Everybody has their routines when it comes to coffee. Some people have to drink one first thing, others have a decaf after work simply for the flavour. But, are there certain routines people follow simply due to their culture or where they live? Coffee culture blends social customs and personal preferences. Let’s see how people drink it.
Italians are famed for drinking coffee, and rightly so. You can’t walk far in Italy without passing somewhere to purchase an espresso. As their coffee of choice, espressos are synonymous with Italian culture. Think groups of elderly men playing board games in Italian villages, with a small ceramic cup in hand containing a concentrated cup of espresso coffee. In some places in Italy, they are even known to rub a piece of lemon around the rim of the cup, to give the coffee extra flavour. Never fear being served instant coffee in Italy, as there, cafe generally translates to espresso.
In parts of Spain, coffee can be found at ‘Cafe Bars’. These are bar-like set-ups where customers stand and drink coffee propped against the bar as though they were drinking beer. Usually, these places will be buzzing with activity from the locals from 6 am onwards as they all start their day. The reason for coffee shops with standing room only? The long, leisurely drink time we know in the UK is still foreign over there, and coffee is something that is drunk quickly before continuing on with your day.
The US is home of the coffee chains. From Starbucks to Costa to Dunkin Donuts, there are drive-throughs and diners to grab a cup of joe left, right and centre. The only problem you’ll be faced with is finding something of good quality, or that hasn’t been brewed hours before. Unlike traditional coffee that can be found in European countries, the US is renowned for instant coffee, as well as over-sweetened, over-fussed frappucinos and milkshake-esque coffee concoctions.
Like the Italians, the French also know good coffee. As creators of the ‘french press’, you can hardly be surprised. Also, similarly to the Italians, the French champion the espresso as their coffee of choice, often eaten with a croissant before breakfast. At breakfast, many lean towards a classic cafe au lait, which translates to coffee with milk. This shouldn’t be confused with a latte though! Where the French differ from the Spanish and Italians is that they like to take their time with coffee, as opposed to the express consumption of coffee known by the two neighbouring countries, the French like nothing more than to sit and have a long coffee with friends at the corner cafe.