How to get the coffee basics right in the global coffee destinations

How to get the coffee basics right in the global coffee destinations

Millennials love their daily dose of coffee and it is evident from the number of chic cafes and coffee chains around the world for the coffee fix with an elaborate menu with everything from iced coffee with hazelnuts to a comforting cup of chocolate coffee with marshmallows apart from the usual specialties like espresso, cappuccino, cafe latte, et al.

Australia and New Zealand are mainly into flat white coffee which is made with a double shot of espresso and some steamed milk to mark the line between cappuccino and full blown latte. Greece loves its share of frappes which are iced coffee drinks made with instant coffee, sugar and water whisked into a foam.

The coffee culture originated in Italy.

Espresso is the classic brew of Italy. Espresso is a strong drink served in tiny cups and commonly sipped while standing at cafes often known as bars. Italian cafes charge around 25-50 per cent more to sit at a table.

Pro tip: Do not sit unless you have a really good reason to do so. Head to the bar. Call out your order. Conveniently pay at the end. Have waiter service.

No-Nos: Never use the word espresso when ordering one. Espresso is a technical term when ordering coffee in Italy and definitely not an everyday one. Just ask for un caffe.

Never order a cappuccino or latte post 11am. Italians would give you a look. Italians believe too much milk unsettles the appetites after food.

Never ask for latte or you would be just handed over a glass of milk. Ask for latte macchiato i.e. milk marked with espresso.

Milky coffee is usually drunk at breakfast in France and black coffee and espresso is then drunk for the rest of the day only never with food. The French look at the cuppa as a palate cleanser rather an energizer. French begin the day with cafe au lait or kuh-fay oh-lay which which is a simple coffee with steamed milk often served in a mug or pot wide enough to allow the dunking of baguettes, croissants and other light and sweet bites and treats.

Pro tip: It is quite different ordering from a French cafe or bar and ordering one back home as you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. You might get funny looks from the traditional French waiters while you are free to order any coffee at any time of the day. Stay away from iced coffee unless it’s on the menu.

Turkish coffee is a thick brew usually served after meals from a long handled copper pot called a cezve served alongside Turkish candy or Turkish delights. Locals prefer their cup of Turk kahvesi sugar free. In Turkey a prospective bride to be is judged by how well she makes lokum or Turkish candy and how good she is at preparing and serving Turkish coffee is what seals her fate.

Pro-tip: A famous Turkish proverb says, “Coffee should be as black as hell, as strong as death and as sweet as love.” Turkish love their coffee black and strong and that is how they like it with grounds settling at the bottom of the cup. Have Turkish coffee with sugar to make the powerful flavor palatable. Ask for sugar when you place your order since sugar is added while coffee is being prepared. Ask for azsekerli pronounced as ahzsheh kehr lee and that would get you a little sugar.

Read: Cold brews and cold concoctions for Millennial travelers

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  1. I had no idea about the coffee language. Always fun to learn new things.

  2. That was fascinating reading. I never realized coffee traditions around the world could be so different. I’ll remember that next time I order a cuppa

  3. WHo knew there was so much to know about coffee! I do love my morning coffee(s) and post-meal espressos!

  4. I love coffee but I didn’t know any of this. My favorite is cafe con leche but I don’t get it often. I typically just settle for a cup of black coffee with sugar. The Turkish coffee sounds a bit scary but surprisingly I’m intrigued.

  5. I’m not a fan of coffee, but this will be so helpful to many travelers.

  6. Elizabeth O : July 25, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    It was really interesting to learn about coffee in different countries. I am sure this will help a lot of travellers out when visiting these countries.

  7. Turkish coffee is so good. It’s so fun to try coffee from different places, it’s often surprising and very different!

  8. Oh man, I don’t think I could survive with the Turks and their dark, thick, back coffee!! I’m such a “coffee flavored cream and sugar” kinda gal, haha!

  9. I used to love coffee but I’ve stopped drinking several years ago. My favourite was Italian espresso with no sugar

  10. I haven’t really cared much about history or way of life pertaining to coffees. Thanks, the information is good.

  11. This was a fascinating read! I would have never thought to read up on ‘coffee etiquette’ before traveling to Italy, Greece, Turkey or France!! I spent time in Germany and my host family just drank Latte macchiatos all day so that’s what I did too!

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