Here is how your favourite countries enjoy their coffee...
DID you know Brazil produces a third of the world’s coffee? Besides producing large quantities of coffee, Brazilians drink more coffee than any other drink. Polyana Ferreira de Oliveira says each region has a different way of serving their coffee. In São Paulo, where she lives, coffee is usually strong. People there enjoy espressos and strongly brewed cups. In Minas Gerais, people enjoy a slightly weaker coffee that is prepared sweet.
“Most people are also usually surprised at the sizes here. A small cup is usually an espresso-sized cup, whereas a large, is a medium-sized cup. If you want the crazy large American-style coffees, you’ll have to find yourself a Starbucks,” she jokes. She warns that cream and decaf is hard to find.
Most restaurants will usually offer coffee at the end of the meal, and it will usually be espresso or capsule-type coffees. Prices range from $1-$2 a cup (R13.50-R27) to $15 (R132) for a cup at a speciality shop.
She says coffee lovers who visit Brazil should visit a coffee farm. On some farms there is accommodation available that includes food and guided coffee tours.
VISIT: Coffee lab at R. Fradique Coutinho, 1340 – Pinheiros, São Paulo. It serves special roasts, blends and offers coffee courses.
Coffee in Turkey is called Turk Kahve. During the coffee-making process, it is important the preferred amount of sugar is added, and not after. When in Turkey, never order a double as it is quite strong. Canadian-born now living in Turkey, Sue Fockner, says Turkish coffee is different than the drip type of coffee she drinks in North America.
“Coffee drinking is a social activity in Turkey. It is very strong and thick. The coffee itself is ground to a fine powder and boiled until it develops a froth. It is served in a tiny demitasse cup with an accompanying glass of water.
“One would have to let the grounds settle for a few minutes before drinking. You would have to stop drinking before you reach the grounds at the bottom of the cup,” she said.
According to her, the sludge at the bottom of the cup can help read one’s future. A kilo of ground coffee is 50 Turkish lira (R178). A cup of Turkish coffee in a restaurant or café costs about 5 Turkish lira (R18).
VISIT: Fazil Bey’s Turkish Coffee Restaurant in Caferaga, Kadıköy, one of the top spots for a Turkish coffee in Istanbul. AMERICA
Coffee in the US is typically consumed on the go. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee a day, equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the country the leading consumer of coffee in the world. If you want to order coffee as a local, order a “cuppa joe”. The US is known for large, diluted coffee drinks.
American Lida Hasbrouck enjoys espresso, coffee with a little sugar or fluffy coffee drinks such as those offered at Starbucks. She says coffee prices varied. A cup of straight black coffee goes for as little as 50c (R6.76) or if you feel like splurging, you can get one for $5 (R67).
VISIT: Starbucks, a national brand that is available in every city in the US. They have expanded their brand to different destinations including Thailand and here in South Africa.
For Italians, coffee is like a religion, says Francesca di Pietro. Although a cup can be enjoyed at any time, she believes it is best had with a group of people as it is a conversation starter.
In Italy, always order coffee after meals, never before or during. However, ordering an espresso without milk is accepted. Italians don’t serve their coffee hot. If you can’t drink your espresso or cappuccino lukewarm, you need to specify un caffè caldissimo, molto caldo or even bollente (boiling). A glass of water is usually served with a coffee, which helps clean the palate.
Says Di Pietro: “It helps with networking. With a macchiato, you can add a little milk, but never too much. We usually drink coffee half full,” she said.
An ordinary cup of coffee can cost as much as from €1.50 (R21.50), but if you are in a fancy place such as the Capri, Porto Cervo or Piazza Navona in Rome, it could cost €€5.
VISIT: Vero Bar del Professore at Piazza Trieste E Trento 46.
Coffee is the national drink of Ethiopia. Coffee drinking is somewhat a ritual for locals that can take up to an hour to complete. Coffee is served in three rounds, abol, tona and baraka. Ethopians inhale the aroma before they drink the coffee.
The cost of a macchiato ranges from 10 Ethiopian Birr (R5.96), and a ½kg bag costs about 80 ETB (R48) .
Durban coffee maker and owner of Bean Green, Peter Winter, who stocks Ethiopian coffee beans, says most of the country’s income comes from their beans. He discovered his love for coffee while visiting the country.
VISIT: Tomoca Coffee, Wawel Street, Addis Ababa. There is no seating but that’s all part of the experience.
France is known for its espressos, and one does not order a filter coffee in France. Coffee is served after dessert and the mug must be held with both hands. Karin van Schalkwyk, a Durbanite who now lives in France, says if you do not speak their coffee lingo, you will get a horrible, stale brew, and suggests visitors learn some of the lingo to avoid this.
Melissa Claire Brouard says coffee in France is rarely had with milk. She says the first cup of the day served at home will have milk, but after that the rest are served as dark, bitter espressos.
Prices vary from region to region and bar to bar, but cost between €€1.80 and €€2.50 for a grand crème (big coffee with milk). Espressos are from €€8 to €1.
VISIT: La Caféothèque de Paris at 52 Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, an arty location with great coffee that locals swear by.
We may not be known for our coffee, but many of us love it. While South Africa was slow to start producing coffee, it has made impressive moves to catch up and cash in on the bean’s popularity.
Rick James, the owner of Assagay Coffee Farm in KwaZulu-Natal, has grown coffee beans for the past 24 years. He runs the farm with wife, Lesley, and daughter, Ashleigh.
“South Africa has a rich history of coffee farming, from as early as the 1950s. My annual production is about 6-8 tons, and it is distributed among local retailers and curio shops,” he says.
He believes South African coffee lovers are a mix of all different countries, but is certain that the country will bring in its own trends.
His speciality is Arabica coffee, a mix of medium, dark and speciality roast.
He has between 20 000 and 30 000 coffee trees on his farm. Each of the beans is hand-picked from June to December.
James describes the process as follows: once the coffee beans are selected, they are fermented and washed. After two days, they are left in the sun to dry before the parchment shell is removed.
The beans are graded by size to help with the roasting process. Roasting is done at a high temperature for 15-20 minutes.
“I love what I do, and to see others enjoy my coffee makes me happy. For any farmer it is exciting when the beans come to bloom and after the final product is reached.
“A 250 gram bag is sold at R50,” he says.
A normal cup of coffee ranges from R15 to R40 in South Africa.
VISIT: Assagay Coffee Farm at D157 Road, Camperdown Rural. Call 031 782 1268 to make a booking.