If you talk to most people, chances are they will tell you that they can’t get going in the morning without a cup or two of their favourite coffee. Even if a country doesn’t grow their own coffee, they can sometimes have an enormous culture that surrounds this delicious drink that helps people tackle the day. From small cafes where coffee can be had throughout the day and well into the evening, to the iced coffee of the Far East, here are some countries with the coolest and biggest culture surrounding coffee.
Italy, while not a producer of coffee, has been the inventor of many of our favourite ways to make and drink coffee as well as a serious schedule throughout the day as to when each type of coffee is consumed. Cappuccinos are typically a breakfast cup, strong and frothy, the perfect start to the day, while macchiatos are an early afternoon thing for that post lunch lull when you need a pick me up. Espresso acts as the perfect post-dinner coffee drink, unless of course you’re sensitive to caffeine, in which case you may regret it when you try to go to bed later! For a coffee based dessert, give an Affogato a try – literally a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream served with a shot of hot espresso that is poured over the ice cream. Absolutely delectable.
Hundreds of years old, Turkish coffee culture has developed from its infancy in Istanbul cafes into the huge cultural mainstay it is today. Turkish coffee is easily distinguished from other types of coffee for its aroma and the ground that is used to make it. The culture surrounding coffee in Turkey is so ingrained that there are even special tools used to make the perfect delicious cup. The coffee is cooked over a stove in a pot known as a cezve, a long handled, usually copper or brass and then poured into small glasses. The coffee culture is such an important aspect of Turkish society that coffee making is often a tradition that is passed down through families and is enjoyed in pretty much every social setting. Coffee making and coffee traditions in Turkey have even been protected as a part of intangible cultural heritage.
Greek coffee culture is very similar to that of the Turkish coffee culture in that it acts as a cornerstone for social activity and is often done amongst friends and family, over long periods of chatting and enjoying cup after cup. Used as a pretext for flirting, catching up with friends, brainstorming for work and more, getting together for a cup of coffee in Greece can have many social uses. Greek coffee itself is a form of Turkish coffee, dating back to the times of the Ottoman Empire, cooked in a small pot called a biriki and served in small glasses that are meant to be sipped over long periods. Slightly gritty, strong and served normally black, Greek coffee is a huge part of the culture in this beautiful and welcoming nation and even has a history in telling fortunes with the ground left in the cup.
So there you have three top countries with amazing cultures surrounding coffee. If you’re a lover of java of all kinds and styles, consider heading to one of these Mediterranean regions to see just how it’s done.