Coffee, more than a drink. Different ways to order coffee around the world

There are two types of people, those who love coffee and those who don't. Well, it is obviously a somewhat limited classification, but it is true that you usually love coffee or you hardly like it. Many people consume it almost more every day out of necessity than for pleasure, others prefer it the more bitter the better. I am passionate about its taste, and that is why when I go on a trip I look a lot at the way they have in each place to prepare and serve coffee. And there are many different ways to order and enjoy coffee around the world.

Today it seems one of the most common things in everyday life, almost anywhere on the planet. It is more than a drink, it has acquired great social importance and created a whole culture around it. Although globalization and the rise of franchises are spreading common habits, It is very interesting to discover how they prepare and how they consume coffee in different places. I invite you to join me for a short tour of some of the best known throughout the planet.

Italy, cradle of espresso

If there is a place in the world where coffee is shown to be culture, it is undoubtedly Italy. There, drinking coffee acquires very specific characteristics that each Italian assumes as part of their national identity, and despite all the varieties and differences between regions, there are a number of basic terms that are repeated from bar to bar.

  • Caffè / Espresso: The generic term par excellence, which implies asking for a espresso. No need to specify espresso When you want to drink the most common coffee in Italy, it is something that is understood. An authentic Italian espresso is served in a relatively small porcelain cup, the infusion will fill about three centimeters and should have a good layer of cream. The amount is small, between 20 and 25 ml, but powerful and very aromatic.
  • Caffè Doppio: If an espresso doesn't seem enough, ask for a doppio, since it is nothing more than a double serving of caffè served in a slightly larger cup.
  • Caffè Stretto / Ristretto: It usually carries the same amount of coffee beans as espresso, but it is prepared with less water. The result is a very short coffee but with very strong flavor and aromas. For coffee lovers in minimal doses.

  • Caffè d'Orzo: A curious variety prepared with barley grains that produces a more watery and caffeine-free infusion. It can be taken alone or with milk.
  • American Caffè: Although it shares the characteristic with the coffee served in the United States of being softer and longer, the Italian American is stronger. It is a coffee prepared as an espresso, but to which hot water is added after the infusion.
  • Caffè Lungo: As the name implies, it is a long coffee, that is, an espresso prepared with more water, usually double. This results in a milder taste.
  • Caffè Macchiato: This is an espresso coffee served in a medium cup of porcelain or glass, "stained" with a little hot milk, sometimes a little foamy, but never at the level of the cappuccino.
  • Latte Macchiato: It's the same idea as before, but vice versa. In a tall glass cup, the hot milk that is "stained" with a little coffee is arranged.

  • Caffè Macchiato Freddo: It is essentially a macchiato, but served with cold milk or at room temperature. Sometimes it is offered with the milk in a separate jar so that the client is served to his pleasure, or the waiter can add it directly.
  • Cappuccino: The other great coffee star, in whose name crimes are sometimes committed that should be tried: a cappuccino will never wear whipped cream. The true Italian capuccino consists of an espresso with milk and topped with foam, served in a large cup. Italians usually take it for breakfast, rarely after lunch or in the afternoon, which is a custom for tourists.
  • Marocchino / Mocacchino: The name may vary depending on the area. It is an espresso served in a medium-sized glass cup, combined with milk foam and topped with cocoa powder.
  • Caffè Corretto: In a medium-sized cup, an espresso is served with a shot of liquor to taste. The most demanded options are usually with grappa (a strong digestive), Sambuca (liquor flavored with anise), cognac or rum.

In Spain, regional varieties

Coffee is also one of the most popular drinks in Spain, although its consumption is less standardized than in other countries. There are many traditions and tastes that we have been developing, so no wonder we find some differences according to the region. We could differentiate between the one who drinks coffee almost by habit, with poor quality beans, very sharp or with a lot of milk, from the authentic coffee gourmet. Anyway, some varieties stand out.

  • Just coffee: The quintessential coffee, the simplest, but that can be so different depending on the bar or cafeteria that serves it. Unfortunately, they are getting more expensive and are getting worse, and there seems to be a general lack of interest in preparing and serving coffee properly. A good coffee should only start from good raw material, quality water and be ground at the moment. The coffee maker must be in good condition and use the exact amount of coffee per load, and placed in a tall, narrow porcelain cup. It should never overheat, to enjoy coffee it has to be served instantly.
  • Coffee cut: With the same amount of coffee as in a single, milk heated with a vaporizer is added and added until the cup is filled, not very large.
  • Coffee with milk: His name says it all. The amount of milk desired can vary according to the diner's taste, so it is usually served in front of the customer, with the type of milk he prefers (hot, cold, skimmed, etc.). It is prepared in a larger cup.
  • Babe / bottle / sweet tooth: It is normal to prepare a coffee only in a narrow glass, and then condensed milk is added. Leave a nice contrast of colors that melts when the diner mixes with the spoon.

  • Carajillo: Unfortunately it is increasingly difficult to find a place where they serve a real one, and not just a coffee accompanied by liquor, sometimes even leaving the bottle to the customer. The good carajillo begins by heating and burning brandy with some coffee beans and lemon rind, which is then added to the coffee just prepared. The infusion of alcohol can be strained or served with the grains and citrus skin, an option that I personally like more.
  • Asian: This is a typical variety of the Cartagena countryside, although it can also be ordered in other areas of the Region of Murcia. Its origin is located in the Pedrín Bar, although some theories date it back to the coffee that was used by the fishermen from Cartagena to warm up. An Asian consists of a single coffee to which condensed milk, brandy, liquor 43 and ground cinnamon are added. It should be served in a glass or glass cup characteristic, very hot. Well loaded and very sweet, it is a restorative on cold days.
  • Belmonte: Typical of the Mediterranean area, a belmonte is basically a chocolate coffee with a touch of brandy. Coffee only served in a glass cup or glass with condensed milk and liquor.
  • Coffee time: Variety characteristic of the Valencian Community, especially during the summer. Of simple preparation, it consists of a normal or decaffeinated coffee, sugary, served cold and with a lot of ice, being able to also carry a slice of lemon.
  • Milk and milk: Double milk ration for those less fond of bitter coffee taste. It is prepared, like the chocolate, in a glass cup or glass, where the condensed milk is poured. Then fill 3/4 with the coffee and top it with creamy milk heated with a vaporizer.
  • Barraquito: Popular specialty in the Canary Islands, based on coffee, milk and condensed milk. You can also carry liquor, cinnamon and lemon.

