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Coffee is arguably one of the most popular beverages next to well, good old plain water. But what you may not know is that there are many variations of it depending on where you live. Want to peer more into the vast world of coffee? Here are some ways the beverage we all love is enjoyed in other cultures around the globe.
1. Ireland – Irish Coffee
Starting off strong with Irish coffee! To make this drink, add some sugar to a cup of freshly brewed hot coffee. For more convenience, feel free to use a coffee machine at home. Next comes the secret ingredient, a dash of whiskey. And to top it all off, a hearty amount of whipping cream.
Popular for its whiskey production, Ireland did not fail to use their resources to their advantage. This drink holds a combination of flavors that aren’t usually paired, but surprisingly, they work well together. So, if coffee doesn’t give you the kick you need, you can now do it like the Irish do and add a splash of booze in there.
2. Vietnam – Cà phê sữa đá
If you’re a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, you’ll be excited about this one. Vietnamese coffee, locally familiarized as cà phê sữa đá, is famous for its element of syrupy sweet goodness. This coffee is made by filling up the glass with some generous scoops of condensed milk. It is then followed by brewed coffee; Robusta beans if you’re aiming for the authentic recipe.
It’s important to note that the brewed coffee is dripped through the Vietnamese dripper apparatus left on top of the coffee cup. With the prominent contrast between its layers of condensed milk and dark coffee, Vietnamese coffee stands out not only in terms of flavor but also in aesthetics. Be prepared to taste the rich and creamy beverage as you stir the layers. Additionally, on a hot day, you could drink it iced.
3. Italy – Affogato
True to its Italian roots, the ingredient that makes affogato coffee special is none other than gelato. Pop your tub of gelato out of the fridge, take a huge chunky scoop of it, and plop it into your favorite coffee cup. The last step is to pour a shot of espresso over your gelato- and it’s done!
Making the affogato only takes a second, but here’s where it gets interesting. You get to play around with gelato flavor combinations and a fun jumble of toppings. You can only imagine the flavor palates you might end up creating. Interesting coffee to try, right?
4. South Korea – Dalgona Coffee
The first thing that comes to mind when you see this South Korean beverage is probably the viral trend that swept the internet during the pandemic. To make this fancy version of coffee, whisk together some coffee powder, sugar according to your preference, and a little water. Once you get a bowl of coffee-flavored whipped cream, it’s time to scoop it into a glass of chilled milk.
Making this coffee can be quite an arm workout if you do it manually, but it is worth it. The creamy texture of the whipped coffee swirled into a cold glass of milk is. Plus, this is a great time to whip out your Polaroid camera to take a picture of your hard-earned pretty-looking beverage.
5. Portugal — Mazagran
Thinking of coffee on a hot summer day? Well, you’re probably picturing yourself making a stop at your favorite café for a nice cup of iced coffee. But this is going to change once you know that the Portuguese have found a great way to put a fresh twist on the classic cup of coffee; lemon!
First, squeeze some lemon into your coffee, and you’re set to battle the scorching weather. The unexpected blend of these two contradicting ingredients showcases the rich palate of the coffee but also brings out a refreshing tanginess to the beverage. With this style of coffee, you get the best of both worlds.
If you thought whiskey in coffee was weird, you would be taken aback by this one. Kaffeost is made with cheese! Make yourself the usual mug of homey hot coffee and add a few chunks of cheese in. But not just any cheese, Kaffeost is made with the leipäjuusto cheese that originates from Northern Finland.
Also known as bread cheese because of its loaf-like form, leipäjuusto is made from milk from the newly calved cow. The cheese then gently softens into a sponge as the coffee seeps in. The Atlas Obscura publisher suggests that you enjoy the cheesy goodness, but do not let it sit for too long, or else it won’t be much to savor.
7. Hong Kong — Yuanyang
Love caffeine but don’t want to have to choose between tea and coffee? You might want to give Hong Kong’s yuanyang a try. This versatile drink is a fusion of coffee and tea, which can even be enjoyed both hot and cold.
To get the full experience, you can relish your yuanyang as the people in Hong Kong do. It is infamously paired with a polo bun fresh out of the oven and served with a slice of cold butter. Alternatively, you could opt for a silky egg tart with a flaky crust if that’s what you fancy. This can soon become a staple for teatime, coffee time, or maybe both?
8. Türk Kahvesi — Turkey
We end the list with the richest and most authentic take on coffee of them all, türk kahvesi. Originating from Turkey, this Mediterranean coffee is traditionally made in a copper pot called a cezve. The cezve is the tool to brew your extremely fine coffee grounds. Being extremely fine is an important aspect of this beverage, and here’s why.
You won’t actually be straining and filtering out the brewed coffee grounds. However, the türk kahvesi is complete once you add sugar to the boil. Here’s a helpful guide you could follow to make your own Turkish coffee at home. The indulgent cup of coffee is great on its own, but you could also serve the mixture with milk once it rises and becomes thicker.
Just when you stare at the usual coffee shop menu and think that coffee is versatile, you learn that there are even more sides to it than you’ve ever seen. It’s refreshing to see that coffee can be diversified through many methods. Whether you’re an avid globe trotter, a coffee connoisseur, or maybe even both, you can now branch out and explore the ways of other cultures.