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Armenia to Vietnam: How 20 Countries Drink Coffee Around the World (+ How to Make at Home)

By: Travel and Adventure writer Breanna Wilson

No matter how you say it – or how you brew it – coffee is a great connector. From talking about social issues over a cup in a café to being invited into a family home to experience a deeper side to a country, we might not all drink coffee the same way, but that shouldn’t stop us from drinking it together. Here are 20 coffee traditions from around the world. 

Coffee. Café. Qahwa. Kaffee.

It doesn’t matter how you say it or even how you brew it. Coffee has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

In Mexico, they brew their coffee with a cinnamon stick and spices for peak fall vibes year-round. A small cup is more than enough to get you through your morning (and probably your entire day) in Armenia and Turkey. In Finland, they pour a cup of hot coffee over what some people call squeaky cheese.

But, no matter where in the world we all are, it’s safe to say we can all agree that coffee is delicious.

Here’s how 20 different countries around the world serve their coffee, plus how to make each coffee at home with your Picopresso (or Cuppamoka).

Armenia: Armenian Coffee

Armenian coffee, or 'Soorj' in Armenian, is the standard drink you will find across the small country in the Southern Caucasus. While Armenia may be synonymous with hospitality, the country also loves to share that hospitality and friendliness over a delicious cup of coffee!

The beverage is similar to other types of coffee you will find in the region all the way into the Balkans, and it originally came to Armenia from Ethiopia. In order to make Armenian coffee, you will need beans that are ground down to an extremely fine powder. You will need to heat a small amount of water with a heaping teaspoon of the coffee powder in a 'jazzve' atop a fire. Once it reaches a boil, you will stir and place it back until it boils up again, where you will remove it from the heat and prepare it for serving.

In Armenia, you will find that most Armenians drink it will a pinch of sugar (often included in the heating process). Historically, the coffee was not heated on a stove or fire but rather on hot coals or sand. This is still the method used in certain places around Armenia, and it makes a picnic or camping a lot easier as many Armenians know how to prepare coffee anywhere they have a jazzve!

Tracking down Armenian coffee is one of the essential things to do in Yerevan or anywhere in the country when you visit, but you can also recreate this traditional coffee drink at home if you can get dark roasted coffee beans down to a fine powder. As Armenians would say - Anush! – Aram Vardanyan, AbsoluteArmenia.com

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Grind your coffee beans into an extremely fine powder. 
  2. In a jazzve, heat a small amount of water with a heaping teaspoon of the coffee powder over a fire.
  3. Once it reaches a boil, remove the jazzve from the fire, stir and place it back on the fire until it boils up again.
  4. Once it’s reached a boil, remove from the heat and prepare for serving.

Australia: Flat White

Since originating in the 1980s in Australia, the flat white has become familiar around the world in recent years thanks to coffee aficionados. And, thanks to a smaller glass (i.e., a higher concentration of espresso to milk) and a velvety microfoam, this worldwide coffee phenomenon isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of milk over medium-low until steaming (about 160 F/72 C).
  2. Hand whisk, or use a milk frother, until very fine bubbles appear creating a microfoam.
  3. While your milk is heating, brew a double espresso using your Picopresso.
  4. In a 160-165 ml glass, pour the microfoam over your Picopresso espresso.

Austria: Wiener Mélange

Similar to a cappuccino, this Austrian coffee tradition consists of a single shot of espresso served in a large coffee cup topped with steamed milk and milk foam. It’s said that milder coffee is used for this version (compared to an Italian cappuccino) and that a glass of water is usually served to drink accompanying the drink. A local favorite at coffee shops in Austria, it’s common to see this “Viennese mixture” often shortened to Melange on coffee shop menus.

How to Make at Home:

  1. Brew a single shot of espresso using your Nanopresso.
  2. Pour 1 cup of whole milk into a small saucepan and set the burner to medium heat.
  3. Cook the milk, stirring constantly as it steams and heats through.
  4. Remove from the stove and whisk slowly, steaming the milk.
  5. Pour the milk over the espresso to create a Melange.