Varieties for Europe

Although it does not seem to us that ordering coffee in most European countries can be an exotic experience, the truth is that each country and each region has its peculiarities. Cafes are of many classes spread across the continent, but the letter may surprise us. The most tourist areas do seem to be homogenizing, offering "standard" coffees, but There are certain places where the cultural tradition of coffee is very strong, with many different terms, as is the case in Austria.

  • Coffee / Bica: It is the easiest way to order a coffee only in Portugal, with the most used bica variant in the Lisbon area. It is usually short and strong aroma.
  • Cheio coffee: Variant of our neighbors of the standard coffee, served with a little more hot water.
  • Pinging: Very similar to our cut, is what a Portuguese asks if he wants a coffee with a little milk.
  • Meia de leite / Galão: Two possibilities of having a coffee with milk in Portugal. The first is usually a cup with the same amount of coffee as milk, while the galão is usually distinguished by being served in a glass cup or glass.
  • Schümli: Swiss term for a common single coffee. The most common is to be served in a cup, accompanied by a chocolate and the typical cream of milk in a small bottle.
  • Kaffee fertig: This is what coffee is called in Switzerland mixed with a strong liquor, brandy style.

  • Schwarzer: Denomination of coffee alone, without milk or sugar, in Austria.
  • Franziskaner: This is what Austria calls a soft coffee prepared with whipped cream on top.
  • Wiener Melange: Viennese variety of capuccino. It is a soft variety coffee served with milk froth, although because the term has become popular Viennese coffee to call coffee with cream, both names are often confused.
  • Café au lait: It's the way they have in France to order a coffee with steam-heated milk. Sometimes coffee and milk can be served separately for the diner to serve himself.
  • Coffee crème: Very similar to the previous one, although in this case coffee is served in a larger cup, so it would look more like our usual coffee with milk.
  • Coffee noisette: The French use the term noisette (hazelnut) to refer to the color that this variety acquires, which is nothing more than an espresso served with some cream or milk.
  • φραπές / Greek frappe: The acquaintance frapuccino It has its origin in the Greek frappé, very popular during the summer. It consists of a generally instant coffee served with ice and covered with foam.

Other types around the world

To end, we cannot ignore the way you enjoy coffee that you have in more distant places. For example, the bad reputation of coffee in the United States is well known to us, thanks to the information that comes to us through the cinema or franchises that sell huge watery or calorie-filled drinks. In Latin countries the coffee tradition is much stronger, and each place has its own terms and customs that differentiate them. In addition, some preparations from countries that may seem more foreign to coffee are surprising, especially in Asia, where however it has come through external influence.

  • Regular Coffee / Coffee: In some areas of the United States, especially New York and Philadelphia, by simply ordering coffee you will most likely receive a long coffee already prepared with milk or cream, and sugar. If you are looking for a single coffee (or the closest), specify that they do not add anything.
  • Red eye / Black eye / Dead eye / Shot in the dark: Variety of curious names to refer to a stronger coffee than they are used to in this country. It is a combination of espresso with the typical drip filter coffee.
  • Turkish coffee: It is the common name by which a popular way of preparing coffee is known today in several countries, also in the East and Africa. It is a very concentrated, thick coffee, since it is made by directly boiling the ground beans in the water, falling into the cups where it is served, leaving the characteristic grounds.
  • Red / Dye: Do not be surprised to hear in Colombia asking for a red wine first thing, it is the popular name of coffee alone. Colombians usually enjoy their tintico throughout the day and it is usual to taste it without sugar or milk, because the variety of its coffee is less acidic than other varieties.

  • Guayoyo: In Venezuela, normally filtered coffee prepared with a high proportion of water.
  • Cà phê sữa đá: This strange name comes from Vietnam, where it means "coffee with milk and ice." It consists of a coffee filtered in a small individual utensil, to which condensed milk is added and served on ice.
  • Flat white: Species equivalent to capuccino in Australia. It is a short coffee to which milk foam prepared with steam is added, served in medium cups.
  • Kaapi / Madras Filter Coffee: This is how the most popular coffee is known in the southern regions of India. It can be mixed with chicory, and it is served with milk and sugar, being able to incorporate spices.
  • Yuanyang / Ying Yong: Popular drink in Hong Kong created from a mixture of coffee and black tea with evaporated or condensed milk. It can be taken cold or hot.

As you can see, the culture surrounding coffee is a whole world, exciting and complex, with many terms, customs, traditions and tastes. It seems incredible that for many centuries the human being could live without knowing him, considering the important role he plays today for societies all over the planet.

As they say, there are not all that are nor are all that are, and that is that many varieties have been left out of this route. This is just a general walk through the most common types of coffee, and I am sorry I had to leave out so many other options, but I hope at least I have discovered some curiosities about this fascinating world. And you, how do you like coffee?

Images | ohsarahrose, sancho_panza, taqumi, like coffee, pooli, Juan Manuel Parra, Quinn Dombrowski
Live to the Palate | How to make Vietnamese coffee
Live to the Palate | Guide to prepare any coffee well