Turkish coffee is known even to those who have never been to Turkey. Coffee is an important part of Turkey's culture, and the traditions related to this drink are so significant that they have been granted UNESCO World Heritage status! What is so special about Turkish coffee? The special technique of brewing it as well as the customary style of serving it are the keys here. To make it, you need a cezve or ibrik – a small brass pot. Ground beans are boiled in it together with sugar, depending on how sweet you want your coffee to be. The coffee should be served in small cups, but the coffee is not meant to be drunk quickly like espresso. As a Turkish proverb says: "The memory of a good cup of Turkish coffee lasts 40 years." Therefore sip it slowly to grasp the taste properly as it is going to stay with you for some time!
Turkish coffee by Jorge Cancela / Flickr
Atmospheric Coffee Houses of Vienna
One of the must-do things in the Austrian capital of Vienna is to visit one of its wonderful cafes. The coffee houses of Vienna are listed as an "intangible heritage" by UNESCO. According to one of the theories, coffee became an important part of the social life of the Viennese people in the 17th century when the Turkish invaders who had placed Vienna under siege retreated and left behind bags of coffee at the gates of the city. Apparently, it was the great amounts of coffee that led to the emergence of Viennese coffee houses, which quickly became – and are to this day – not only in business to serve coffee, but also to be places for deeper reflection about culture and society. A specialty of Viennese cafes is the Wiener Melange – one small espresso served in a large cup with half steamed milk topped off with milk froth. Delicious! Especially when served with an Apfelstrudel.
© seventyoneplace / Flickr
Cuban Ways: Strong and Sweet
Strong and sweet is the recipe for perfect coffee in Cuba. How to serve delicious Cafe Cubano? Brew a pot of espresso. Measure a quarter of a cup of sugar, put the sugar in a large glass and add one tablespoon of espresso to it. Using a whisk, beat the sugar with the espresso for about a minute until it turns into a foamy mixture. Add the rest of the espresso. The foam will rise to the top. Right after it does, pour the coffee into an espresso cup. And enjoy!
Secret to a Cuban coffee: a perfect foamy top without any milk!
Vietnamese Egg Specialty
Coffee with egg? It might sound a little bit weird, but the first sip of this Vietnamese coffee specialty will dispel whatever doubts you may have. The history of this special recipe goes back to the early 20th century when a bartender called Nguyen Van Giang prepared the first cup of egg coffee. Based on Robusta beans (or any other dark roast), the drink's recipe is as follows: prepare the coffee (best using a Vietnamese Coffee Filter – Phin), in the meantime beat egg yolks with sugar, condensed milk, and vanilla. Prepare a bowl of hot water and place the cups in which the coffee will be served in the bowl to keep them at the right temperature. Pour approximately 2/3 of the prepared coffee extract into the serving glasses and add the egg mixture on the top. Pour the remaining coffee over the egg foam. Wait to make sure the egg cooks through. How to drink it? Slowly stir the froth of the whipped egg with the coffee. The sweet taste of coffee, vanilla, and milk together with the bitterness of the coffee make not only a delicious taste, but also a mesmerizing aroma.
Egg and coffee? Yes, and it is delicious!
Cheesy Coffee of Finland
In 2013, in Finland, the average person drank 9.6 kilos of coffee, making the Finnish rate of coffee consumption the highest in the world. Coffee is such an important component in the lives of Finns that coffee breaks are written into collective labor agreements! As the number of cups of coffee drunk per day in Finland is so high, there has long been a need to find ways to make it taste a little bit different. For example, by serving it with cheese! However, this is not just any cheese, but a Finnish speciality: leipäjuusto – Finnish squeaky cheese. Leipäjuusto is often eaten with cloudberries, but it can be also turned into a coffee dessert. Apparently, although the cheese is a Finnish creation, this way of serving it comes from neighbouring Sweden. According to the recipe, kaffeost (literally “coffee cheese”) is prepared by placing small cubes of cheese into a cup filled with hot coffee. The Finns, however, prefer to use the leipäjuusto as a “side dish” for the main course – the coffee. Which way is better? You need to try it on your own!
Finnish squeaky cheese | © Antti T. Nissinen / Flickr