Discover Exciting Coffee Drinks from Around the Globe
It’s time to travel the world and explore the wide range of fascinating coffees and coffee-based drinks that come from all corners of the globe. With a history stretching all the way back to the 10th century, coffee is well-established as one of the most popular and universally loved drinks around the world, and it’s not hard to see why.
Aside from the energizing effects of the caffeine in coffee, the flavour of the drink can be altered and customized in nearly countless ways. Many coffee lovers enjoy it in its simplest form, with just hot water and ground coffee. Others prefer their coffee mixed with other ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, syrups, cocoa, cinnamon, and many other signature flavours. The different methods for making coffee are just as diverse as the ingredients. In this article, we explain some of the most common methods for making coffee, as well as some of the most popular coffee drinks that come from a diverse range of cultures.
Common Methods for Brewing Coffee
Drip Coffee Maker
This is the standard coffee maker that you’ll find in almost every kitchen, hotel room, and restaurant across North America. It consists of a water reservoir, basket-style filter for holding the ground coffee, and a glass or metal carafe to hold the brewed coffee. In a drip coffee maker, water is heated and then dripped in to the basket filter to mix with the ground coffee. The brewed coffee then drips down in to the carafe and is then ready to serve.
Invented in Italy back in the late 1800’s, espresso machines use steam pressure to force the hot water through firmly-packed fine-grind dark roast coffee, producing a single ‘shot’ of rich, espresso coffee. Espresso machines often include a milk steaming wand to aid in the creation of steamed and frothed milk for drinks such as cappuccino. Operation of an espresso machine requires a bit more experience than some of the other coffee brewing methods, as you need to learn how fine the coffee grinds should be, and how tightly to pack them, without being too fine or too packed, to make a good quality shot of espresso.
Also known simply as a coffee press, the French press was invented in the early 1900’s. This simple device looks like a simple pitcher, in which coarsely-ground coffee is placed in the bottom and boiling water is then used to fill the pitcher. The lid of the French press includes a plunger with a metal filter screen affixed to the bottom. The coffee is usually steeped for about 4 or 5 minutes, at which time the plunger is pushed down to contain the ground coffee at the bottom of the pitcher and the coffee can then be served.
This method originates in the Ottoman Empire, making it one of the oldest known methods for making coffee. It uses coffee that is ground very finely and, unlike the other methods we’ve shown here, the grounds are actually left in the coffee when it is served. Often, some sugar is added to the coffee and water as it is boiled in a special type of coffee pot called a cezve. Once the mixture of water and ground coffee begins to boil, about 1/3 of the coffee is poured in to the cups and the remainder is then returned to the heat to boil again. Once the remaining coffee in the pot boils, it is used to top off the cups and is ready to serve.
Popular Coffee from Around the World
Drip coffee can be served black, without any additional ingredients, or can be customized with sugar, milk, or cream to suit individual tastes. Drip coffee is available in many different styles of roast ranging from very dark to very light, as well as in nearly countless flavours like hazelnut, French vanilla, and caramel.
When sweetening their coffees, low carb dieters should ensure to only use sugar-free sweeteners to help keep their carb counts low as they enjoy a morning pick-me-up.
The majority of espresso drinkers take theirs without any additional ingredients in either a solo (single shot) or doppio (double shot). Because of the way espresso is brewed, it has a higher concentration of caffeine than other brewing methods, but is usually served in smaller portions, making the caffeine content generally on par when looking at individual serving sizes. One of the distinguishing characteristics of espresso is a slightly frothy layer on the top called the ‘crema’, which is the result of the brewing process. Sometimes, a bit of whipped cream is added to espresso to create a variation called espresso con panna.
This popular Italian coffee drink starts with a fresh double shot of espresso and tops it with steamed and foamed milk. Some cappuccino lovers add sprinkles of cinnamon or chocolate powder to the top of the milk foam for added flavour. Cappuccino is very popular around the world, especially thanks to the rapid global expansion of major specialty coffee shop chains.
Café au Lait and Caffè Latte
While these two drinks may seem like the same thing, there is a slight difference between them. Both are made with hot milk, but Café au Lait generally uses strong drip-brewed coffee while Caffè Latte will use shots of espresso. Much like cappuccino, these drinks are extremely popular and trendy around the world. These drinks are also often mixed with flavoured syrups like vanilla, peppermint, mocha, hazelnut, pumpkin spice, and many others. Low carb dieters should take care to choose only sugar-free syrups to add flavours like these to their coffee drinks.
Although the term ‘Irish coffee’ has become rather generalized and commonly refers to any coffee drink with alcohol, the traditional Irish coffee is a specific type of coffee cocktail with defined ingredients. It begins with hot, black coffee and then adds Irish whiskey and brown sugar and is finished with a topping of thick cream.
This interesting creation originates in Greece and is served cold, either with cubed ice or blended. This is the most recently developed coffee drink on our list, and was the invention of an instant-coffee representative during a trade fair in Greece during the late 1950’s. It uses instant coffee, water, and sugar and is then shaken or blended with ice to create a rich, frosty coffee drink that is wonderful to enjoy on a hot summer day. Much like lattes, frappés have been heavily modernized by major coffee chains and are available in a wide variety of flavours and styles.
Coffee is the way people around the world start their day, and it’s been so for hundreds of years. As you can see from the wide array of coffee making devices and methods, as well as the diverse range of coffee drinks that have been crafted over the years, coffee lovers take their passion very seriously.
For low carb dieters, coffee is perfectly suitable as long as you take care to choose alternative sweeteners to traditional sugars and syrups. Fortunately, there are plenty of sugar-free sweeteners to choose from so you can have your coffee exactly the way you want, any time you want.
We hope that you’ve found this article interesting, and that it gives you some fun facts to share with friends the next time you meet up at your favourite coffee shop!