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10 Countries With Unique Coffee Orders

by Cris Puscas

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Many people around the world start their day with a cup of coffee, whether it’s a shot of espresso, creamy cappuccino, or some other variety.

But there's so much more to coffee than the filtered coffee and unpackaged beans one can easily pick up at their neighborhood grocery store.

Some countries have gone above and beyond when it comes to their java.

The coffee culture is an integral part of nations around the world and it refers to a set of behaviors and traditions that surrounds the consumption of coffee.

In this article, we are sharing some interesting facts about 10 destinations located around the globe where coffee is not merely an indulgence but, rather an exciting adventure!

Note: BookCulinaryVacations offers a flexible cancellation policy. Should you not be able to travel as scheduled, we’d be happy to help you alter your booking with the same organizer or a different organizer.


1. Italy

Affogato in Italy

Italy is, perhaps, the spiritual home of coffee.

Its coffee culture is filled with rules and rituals. It is frowned upon to order a cappuccino after 11 a.m., as it’s a breakfast drink always paired with a pastry.

The afternoon pick-up is the caffè macchiato, while espresso is enjoyed after dinner (yes, that’s right!).

A lot of mixed coffee drinks are based on espresso. Café macchiato is an espresso with a splash of frothy milk, while Café Americano is not the filtered coffee you find in the States. Instead, it’s an espresso shot diluted with hot water.

Affogato is another Italian concoction you should try. It’s still not settled whether it’s a beverage or dessert, but it’s delicious. A shot of hot espresso is added on top of a scoop of vanilla gelato. Let it melt to drink or, or just dig in with a spoon!

» Read more about Why You Should Go on a Culinary Vacation in Italy


2. India

Kaapi in India

Photo credit: Ambarish

Despite being one of the top 10 coffee producers in the world, India’s coffee culture is relatively new.

Introduced to India in 1640, the coffee plantations in the south have been established under the British rule. What’s interesting to know is that India is the only country in the world that grows its coffee entirely in shade.

The country is home to 16 unique indigenous coffee varietals. Since many coffee plantations are also spices plantations, the coffee has a distinct spicy flavor.

However, Indians still prefer tea over coffee and, as a result, the coffee culture is still in its infancy (except in Southern India).



While Indian espresso is something you should try while visiting, Kaapi (Indian filtered coffee) is what we recommend not to miss.

It is brewed with an unusual device that resembles two cylindrical cups. The grounds are dripped or "pulled" from the top cylinder to the bottom.

Traditionally, this coffee is consumed by adding 1-2 tablespoons of the brew to a cup of boiling milk, together with your preferred amount of sugar. Then you drink the coffee from a tumbler.

The result is a delicious filtered coffee drink unlike any you've had in the Western world.


3. Turkey

turkish coffee

Chances are, anyone who loves coffee already knows about Turkish coffee. It’s the highlight of the international coffee scene, present in specialty coffee shops and fairs all over the world.

In 2013, Turkish coffee culture and tradition were added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

But despite it being such an important part of the culture, coffee consumption in Turkey is still low compared to the rest of the European countries.

Roasted and simmered in a brass cezve pot, Turkish coffee is simply made by boiling the coffee grounds together with sugar. It is served in small cups, alongside a glass of cold water. Unsparingly, it is also accompanied by lokum (Turkish delight).

Turks, however, still mostly prefer to drink tea and specialty coffee has a hard time being added to the market. When they choose coffee, locals go for the traditional brew, although you should know that Istanbul is a good place to look up specialty coffee shops.


4. Malaysia

especially Ipoh white coffee in malaysia

Traditionally a tea-drinking nation, coffee has lately caught up in the local Malaysian market.

Coffee outlets have sprung in cities in recent years, fueled by the young and professionals.

And while the young have discovered the joys of java, they don’t take coffee lightly. Instead, it is viewed as a delightful luxury, thus helping increase the popularity of specialty coffee.

In contrast, the older generations would consume coffee just to get them through the day.

While not always consumed in the morning, coffee is a popular drink in Malaysia, especially Ipoh white coffee. It has originated in the city of Ipoh, close to Kuala Lumpur.

The beans are roasted with palm-oil margarine and served with condensed milk. The result is a creamy, velvety, and very tasty drink. Oh, and it’s not actually white.  

If you order just “white coffee”, pay attention that you are likely to be served any coffee with milk or creamer in it.


5. South Africa

Coffee culture is experiencing a resurgence in South Africa, finally escaping its rather embarrassing instant coffee roots.

While the demand for instant coffee is still high, lately customers want quality and are willing to pay more for freshly brewed coffee.

