By Joaquim Salgueiro, Co-Founder at BICA
Coffee – a simple brew that brings together people and cultures from all corners of the globe. The journey of the humble coffee bean, as we've seen, is fascinating, but equally compelling is the diversity of coffee cultures around the world. Today, we explore how different countries prepare and enjoy their beloved brew.
1. Italy: Espresso Yourself
In Italy, coffee is synonymous with espresso. Served in small cups and consumed quickly at the bar counter, it is an integral part of Italian life. The Italians also have a variety of espresso-based drinks, such as the frothy cappuccino and the milky latte.
2. Turkey: A Historic Brew
Turkey is famous for its eponymous coffee. Turkish coffee is unfiltered, made in a cezve, and served very strong. The coffee grounds settle at the bottom of the cup and can even be used for fortune-telling!
3. Ethiopia: The Birthplace of Coffee
In Ethiopia, where coffee originated, it's not just a beverage - it's a ceremonial event. An Ethiopian coffee ceremony involves roasting green coffee beans, grinding them in a pestle and mortar, and brewing the coffee in a clay pot called a jebena. The coffee is served in three rounds – Abol, Tona, and Bereka.
4. Vietnam: A Sweet Twist
Vietnamese coffee is a unique blend of strong and sweet. Coffee beans are brewed in a metal drip filter (phin) and then mixed with sweetened condensed milk, creating a delightful balance of flavors.
5. Sweden: Fika Time
In Sweden, coffee drinking is wrapped up in a tradition known as 'fika.' This is more than just a coffee break; it's a moment to slow down, savor a cup of coffee, and enjoy some sweet treats like cinnamon buns.
6. Australia: Flat White Fame
Australia, particularly Melbourne, has become renowned for its coffee culture. Australians favor the Flat White, a drink that involves the careful pouring of steamed, velvety milk over a single or double shot of espresso, ensuring a fine balance of coffee and creaminess.
7. Cuba: Café Cubano
Cuban coffee, or Café Cubano, is a strong, sweet espresso shot with whipped sugar on top, resulting in a sweet and bold flavor. It's often enjoyed in the afternoon with a slice of cake or a pastry.
8. Japan: The Art of Slow Drip
Japan's coffee culture is a blend of respect for Western traditions and a fondness for innovation. One particular method that stands out is slow-drip, or Kyoto-style coffee, where cold water drips slowly through coffee grounds for several hours, resulting in a smooth and flavorful brew.
9. Brazil: A National Staple
Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer. Its national coffee drink, cafezinho, is served everywhere you go. It's a small, strong cup of coffee often served sweetened.
10. United States: The Diverse Brew
From the traditional drip brew to the popular espresso-based drinks, coffee culture in the U.S. is incredibly diverse. It's also home to third-wave coffee shops that focus on the origin of the beans, artisan methods of production, and offering an elevated coffee experience.
11. Portugal: A Paixão for Coffee
In Portugal, coffee is not just a beverage, it's a lifestyle. The Portuguese prefer their coffee strong and aromatic, often served in small doses known as a 'Bica.' The Portuguese coffee culture is deeply rooted in their local pastelarias (pastry shops), where coffee is always accompanied by a small sweet treat, such as the famed Pastel de Nata. Whether it's in the morning or after lunch, a 'Bica' and a pastry is the perfect Portuguese pick-me-up.
Portuguese coffee culture is a testament to the power of simplicity. A good strong cup of coffee, a sweet pastry, and good company - these are the simple pleasures that define Portugal's coffee culture.
From the vibrant streets of Lisbon to the tranquil coastal towns of the Algarve, every cup of Portuguese coffee carries with it a sense of warmth and hospitality. This is the spirit that BICA aims to capture in our Coffee Trip experience. As we explore coffee cultures around the world, we celebrate the shared love for coffee that unites us all.
Here's to the love for coffee - in every country, in every culture. Cheers!