The Roaste team recently asked what our most memorable experience with coffee was. Whether sitting down for a cup with family or relaxing on a tropical excursion and awakening to birds serenading your sunrise, we all have enjoyed a particular moment where our coffee simply made the world all that more precious. In the spirit of Roaste's salute to the wonders that coffee can hold, here are some traditions associated with our favorite brew in various regions around the world. From Ethiopia's time honored coffee ceremony to the simple offering of a cup over any business deal in Seattle, coffee is respected and treated ceremoniously or simply enjoyed as a way to relax on a gorgeous morning.
Ethiopia has had a time honored tradition of offering fresh coffee to visitors. Though most hotels in the region give visitors a sense of this experience, like the resort Luau's of Hawaii they simply lack the personal touch these ceremonies are meant to convey. Coffee beans are brought out in front of you and handled with care from their entry into a small roaster to the pour into your cup.
French colonialism left a lasting impression on the coffee culture of Vietnam through a relaxing experience and a french press type device found just about anywhere coffee is served. Restaurants often bring guests their mug, some condensed milk, and a device known as a phin. You finish the task by adding the hot water and letting the phin work its magic. This unique coffee experience resulted in praise and a conversion to the phin filter from my cousin who preferred the slow and personal pace of coffee consumption here over the rushed and industrialized experience in the chains of America. She returned with one for me and it remains a prized, though "dollar store cheap," possession.
Though no coffee is grown here, Sicilians take pride in their espresso. Cafes are rated with the same regard as fine restaurants and society itself seems to flow around the hours of a towns favorite barista. One friend swears that his family makes the finest espresso outside of Palermo and that it is always offered fresh to guests of their house with a pinch lemon grind.
Guests are treated to Chemex in the morning with a fresh batch of either Sumatran or Ethiopian coffee. In the evening, a French Pressed coffee of their choice is offered. If I know our family from Washington is in town, espresso of various types are laid out for display and enjoyment.
What about your country, town, or family?
-Andrew is a coffee enthusiast who enjoys experimenting with blends and espresso. He owns and operates a food truck dedicated to the art of the brew in Boston, MA.