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National Coffee Day

Coffee Love, Across the Globe

As mornings get colder and darker heading into fall, parents across the U.S. shiver out of bed and head straight for the coffeemaker. Did you know coffee is the second-most popular drink worldwide, second only to tea? The U.S. actually has a whole day to commemorate its java fix: National Coffee Day on September 29. There’s an International Coffee Day, too, just two days later on October 1. 

So pour yourself a cup, and let’s celebrate with a quick tour of different coffee traditions across the globe. Maybe you’ll even see something you’d like to try.

Ethiopia : The Original Coffee

Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee, where the popular saying buna dao naw means: Coffee is our bread. The green buna (coffee) beans are roasted and brewed in a clay coffee pot. Coffee is taken very seriously here, with ceremonies lasting up to three hours—several times a day! Buna was originally prepared with salt or butter instead of sugar. 

Greece: Iced Coffee Shake

This refreshing drink is made with instant coffee, water, sugar, and milk, all shaken vigorously to a nice foam and poured over ice.

Hong Kong: Coffee With Tea

Yuanyang, also called “coffee with tea,” it’s exactly what it sounds like: freshly brewed coffee mixed with tea. People here  often use a homemade milk tea made by mixing black tea with the creamy sweetness of condensed milk.

Vietnam: Egg Coffee

Cà phê trứng, or egg coffee, is made by whipping an egg yolk with sweetened condensed milk to form a light, creamy fluff that’s then mixed with coffee. It elevates coffee to dessert status!

Finland: Coffee Cheese

The Finland coffee kaffeost translates to “coffee cheese.” You read that right: cheese. A dried cheese called leipäjuusto is placed at the bottom of a wooden cup, and then hot coffee is poured on top. The cheese absorbs the coffee like a sponge, adding its own special flavor to the brew.

Portugal: Iced Coffee Lemonade

Portugal’s popular mazagran drink is made by adding a squeeze of lemon juice to freshly brewed coffee. Though this preparation originally comes from  Algeria, it’s now a Portuguese coffee staple. 

Saudi Arabia: Cardamom Coffee

Kahwa, Saudi Arabia’s coffee, is spiced with cardamom. People often sip it while eating dried dates to help balance coffee’s natural bitterness. In Saudi Arabia there are many rules of etiquette when it comes to drinking coffee, including always serving your elders first. 

Senegal: Spicy Coffee

Café touba, the Senegalese version of coffee, is like drip coffee, but with a lot more kick. It’s a little sweet with a taste  of clove, but what stands out the most is its spicy Guinea pepper flavoring. Some believe café touba spices up your love life!

So the next time you pour a cup o’ joe, consider taking your taste buds on a little adventure. It could be as easy as sprinkling in some cardamom, adding some tea, pouring in some condensed milk, giving it a dash of pepper, or squeezing in a little lemon juice.