Brazil: Café Pingado

The coffee ritual is a big part of Brazilian culture. The espressos have become common in Brazil, just like in many other countries. One of the most popular coffee in Brazil, besides the espresso, is the “café pingado” (translated to drip coffee). Café Pingado is nothing more than milk with coffee, and this Brazilian recipe got its name because the milk is dripped with a bit of coffee, making a clear, pearly brown type mixture. – Paula Martinelli, PaulaPinsthePlanet.com

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew an espresso using your Picopresso and using an espresso roast of good quality and origin. 
  2. Milk can be whole, semi-skimmed, or skimmed – whichever you prefer will work. 
  3. Heat your milk but avoid continuously boiling or heating it. 
  4. Poor a half glass of milk (the traditional way to serve a Pingado is in clear glass) and “drip” the espresso on top completing the other half. 

Cuba: Café Cubano

Originating in Cuba, a Café Cubano (basically a Cuban espresso, at its most basic level) is a shot of espresso sweetened with sugar. It’s served espresso-style and is known for being strong, sweet, and packing a punch. Using a dark roast is essential to the Café Cubano, giving it a depth of flavor as rich as the culture it comes from.

How to Make at Home:

  1. Brew an espresso using your Picopresso and using a dark espresso roast, preferably of Cuban origin. 
  2. In a small glass mixing bowl, measure out ¾ tablespoons of granulated sugar. 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of brewed espresso to the glass bowl of sugar. With a small whisk, beat the mixture until it’s pale and thick in color and the sugar is dissolved. This should take about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the remaining espresso to the glass bowl, allowing the foam to rise to the top.
  5. Quickly pour into an espresso cup and serve. 

Finland: Kaffeost

This one might not be for everyone, but hot coffee is poured over chunks of juustoleipä, or Finnish cheese curds in Finland. This sounds like one of those combinations you certainly have to try when you visit Finland, or, if you aren’t planning on visiting Scandinavia anytime soon, should be added to your list of coffee drinks to make at home when you want to mix things up. If you can get your hands on some juustoleipä, that is.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Get your hands on Finnish squeaky cheese, a rich, baked cheese.
  2. Cut it into cubes and put into a mug.
  3. Brew a cup of pour-over coffee using your Cuppamoka.
  4. Pour the hot brew over the cubes and enjoy.

France: Café au Lait 

Simple and delicious, a Café au Lait is simply a freshly brewed cup of drip coffee served with hot milk the French way – in a white porcelain mug.

How to Make at Home:

  1. Using your Nanopresso with the DG Kit attachment quickly and easily brew a Café au Lait with Café au Lait coffee and milk pods.

PHOTO: French Café au Lait Nanopresso and DG Kit

Germany: Rudesheimer Kaffee

A unique coffee drink that you must try if you visit Germany is Rüdesheimer Kaffee or Rudesheim Coffee. Tasting this drink is one of the best things to do in Rudesheim, Germany, but it is also found at coffee houses through the region where it comes from.

The drink was invented in 1957 by a TV chef in Germany named Hans Karl Adam, and aside from the strong espresso that is the base of the coffee, it uses Asbach Uralt brandy, a German brandy, along with sugar cubes. It is served in a special glass, and the brandy is flambeed and stirred until all of the sugar dissolves. To top the drink off, you will add a dollop of whipped cream and vanilla sugar. You can also add some flakes of chocolate to the top. The highly caloric coffee may not be the easiest one to recreate at home, but it is entirely possible (and may be a bit fun to try)!

One cool thing about this German coffee is that while it calls for a specific type of brandy, you can use whatever you can source depending on your location or where you're traveling at that moment. You will need the following measurements to recreate the drink: 125ml of black coffee made with an espresso base, three sugar cubes, 4cl of brandy/Cognac, sweetened whipped cream, and chocolate shavings (optional). – Megan Starr, MeganStarr.com

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a double shot of espresso using your Nanopresso and Barista Kit attachment.
  2. In a separate mug, place 3 sugar cubes on the bottom.
  3. Quickly heat 4cl of brandy/Cognac (Asbach Uralt brandy, a German brandy is recommended but really any brandy or Cognac will do).
  4. Once the brandy is heated, pour it over the sugar cubes in the mug.
  5. Carefully light the brandy on fire and stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Do not let this process go on for more than 60 seconds.
  6. Pour the espresso into the cup with dissolved sugar and brandy.
  7. Top with slightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

