Coffee gets us going in the morning. Most people can’t make it through the day without copious amounts of the black stuff.
Whether you take it plain or dress it up with whipped cream and caramel sauce, you are just one of the billions of people drinking coffee around the world. In the United States alone, over 40 billion dollars is spent on coffee each year. That’s a lot of joe.
No matter where you are in the world, you can order a cup of coffee. Yes, it is served on every continent, including Antarctica. You may not recognize it as the same cup of coffee you percolate in your Mr. Coffee each morning, but it’s still coffee.
Vietnam serves a very sweet dessert-type coffee. A combination of egg yolks, milk, honey, and vanilla are combined with a strong black brew. The result is a creamy drink topped with sweet foam.
Turkish coffee is unique. Mixed with cardamom, the coffee is ground as fine as possible to the consistency of powder. Hot water is mixed with the powder, and the resulting mixture is not strained. The coffee is served in tiny espresso cups and is very strong.
The cities in France are lined with small sidewalk cafes that serve pastries and coffee. The popular café au lait is made with equal parts black coffee and steamed milk. Sweeteners may or may not be added, depending on preference.
Germany takes things up a notch or two by adding rum and sugar to their coffee. Their idea of creamer is a giant glob of whipped cream on top of the coffee and rum. This particular cup of coffee might be better suited to the end of the day, as opposed to first thing in the morning.
Australians call their coffee creation “flat white.” They, too, like to mix equal amounts of coffee and milk, but in true Aussie style, the coffee used is a double-strength espresso. Australians like to get the most out of life and their coffee. Somewhere between a cappuccino and a latte, this particular combination is definitely meant to get you going in the morning.
In the United States, anything goes. Black coffee, cowboy coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, or blended drinks… as long as it’s hot or cold, Americans drink it by the gallon. Coffee houses sit on almost every corner, and you can buy a cup in any convenience store. Almost every home has at least one coffee pot.
South Americans, particularly Mexicans, drink café de olla. This “pot coffee” is a combination of dark coffee boiled in a pan with cinnamon, orange peel, and brown sugar. After letting it strengthen, the mixture is strained before drinking.
You are probably wondering about Antarctica. There are people who live and visit there and, seeing how it is one of the coldest places on earth, a nice hot cup of coffee is definitely popular down there.
Several years ago, David Hochman, a member of a National Geographic exploration expedition, wrote about a fantastic cup of Tonx coffee that he brewed while in Antarctica. Tonx produces a small travel coffee kit, complete with everything needed to make a good cup of coffee. Since Mr. Hochman’s press, the Tonx has become the face of coffee at the South Pole.
No matter where you go in this world, even to the farthest reaches where there are no Starbucks, you can find or make a good cup of coffee. It is truly a world beverage.