Around The World Through Coffee – Part One

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July 23, 2021
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The joys of coffee started with humble beginnings in the Ethiopian highlands, when a goat herder noticed that his goats became particularly energetic after eating a certain berry. Through colonization, trade, and religious missions, coffee beans have since been transported around the world and in doing so, many different cultures have found inspiration in the humble bean to develop their own unique beverages.

1. Italy’s Affogato

The Affogato suffers from a bit of an identity crisis, not knowing whether it should be a dessert or a drink! Here’s how to make it:

  • Place a scoop of Vanilla flavoured ice cream in a bowl
  • Pour 1 double shot espresso over the ice cream
  • Add extra toppings of your choice, such as crushed nuts or biscuit, whipped cream, berries or a favourite liqueur

2. Vietnam’s Ca Phe Trung

Ca phe trung is also known as Vietnamese egg coffee and it tastes much better than it sounds. Some tasters have described it as a “Cadbury Creme Egg with a hint of mocha” YUM.

  • Brew a cup of strong coffee
  • Whip the yolk of 1 egg together with 2 tsp condensed milk, and add a tablespoon of the brewed coffee
  • Spoon the egg yolk foam on top of the brewed coffee

3. Saudi Arabia’s Qahwa

Qahwa is simply the arabic word for “coffee”, but it is served in a unique fashion in this country. Green coffee beans are used to make a very weak brew and along with cardamom, a few other seasonings are regularly added including saffron, rose water, cinnamon and cloves. It is almost always served with dates or another sweet.

  • Bring 2 ½ cups of water to the boil and add 1 tbs green coarsely ground coffee beans. Boli for 10 minutes
  • Add crushed cardamom and cloves and continue to boil for 5 minutes
  • Take the pot off the heat and let the grounds settle to the bottom
  • Add rosewater and saffron if desired
  • Pour this aromatic coffee through a strainer into a cup/mug

4. Mexico’s Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla is a comforting beverage most often found in rural areas with cold climates. It is traditionally brewed in a clay pot. The distinct flavor of the drink comes from cinnamon and piloncillo, a traditional Mexican sugar. This can easily be replaced with brown sugar.

  • Place 8 cups of water in a saucepan, along with ¼ cup dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and desired additional ingredients, such as clove, allspice berries, peppercorns or orange peel strips
  • Boil until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat, and add 8 tbs Mexican coffee
  • Steep for 8-10 minutes
  • Ladle the liquid into cups and serve

5. Germany’s Pharisäer kaffee

The story goes that the Pharisäer kaffee was invented because when a local pastor was very strict about the consumption of alcohol, parishioners spiked their coffee with rum and topped it with whipped cream to keep the rum aroma from wafting through the air to the pastor. This coffee is not meant to be stirred, but rather sipped through the whipped cream.

  • Pour brewed coffee into a large vessel, traditionally a glass tumbler
  • Stir in a tot of rum and sugar to taste
  • Beat cream until stiff peaks form
  • Top the coffee with the whipped cream, and do not stir

Next week we shall travel the world a little more to discover more wonderful ways to enjoy your favourite brew!