Coffee Tips From Distant Lands

Have you ever wished you could visit coffee shops in other parts of the world? If your budget doesn’t allow for that, you can travel virtually and still learn some ways to spice up your normal coffee experience. Talk about spicy – some peoples mix coffee with butter, cheese, and of course, whiskey and more. Budget Travel has taken 25 “popular regional spins” on coffee and written them up in one report that sums up a world tour of coffee customs.

From Italy’s minimalist espresso customs to the elaborate Ethiopian coffee ceremony, there’s sure to be something to grab your interest and inspire you to try something new. For example, in Mexico – for all-night wakes – they brew coffee in earthenware vessels with cinnamon sticks and unrefined dark brown sugar. In the Middle East, Bedouins infuse coffee with cardamom and serve alongside sweet dates. In southern India, kaapi is brewed with chicory and is poured back and forth between tumblers to aerate it. Influenced by Morocco’s spice markets, coffee here is often spiced up with ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, sesame, cumin and cloves. Probably the most unique practice listed is that which is common in Finland. There, a dish/drink called Kaffeost is prepared by plunking cow/reindeer milk cheese curd chunks with caramelized crust (looks like bread) into black coffee. After the coffee is flavored with the curd, it’s fished out before drinking. The only problem with making this in the US would be locating the cheese curd caramelized chunks!

Sometimes the cultural difference is in the roasting, not the brewing. For instance, in Malaysia, Ipoh white coffee is roasted in palm oil margarine, while black coffee is roasted with both margarine and sugar. In serving, the light coffee is mixed with condensed milk. This is just a taste of coffee customs in other parts of the world. Have some fun this season and spice it up for the holidays; mix in cardamom and more instead of just cinnamon. Enjoy!

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