20 coffee traditions from around the world

Posted on 18 May 2017

Many people can’t survive without a cup of coffee in the morning – but how you serve that caffeine can be very different based on where you are. Here are some coffee traditions from around the world: which do you think is the weirdest?

‘You can do it – Coffee’. Image by Katherine Lima

There are so many legends linked to how coffee originated. The first legend is about a goat herder in Ethiopia in the 9th century who couldn’t figure out why his goats were hyperactive, whenever they would eat these red berries. The red berries were actually coffee berries that had an exquisite aroma. Another legend goes back to the practice of chewing coffee beans as a stimulant.

1. Kaisemelange – Austria

There many different kinds of traditional Austrian coffees. One of them is the Kaisemelange. The Kaisemelange consists of strong black coffee, an egg yolk and honey in a cup. The egg yolk is mixed with honey and while stirring, the strong black coffee is added in slowly. Kaisemelange is also popular in Scandinavia.

2. Kaffeost – Finland

The Fins have a great love for coffee. Coffee is considered a part of hospitality for people in Finland. A traditional coffee in Northern Finland is Kaffeost. Kaffeost is black coffee with chunks of cheese placed at the bottom of the coffee, to create something magical. The taste is said to be similar to Tiramisu, creating a dessert-like taste.

Coffee and Cheese? Good question. Image by Mia

3. Nous Nous – Morroco

Nous nous means half and half. This is a simple way of explaining how they create the coffee called Nous Nous. The coffee is half of a strong brewed espresso topped with half a glass of heated frothy milk. Nous nous is served in small glasses, with a drop of sugar for a sweeter taste.

4. Café de Olla  – Mexico

Café de Olla is a Mexican pot brewed coffee with raw sugar and spices. The coffee is prepared in a stainless steel saucepan with water, brown sugar, cinnamon and dark roasted ground coffee and served in a cup with an orange peel.

Dark roasted ground coffee. Image by Heather Dowd


5. Türk kahvesi – Turkey

Turkish coffee or Türk Kahvesi is a method of preparing unfiltered coffee. The beans are simmered in a pot and it is served with sugar if desired. Those who are superstitious say the grounds left after drinking Turkish coffee, can be used for fortune telling. The cup is turned over into the saucepan to cool off and the patterns created from the coffee grounds tell a story.

6. Café Bombón – Spain

Café Bombón is originally from Valencia in Spain. Café Bombón means ‘candy coffee.’ Café Bombón is made in a transparent glass so you can see the wonderful layers of black and white. Café Bombón is made with sweetened condensed milk and brew of espresso on the top.

7. Espresso Romano – Italy

In Italy, espresso is the favourite. The Espresso Romano is a single shot of espresso served with a fresh peel of lemon on the rim of the cup.

8. Frappé – Greece

The Greek Frappé is a symbol of the post-war Greek coffee culture. A Frappé is instant ice coffee served in a tall glass with a straw and with foam at the top. The Frappé can be easily made at home with sugar, instant coffee, milk and water, all added in a blender topped with ice cubes.

Did you know…the word Frappé is from France? Image by Qasic.


9. Kan Kohi – Japan

If you say it repeatedly, at least four times, you will easily figure out what Kan Kohi means. Kan Kohi is canned coffee. Kan Kohi is popular in Japan and can be purchased in grocery stores and vending machines.

10. Flat White – Australia, New Zealand

The Flat White is an espresso based coffee beverage that goes way back into the 80s. The flat white is popular among Australians and New Zealanders. The flat white is similar to the latte and the cappuccino although it is smaller in volume, having a higher proportion of coffee to milk.

11. Pharisäer – Germany

Pharisäer is an alcoholic hot drink made from strong coffee, rum and whipped cream, which is served in a mug or a glass.

A mocha and whipped cream. Delightful. Image by Agnes Chang

12. Café Sua Da – Vietnam

Coffee in Vietnam was introduced in 1857 by a French Catholic priest who arrived with a coffea arabica tree. The Cafe Sua Da is a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee. Cafe Sua Da is made by using coarse ground dark roasted Vietnamese coffee beans. A popular way to drink the coffee is with sweetened condensed milk.

13. Café Cubano – Cuba

Coffee has become an essential part of the Cuban lifestyle and is a cultural icon. The Cafe Cubano is an espresso originating from Cuba. Cuba is the main export of coffee to Spain. Cafe Cubano is an espresso shot with a thick layer of sweetened cream.

14. Café Touba – Senegal

Cafe Touba is a Senegalese coffee prepared with Arabica coffee. The coffee beans are infused with cloves and a kind of Guinea black pepper. In the Senegalese culture, Touba is a healing beverage. Touba is great for stomach relief, acts as a natural anti-depressant and fights asthma and respiratory problems.

The healer. Image by Sonny Abesamis


15. Café con leche – Colombia

Cafe con leche is Spanish for ‘Coffee with Milk’. Cafe con leche is quick and easy to make, by using freshly ground coffee beans with heated milk.

Love in a cup. Image by Franja


16. Ipoh White Coffee- Malaysia

Ipoh white coffee is a traditional Malaysian coffee. The white coffee originates from a town called Ipoh Old Town, where Chinese immigrants worked at tin-mines. Many people believe the name comes from the colour of the coffee, but the name refers to the roasting process. The coffee beans are roasted with margarine and no sugar is added, giving it the lighter shade.

17. Café Lagrima – Argentina

Coffee is an art in Argentinian cafes. The Lagrima is perfect for anyone who is not a fan of strong coffee but enjoys a cup every once in a while. The Lagrima is an espresso cup filled with milk and a drop of coffee.

18. Yirgacheffe – Ethiopia

Yirgacheffe is ranked as one of the best coffees in the world. The coffee has a fruity flavour, a floral aroma and a tea-like finish. The Yirgacheffe can be brewed to be enjoyed as hot or cold beverage.

19. Irish Coffee – Ireland

The Irish Coffee was created in 1943 by accident and then became a Christmas drink but can be consumed all year round. Irish coffee consists of hot coffee, Irish whisky and it is topped with thick cream. The coffee has to be strong and the whisky must be Irish or else it isn’t much of an Irish Coffee.

No better combination that whisky and coffee. Image by Mike McCune


20. Kahwa/Qahwa – Saudi Arabia

Qahwa is originally from Saudi Arabia and made from 100% Arabic coffee beans. The beans are brewed with spices, prepared on a stove top in a special pot and served in petite handless cups. Qahwa has incredible health benefits. The Arabic beans eliminate toxins from the body, the coffee is a good anti-inflammatory, as it is known for being great for cramps.

If you know of any coffees we may have missed out on, please fill us in, in the comment box.

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