopia.
Author Note: If you’re visiting Ethiopia, you’ll be fascinated by how seemingly effortless yet quite deep-rooted drinking coffee is. Seeing someone on the street with a charcoal burner, a pan to roast the beans, and rows of cups to offer coffee is quite normal.
Ethiopians roast the beans on the spot, offering pedestrians a chance to enjoy coffee that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world. In restaurants and cafés, the barista roasting the beans will let you smell the fresh aroma, as it’s supposed to awaken your senses, as well as bring you good luck.
Ethiopian coffee is enjoyed in formal and informal gatherings among family members, workers, and friends. It has a thick consistency and usually tastes strong without being too bitter. In Ethiopia, people typically say what translates to “coffee is our bread.” This only signifies the importance of preparing and drinking coffee in the Ethiopian culture.
The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony is a cultural event where a woman in the household would engage in a three-hour ceremony that involves preparing and serving coffee three times a day to show respect. There are different variations to the ceremony, as in some parts, coffee will be served with salt instead of sugar, or butter and honey might be added to the drink.
What is Coffee Culture?
Coffee culture refers to the traditions and practices associated with drinking coffee. It’s mainly the lifestyle where drinking coffee is a social activity.
Historically, drinking coffee as a social activity has been an essential event in several cultures, where people would drink coffee before and during making arrangements, getting to know each other, or simply while socializing. Today’s cafés represent a place where you can get to know people, discuss matters with a friend, or simply spend some quality time while you’re reading a book or working on your studies.
However, visiting the café and enjoying your beloved beverage doesn’t feel the same everywhere in the world. Each country has a special essence that makes coffee drinking rather unique. Here are some countries with the best coffee culture in the world.
Being the most popular hot beverage in the world, it’s no surprise that the experience of enjoying coffee will differ from one place to another. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, it might be a good idea to think about visiting one of the countries on our list and experience its unique coffee culture. We hope you enjoyed learning about the countries with the best coffee culture.
Stay caffeinated friends!