As the country shifts from its tea preference to coffee, the local roasteries have also increased in the number. South Africa is growing in coffee farming but is not able to compete with the farms in North Africa (yet).

And while you can enjoy various blends at local high-end cafes in the South African cities, you still may want to try the "red" espresso.

It is a brightly-colored drink that has all of the hallmarks of a regular cup, with a twist. Back in 2005, Carl Pretorius invented a way to express a shot of Rooibos tea on an espresso machine. The pre-ground Rooibos tea can also be brewed in a French press, moka pot (stove-top coffee maker), or drip filter machine. If you purchase the capsules, you can use a Nespresso machine. It’s marketed as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee.  


6. Germany

In direct contrast to the strict rules of coffee drinking in Italy, Germans have a more relaxed attitude towards this brew. They drink it whenever they want and more than 85% of adults drink coffee regularly!

Did you know that Germany invented drip coffee making? That’s the method typically used by home-brewing coffee pots (also known as filtered coffee). In many ways, the coffee culture is very similar to the one in the States.

But in a sea of filtered coffee, Rüdesheimer am Rhein stands out of the crowd.

It is a town in Germany that's known primarily for its wines and vineyards, but it's also branched into the coffee business with the creation of Rüdesheimer kaffee.

Brandy and sugar cubes are flambéed together in a special cup; then they’re mixed with strong coffee until everything is smooth and dissolved. Whipped cream and chocolate flakes can be added for extra sweetness.


7. Morocco

nous nous in Morocco

Photo credit: travelwayoflife via Flickr

The Moroccan coffee culture is different than in other Middle Eastern countries. However, coffee is rarely a breakfast drink.

You’ll never see someone drink a coffee alone at the bar. Instead, friends gather in cafes to sip Arabic coffee, exchange stories, and engage in a friendly game of tric trac (backgammon).

While mint tea is regularly consumed in Morocco, coffee represents a nice switch. But just like tea, coffee is offered to guests when they are invited to the household.

Arabic coffee is similar to espresso but about 10-20 species are added to make the flavor vary.

When you visit a café you typically have two choices: café noir and nous nous. The first is a simple cup of black coffee.

Nous nous, on the other hand, translates to "half-half" and combines coffee with hot milk. That's it. Oh, and it’s typically a drink ordered by women.



8. Indonesia

kopi tubruk in indonesia

Photo credit: Mo Riza via Flickr

The fourth-largest coffee producer in the world, Indonesia is well-known for its coffee culture.

The beans have been brought to the country in the 17th century, during the Dutch colonial period. The beans grown used to be mostly Arabica but now Robusta is also prevalent.

Coffee shops pop up at every corner, fueled by an increased consumption by both locals and visitors.

The main specialty of coffee in Indonesia is kopi luwak, an expensive coffee made with the help of civets, which eat the beans (and then expel them).

What you want to start your morning with, however, is kopi tubruk. Consisting of black coffee boiled with pure sugar, it'll serve as a source of pure energy on any day. It is a popular coffee in both Java and Bali.


9. Vietnam

ca phe trung in vietnam

Photo credit: Anthony Tong Lee via Flickr

Famous for the Robusta beans – which gives the coffee a bitter taste -, Vietnam’s love for coffee comes from the habits of the French rulers.

As much as 97% of the coffee production here is Robusta. And the reason is simple: it is easier to grow than Arabica and the soil favors Robusta.

Vietnamese coffee is strong. Really strong. The beans are roasted for 15 minutes before making the coffee. Then they are loaded into a filter, allowing the water to drip through the grounds. This specialty is called ca phe phin and doesn’t use any electrical machines.

If your taste buds are on the lookout for something special, go for ca phe trung.  This is a rich blend, made by layering whipped egg yolks on top of the brew.

It is, however, not as popular as Vietnamese Iced Coffee (cafe sua da), which comprises brewed coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and a lot of ice.

»Do you want to visit Vietnam? Read more about the Vietnamese Cuisine


10. Hong Kong

yuenyeung in hong kong

Photo credit: Geoffreyrabbit

Until recently, coffee wasn’t widely drunk in Hong Kong. And those who did go for coffee, preferred the instant coffee types.

Nowadays, however, it is all about blends from Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. European-style coffee as well as American chains have made an appearance, bringing with them the specialties other nations enjoy.

A popular drink in Hong Kong is yuenyeung, served everywhere from street stalls to fancy restaurants. It's made with coffee and milk tea blended together as a sweet pick-me-up full of flavor. This beverage can be served hot or cold.

Are your taste buds on the lookout for some specialty coffee? Join a tea & coffee retreat and indulge in delicious beverages from all over the world

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