The effect of coffee on the senses
A cup of coffee in the morning fills us with energy for a good few hours. You may prefer it black, with milk or accompanied by something sweet, but have you ever wondered how people drink coffee in the rest of the world?
The countries in Northern Europe top the list of coffee-drinkers and consume, per person, more than anywhere else in the world. They drink it weaker (more water and less coffee) and lightly roasted. Scandinavian coffee culture is based around the custom of fika: going out for coffee and accompanying it with something sweet. Usually with friends and in a nice place.
Both tea and coffee are hot drinks with a deeply rooted tradition in Turkey. Both are taken very strong. The coffee even thickens the water in which it is made. Turkish coffee is ground until it has the consistency of flour and is served in small cups without a handle, often made of glass. The Turks boil it twice and add cardamom and cinnamon. They have an old proverb about coffee which says that it should be “as black as night, as hot as hell, as strong as sin and as sweet as love”.
They love coffee in Japan. There it is consumed as an energy drink. Although there are more and more Western-style cafes, the Japanese have found their own way of taking their daily dose of caffeine. In practically any street in any city (and sometimes in the middle of what may look like nowhere to a foreigner) there are vending machines selling canned coffee. Yes, it is sold in vending machines. Cold or hot, black, white, sweet or bitter. As just another refreshment.
In the United States, filter coffee is the most popular. It is drunk in large paper cups and the strength of the brew depends on the taste of the person preparing it. It is rare to find a film or television series where the characters don’t take one of these giant coffees. This is such a popular way of taking it that in homes a habit has caught on of drinking it from thermos flasks the same size as the take-away cups from the cafeterias.
Italy, the cradle of expresso coffee
This is where the first coffee shop in the world was opened. In Venice in 1645. In addition to drinking coffee very strong, very hot and usually bitter, the Italians have invented desserts such as tiramisu. Less known is affogato, a great table-top attraction. It consists of a ball of vanilla ice cream doused with hot black coffee. Some people pep it up with a splash of liquor.
Like in Germany, French coffee is usually part of breakfast. In this case, accompanied by baguettes and croissants. France also cultivates the espresso culture, although in the north of the country it is taken with a little more water than in Italy. The perfect place for a French coffee lover is one of the roasting houses known as brûleries.
Any discussion of the Arab Emirates definitely brings to mind a life of luxury. And the fact is, the wealth of this country is also expressed in its coffees. Here you can find establishments that serve classic cappuccinos – but sprinkled with gold flakes. A different way of consuming a household basic.