Greece: Frappé

A summer staple, a Greek frappe consists of coffee, sugar, water, and milk mixed to your preference. In Greece, they make it “sketo” (no sugar), “metrio” (1-2 spoons of sugar), or “glyko” (2-3 spoons of sugar) and use instant coffee as the base. But we obviously aren’t going to do that.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a cup of coffee using your Pipamoka portable coffee brewer.
  2. Pour half of the brew into a glass mug and add sugar (metrio or glyko) to taste.
  3. Put the lid on your Pipamoka and save the remainder of your hot brew for later (or make 2 frappes instead!).
  4. For the coffee and sugar mixture, use an electric frother or handheld coffee blender to blend until frothy.
  5. In a second glass mug, fill the mug ¾ way with ice.
  6. Pour the frothed coffee over the ice, add milk to the brim, and mix by pouring between the two glasses (or shaking, if you have a shaker).
  7. Serve with a paper or metal straw.

Hong Kong: Yuenyeung

While the idea of coffee with tea might not sound appealing at first, keep in mind there’s a reason this drink is insanely popular in Hong Kong. (As we always say, don’t knock it until you try it!) When in Hong Kong, you can find this tasty treat on the street from street vendors, and while the technical ratio is three parts coffee to seven parts black milk tea, you can mix it at home however you like. We won't judge.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a cup of coffee using your Pipamoka portable coffee brewer.
  2. Separately, brew a cup of black tea. (For the most correct ratio, brew 4 ½ cups of black tea. To keep this recipe simple, we’ve simply decided to go half and half.)
  3. In a carafe, combine the coffee and black tea.
  4. Add sugar to taste.
  5. Add milk to taste.
  6. Stir thoroughly and serve.

Italy: Espresso Romano

You know what they say – when in Rome! And that means adding lemon to one of those famously delicious Roman espressos.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Using a small knife, carefully cut a piece of the lemon’s zest.
  2. Rub the zest around the espresso cup’s rim.
  3. Brew a double shot of espresso using your Picopresso with a nice Italian espresso roast.
  4. Garnish with a slice of lemon and sweeten to taste.

Mexico: Café de Olla

Effervescent and homey, this style of coffee is made in a clay pot with spices and is everything that we love about Mexican food traditions. The combination of cinnamon, anise, cloves, brown sugar, a touch of chocolate (if you’re lucky), and coffee (no milk here) varies in ratio by family, with this recipe being passed down from generation to generation. Meaning – this is something you never want to turn down when offered a mug of it in a family home in Mexico.

How to Make at Home:

  1. Using your Cuppamoka, fill the stainless steel mug with water.
  2. Pour this measured water into a small saucepan, adding a little extra water for good measure.
  3. Add ½ cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 1 clove to the water and heat to a boil.
  4. Using this spiced water, make your pour-over coffee.
  5. Once brewed, add sugar to taste and drop in a square of semi-sweet chocolate. 

Morocco: Spiced Coffee

Moroccans love coffee almost as much as us Westerners do (so, a lot), which makes sense given their unparalleled ability to combine their spice-rich heritage with their very social culture. Shared with friends over a board game or at home, this blend of spiced coffee is a sweet balance of coffee beans, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg – which, even if you’re not in Morocco, you most likely have in your cupboard as well. Transport yourself to the streets of Morocco with this aromatic brew.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Gather your coffee beans and spices: ½ cup light or medium-roast coffee beans, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 whole clove, seeds from 3 cardamom pods, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  2. Place the coffee beans and spices in a coffee grinder or food processor and blend until the coffee beans are sand-like in texture.
  3. Using your Cuppamoka, brew a pour-over cup of coffee using the coffee bean and spice mixture.
  4. Add hot milk and sugar to your brewed Moroccan spiced coffee to taste.
  5. Store the remaining coffee bean and spice mixture in an air-tight container for later use.

Portugal: Mazagran

An iced coffee beverage with lemon juice with roots from Algeria, this local favorite is bright and delicious and can be whipped up in just a few minutes on a hot day. And what’s even better? It’s accepted (and sometimes expected) to add a splash of rum.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a cup of coffee using your Pipamoka portable coffee brewer.
  2. Sweeten your brew with honey, agave, or sugar to taste.
  3. Fill a separate glass with ice.
  4. Squeeze a half lemon (about 1 tablespoon of juice) over the ice.
  5. Pour the coffee over the ice and lemon juice.
  6. Stir, sip and adjust to taste as necessary. Add a lemon garnish and enjoy.

