How people from around the world drink coffee

International Coffee Day is an occasion that is used promote and celebrate coffee as a beverage, with events now occurring in places across the world.

In March 2014, a decision was taken by the International Coffee Organisation to launch the first official International Coffee Day in Milan as part of Expo 2015.

Various events have been held, called Coffee Day or National Coffee Day, with many of these on or around 29 September.

Italy: Espresso

Description: The perfect cup should have a caramel-colored crema layer on top that is thick enough to support a spoonful of sugar for a few seconds before breaking.
Sip Tip: Espresso should be downed in one gulp while standing at the bar; if you sit at a table, that privilege will cost you up to four times more than standing.

italy

Austria: Melange

Description: The most popular drink in Viennese cafes, Austria’s take on cappuccino combines espresso and steamed milk, topped with milk foam or sometimes whipped cream.
Sip Tip: Cafes usually serve a glass of water with coffee, meant to be drunk between sips to hydrate and cleanse the palate.

australia

Ethiopia: Buna

Description: In the birthplace of coffee, the drink may be served with salt or butter instead of milk and sugar (and a side of popped sorghum kernels) in the countryside, but sugar has become increasingly popular since the 1930s Italian occupation.
Sip Tip: If invited into someone’s home for the elaborate hours-long coffee ceremony, don’t stop drinking until you’ve had cup number three (called bereka), which is considered a blessing.

ethiopia

Mexico: Café de Olla

Description: Traditionally drunk at all-night Mexican wakes, the spiced drink is brewed in an earthenware pot with cinnamon sticks.
Sip Tip: Don’t add extra sugar—the drink comes presweetened with piloncillo (unrefined dark brown sugar).

mexico

Saudi Arabia: Kahwa

Description: A hallmark of Bedouin hospitality, the cardamom-infused drink is almost always offered with sweet dried dates, which counter the bitterness of the coffee.
Sip Tip: A younger person is always expected to pour coffee for his elders.

saudi arabia

Turkey: Türk Kahvesi

Description: A remnant of Ottoman coffeehouse culture, this thick brew is made in a copper cezve (a long-handled pot) and often served after meals with chewy Turkish delight candy.
Sip Tip: Don’t drink the thick layer of sludge on the bottom of the cup. You won’t want to end up chewing on leftover grounds; besides, they can be used for a special form of fortune-telling called tasseography.
turkeyHong Kong: YuanyangDescription: An East-meets-West mix of coffee and tea (and milk), this unlikely pair is named for the Mandarin duck—a species in which the male and female look totally different but mate for life.
Sip Tip: A proper cup should be made with Hong Kong–style milk tea, a strong blend of black tea filtered through a fabric bag that looks remarkably similar to pantyhose (in fact, it’s sometimes nicknamed “silk stocking tea”).

hong kongGreece: FrappéDescription: The ubiquitous foam-topped iced drink is made with Nescafé instant coffee, cold water, sugar, and evaporated (or regular) milk—and always served with a straw.
Sip Tip: Any self-respecting Greek knows a frappé should always be shaken, not stirred.

greeceIndia: KaapiDescription: Brewed with chicory, this South Indian variety comes with a layer of foam formed during the cooling-down process: The server pours the coffee back and forth between two stainless-steel tumblers in long, sweeping arcs to aerate it.
Sip Tip: You might see this coffee referred to on menus as “meter coffee” or “coffee by the yard,” a reference to the desired height from which the coffee should be poured between tumblers.

indiaVietnam: Ca Phe Sua DaDescription: Made tableside by pouring hot water through a stainless-steel filter (phin) balanced over your glass, the coffee drips slowly onto a layer of sweetened condensed milk.
Sip Tip: If the beans are too finely ground, the coffee will drip through the filter too quickly, making for a weak brew.

vietnamCuba: Café CubanoDescription: This Italian-style espresso shot gets its unique taste from adding raw demerara sugar, resulting in a sweet brown foam on top called espumita.
Sip Tip: The best way to achieve the perfect espumita is by mixing the first few drops of coffee with the sugar—creating a sugary sludge—before adding the rest of the coffee.

cuba

Indonesia: Kopi Luwak

Description: This infamous brew starts its trip to the cup by passing through the digestive tract of the civet, where enzymes are said to make the beans smoother, richer, and less bitter. The catlike mammal eats the ripest coffee berries and then excretes the undigested inner beans, which farmers harvest from their droppings. (This may not be any comfort, but the beans are then thoroughly washed!)
Sip Tip:
The world’s most expensive coffee (it’s often sold for hundreds of dollars per pound) has spawned a slew of counterfeiters. Be wary if you see the coffee being sold at a deep discount—chances are no civets were used in the making of this bean.

indonesia

Malaysia: Pak Kopi/Kopi Putih/Bai Ka-fe

Description: Introduced to the Perak region by 19th-century Chinese tin miners, this lighter brew—also called Ipoh white coffee after the town where it was developed—is made by roasting coffee beans in palm-oil margarine. Traditional Malaysian black coffee (kopi o) is roasted with both margarine and sugar, resulting in a darker roast.
Sip Tip: Unlike in most other countries, in Malaysia the term “white coffee” does not mean that milk is included—it simply refers to the lighter color of the roast. Nevertheless, like the rest of Southeast Asia, Malaysians will most often serve white coffee with condensed milk.

malaysia

Argentina: Cortado

Description: Taking its name from the Spanish word for “cut,” this drink is a simple espresso “cut” with a small splash of milk. The connection to Italian espresso is no coincidence—Buenos Aires is the Latin American city with perhaps the closest ties to Europe and its old-world cafe culture.
Sip Tip:
If you like your coffee (much) milkier, order a lágrima (“tear” or “teardrop” in Spanish), which reverses the ratio: a lot of hot milk with a splash of coffee.

