- Posted January 24, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
First Person: Your essays
Your Style of Drinking Coffee ?
Having a good cup of coffee is more than just about milk or sugar; sometimes it is a whole ritual passed on from mother to daughter, from father to son. From the Ethiopian countryside where coffee was first discovered, to the baroque cafes of imperial Europe and the office streets of Tel Aviv, coffee has adapted to almost every culture, infiltrating even tea-loving countries such as India and UK.
Coffee drinking habits differ from one country to other, from culture to culture, in terms of the blend composition, coffee format (instant, mix, roast and ground, capsules), roasting and grinding level, and preparation method.
Each country has its specific coffee preferences, and my partsking of coffee in diverse places has provided me with insights about coffee consumption in the countries I visited.
Serbia – Bitter and strong
Serbians are in love with coffee. Coffee is part of their history. They drink 3 cups of coffee per day and their preferred coffee is black roast and ground prepared in a kettle (the “Turkish style”). They like a special blend of coffee named “Rio Minas” due to its provenience, and it is a bitterer, stronger coffee taste and fine grinded.
The morning coffee is a ritual in Serbia; almost every family is having its black cup of coffee before breakfast or anything else. The house should smell like coffee and the perfect cup of coffee would have thick foam in the kettle.
Recently, young Serbians have started to drink “coffee mix” type of coffee during the afternoon, because it is a sweeter, milder coffee: 3in1, 2in1 (instant coffee plus sugar and powdered milk). Still, the morning coffee remains black R&G, no matter if you are young or old.
Romania – Roast and ground
Just like their neighbors, Romanians also love the roast and ground coffee; more than 80% of the coffee consumption is the roast and ground one. They drink an average of 2 cups of coffee per day, usually one in the morning and one in the afternoon, but no later than 5 p.m. The preferred blend of the Romanians is a mix of bitter and aromatic coffee (Robusta and Arabica), medium ground and roast. They usually add sugar and only few of them add some milk.
Just like in Serbia, the “Turkish” way of preparing coffee in a kettle is the most common one in Romania. Making coffee in a kettle, taking the time to boil the water, adding the coffee in the right moment and keeping an eye on it until it is ready, while enjoying the smell of coffee in the kitchen, all represent a very dear ritual for a lot of Romanians.
Poland – Special aroma
As we move closer to Western Europe, in Poland, the at-home coffee preference is almost equally split between roast and ground and instant coffee. There is a “polish” way of preparing coffee, by just pouring hot water over one or two spoons of coffee in the cup (either instant or roast and ground). Some of Poles add milk in their coffee. The Arabica type of coffee is the preferred one, due to its special aromatic and refined, less bitter taste.
South India - Coffee in a Steel Container
In South India, you get hot scalding sweet, yet fragrant coffee in small steel tumblers. It is mostly Arabica coffee brewed in a typical Indian style and has ample quantity of sugar and milk.
Israel – Hot water, small glass
Moving on to the Middle East, significant part of the Israelis prefer drinking instant coffee at home and many of them are going out for either ice coffee when it is very hot, or cappuccino and latte. Still, part of the population, mostly men, loves strong Turkish coffee in the morning- roast and ground, very finely ground, with a bitter, strong taste and aroma.
As coffee shops become increasingly popular in the countries where we operate, coffee specialties are more attentive to the consumption habits of consumers, from cappuccino, latte and macchiato to frappe and various flavored coffee beverages.
The linkage between tea and coffee consumption
We noticed that in countries where tea consumption is high, the preferred coffee type would typically be instant, maybe because of the similarity in the preparation method: just adding hot water to the coffee. Russians are among the tea lovers, with more than 75% of the population drinking instant coffee, mostly freeze-dried (granulated instant coffee). They drink an average of 2 cups of coffee and almost double the number of tea cups per day.
No matter how different we are, how our history and local culture vary, our love for coffee has no boundaries. It is the most common denominator. When it comes to coffee, we are all big fans, everywhere. Coffee is an important part of our life, and so many beautiful and memorable moments are formed over a cup of coffee, that I am sure each one of you has such a moment to share!
And if you wonder what good coffee tastes like, an old Turkish proverb says “Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love”.
Now tell me, how do you drink your coffee?