Saudi Arabia: Qahwa

Generally served in a small cup, 50 ml of Qahwa is all it takes to get you hooked on this Middle Eastern coffee tradition. Using green coffee beans and cardamom, rosewater and saffron are those extra special touches that set it apart from any other coffees in the world. When making qahwa, it's cooked in a particular container called a dallah before being served in tiny handle-less mugs, and is best drank with friends and a plate of dates served on the side. Since you might not be finding yourself in Saudi Arabia anytime soon to bring home pre-made Qahwa coffee powder home, this recipe will do in the meantime.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Once boiling, add 1 tablespoon of lightly roasted and coarsely ground green coffee beans.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Then, add 5 cloves and 1 tablespoon crushed cardamom. Continue boiling for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the stove and let the mixture settle. (Do not stir!)
  6. Once settled, add 1 teaspoon rosewater and 1/8 teaspoon saffron strands.
  7. Strain and pour into a teapot to serve with dates on the side.

Senegal: Café Touba

When the season for spiced coffees hits, this Senegalese coffee drink truly hits the spot. Using cloves and a spice locally called djar (also referred to as the grains of Selim or Guinea pepper), the preferred ratio is typically around 80 percent coffee to 20 percent djar. Thanks to the rise of coffee culture worldwide, the Café Touba has become insanely popular in Senegal in recent years.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. First, you’ll need to get your hands on some djar (also known as Selim pepper).
  2. Once you have your djar, toast the entire pod for a few minutes in a pan or in the oven. Grind it into a powder after toasted.
  3. Take the djar powder and add an equal amount of ground clove, creating your spice mixture.
  4. Add 16 grams of medium-ground coffee to your Cuppamoka pour-over brewer.
  5. Add 4 grams of the spice mixture to the Cuppamoka for brewing.
  6. Brew your pour-over as usual and enjoy.

Spain: Cafe Bombon

Espresso layered over sweetened condensed milk in a one-to-one proportion? Sign us up. This sweet and delicious Spanish tradition is more of a dessert than a way to get your day started, but if you prefer to enjoy it that way, who are we to stop you?

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a double espresso using your Picopresso.
  2. With a spoon, delicately layer 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk over your double espresso.
  3.  Before drinking, stir.

Turkey: Türk Kahvesi

Similar to Armenian coffee (explained above), this process involves very finely ground coffee and a special copper or brass pot called a cezve. The final brew is poured into a cup, grounds and all, which will settle before drinking.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of very finely ground coffee in your small cezve.
  2. Fill your small single serving cezve with water.
  3. Place over fire, in hot sand (as is the traditional method), or on the stovetop.
  4. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. As a dark foam appears, remove the cezve from the heat and put a teaspoon of the foam into your serving cup.
  5. Return the cezve to the heat and when it boils again, pour into your cup filling halfway.
  6. Return the cezve to the heat and when it boils again, pour the remaining brew into your cup, filling it.
  7. Serve with water and Turkish delight.

USA: Blood Orange Coffee Soda

While most will say an Americano is the coffee tradition Americans are most known for, we’re going to go with a new coffee tradition that’s making it rounds.

“The Blood Orange Coffee Soda will completely change your mind about how coffee pairs with other flavors. Italian blood orange soda is poured over ice and topped with a shot of espresso. It's fizzy and zesty with a sharp bite and a boost of rich and bitter coffee and orange.” – Jenny De Witt, SlowTravelSociety.com

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a double espresso using your Picopresso.
  2. Put ice into a glass and fill ¾ way with Italian blood orange soda.
  3. Top with your Picopresso double shot.

Vietnam: Cà phê đá

Known as Vietnamese iced coffee, at its most basic, cà phê đá is simply Vietnamese drip coffee served with sweetened condensed milk over ice. The real magic comes when you order one in Vietnam, when a coffee slowly dripping through a stainless steel filter (phin) sits before you. As you watch your coffee drip over the condensed milk on the bottom, you become mesmerized as the anticipation for this sweet and strong coffee drink builds. Finally, you add your ice, throw in a metal straw and your anticipation is met with glorious delight.

How to Make at Home: 

  1. Brew a cup of coffee using your Pipamoka and Café Du Monde Coffee with Chicory dark roasted coffee grounds. 
  2. Add ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk straight from the can into your freshly brewed coffee. 
  3. Stir to dissolve then transfer to a glass filled with ice. 
  4. Serve with a metal or paper straw.

 

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