argentina

Australia/New Zealand: Flat White

Description: Though the Aussies and the Kiwis still feud over who invented the drink, they agree on one basic fact: It’s not a latte! A flat white is coffee mixed with steamed milk, served in a ceramic cup with a handle; a latte also includes froth on top and should be served in a tall glass.
Sip Tip: A flat white shouldn’t be made with just any milk—the recipe calls for micro-foam, the non-frothy steamed milk at the bottom of the vessel. (Macro-foam, or dry foam, comes from the top of the steaming pitcher, includes more bubbles, and is used in cappuccinos.)

australia new zealand

Spain: Café Bombón

Description: This sweet combination of equal parts espresso and condensed milk originated in Valencia and has since become popular throughout the country.
Sip Tip: The drink is most often served in a small glass (similar to a shot glass) to show off the distinct layers of the black coffee and the off-white condensed milk. In order to keep the layers separate, the espresso must be poured into the glass very slowly, often over the back of a spoon.

spain

Morocco: Café des ÉpicesDescription: A delicious by-product of Morocco’s spice markets, this brew can incorporate a number of flavors depending on the whims of the cafe owner, including ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, sesame, cumin, and cloves.
Sip Tip: The sweetness of your cup of coffee is often dictated by the occasion, with sweet coffee served symbolically at happy occasions like weddings and bitter, black coffee served at funerals.
morrocco
France: Café au LaitDescription: This quintessential morning drink made with hot (but not steamed) milk is often served in a wide-mouthed bowl to accommodate the dunking of baguettes or croissants. A similar drink you may see on menus is café crème; many say the drinks are nearly identical, but crème is more often ordered in the afternoon.
Sip Tip: If you’d like only a little milk in your coffee, do as the locals do and ask for café noisette (hazelnut coffee)—it has nothing to do with hazelnut flavoring, but instead takes its name from the toasty, nutty color imparted by the dash of milk.
french

Finland: Kaffeost

Description: Especially popular among the local Sami population in the eastern region of Kainuu, this dish/drink is made by submerging chunks of leipäjuusto (a cow- or reindeer-milk cheese curd with a caramelized crust that makes it look like bread) into a cup of black coffee, fishing them out, and then drinking what’s left.
Sip Tip: If you’re looking to make the treat yourself, the distinctive cheese is sold under a number of different names: leipäjuusto (bread cheese), juustoleipa (cheese bread), and narskujuusto (which refers to the squeaky sound the curds make on your teeth).

finland
Ireland: Irish CoffeeDescription: Served in a stemmed whiskey goblet with a heaping dollop of whipped cream, this warming drink—more classic cocktail than morning pick-me-up—is made with hot coffee, sugar, and Irish whiskey and was reportedly invented by Chef Joseph Sheridan in 1942 to warm up arriving passengers at what is now Shannon Airport.
Sip Tip: Don’t stir the cream into your coffee! The hot coffee is meant to be drunk through the cold whipped cream.
irelandUnited States: FrappuccinoDescription: Starbucks has become synonymous with American cafe culture, and this milkshake-coffee hybrid has become the ultimate symbol of the brand: a ubiquitous, endlessly customizable, massive seller tailored to the country’s sweet tooth. Taking into account the bottled version sold in supermarkets and convenience stores, annual Frappuccino sales have exceeded the $1 billion mark.
Sip Tip: Looking for an extra boost? Frappuccinos can be ordered “affogato-style,” which means they come topped with a shot of espresso. But you won’t see this drink listed on any menus. In addition to the 87,000 combinations advertised by the brand in the past, the truest Starbucks connoisseurs speak in a language of off-menu secret specialties (a “Short,” for example, is a third smaller than a Tall and comes at a cheaper price).

us

Netherlands: Bakkie Troost

Description: Literally translating to “cup of comfort,” the Dutch bakkie troost usually comes black and served alongside a single spice cookie (you may also commonly see the drink simply referred to as kaffe). If you want a latte, you’ll have to order koffie verkeerd, or “coffee wrong.”
Sip Tip: Know your terminology! A bruine kroeg (brown cafe) is a tobacco-stained, pub-like bar, known for its untranslatable sense of gezelligheid (similar to coziness); a koffieshop (or simply “coffee shop”) is the infamous Amsterdam shop that sells marijuana products; a koffiehuis will sell coffee and light meals; and a cafe is similar to a restaurant with a bar. You can find a good cup of coffee in any of them, but you should know what you’re getting yourself into before going inside.

netherlands

Brazil: Cafezinho

Description: The diminutive name of this drink (meaning “a little coffee” in Portuguese) belies a big fact about Brazil’s coffee economy—the country produces almost a third of all the world’s coffee beans. The national coffee is filtered through a cloth strainer and often served in tiny plastic or china cups, and comes very sweet and very strong.
Sip Tip: A cafezinho often comes free at the end of a meal in a restaurant.

brazil

Poland: Kawa Parzona

Description: Also called kawa naturalna, this traditional Polish-style coffee is made by simply mixing ground coffee beans and boiling water directly in a glass with no filter.
Sip Tip: If you want to steep your coffee the traditional way, look on the label for drobno mielona, which is an extra-fine, Turkish-style ground. If the label just reads mielona, these beans have been ground and are suitable for a regular drip coffee pot or an espresso machine.

poland

Japan: Kan Kohi

Description: Introduced by the Ueshima Coffee Co. in 1969, canned coffee (which became kan kohi through Japan’s system of adapting foreign phrases) is found in most grocery stores and vending machines, from which it is dispensed hot in the winter and cold in the summer.
Sip Tip: Though canned coffee is perfectly portable, that doesn’t mean you should bring it everywhere. Eating or drinking on Japanese subways, for instance, is generally considered rude.

japan

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