For people who care about their food

Five cool and unusual ways coffee is served around the world

A guest blog by Nate

In search of a unique new way to brew or serve your own coffee? If so, you might get inspiration from looking at some intriguing ways coffee is prepared in other parts of the world. Many of us are used to downing our morning coffee by force of habit (and some might argue by necessity), but coffee can also be an art form, something to be savoured and enjoyed.

Here are five examples of unique and delicious ways to prepare coffee, sampled from around the globe.

  1. Sweetened espresso with steamed milk. This type of coffee is served in Cuba, where it is called cortadito, and also in Vietnam, the Netherlands and Australia. The coffee is made by brewing the beans in a small metal filter, which is placed over a glass with sweetened condensed milk at the bottom. The coffee drips into the glass, and is then stirred in with the milk. It is sweet and often very strong, and can be enjoyed hot or iced.
  2. Canned coffee. Canned coffee isn’t particularly common in most countries – to Westerners, it might even sound unappealing. But in Japan it’s everywhere and you can buy it from vending machines positioned at virtually every corner. The canned coffee is brewed in advance and ready to drink on the spot, and during the summer months you can buy it iced. Throughout the year, you have the option of getting the canned coffee hot or cold (the idea of hot canned drinks may sound unusual if you are in America, but hot canned drinks are quite common in Japan). You won’t find some common North American brands like Van Houtte or Grove Square, but popular brands include Boss Coffee, Fire (made by Kirin, the beer company), Georgia, Nescafe, and Roots. Some versions include milk and sugar – while others do not. Unique flavoured variations are also available.
  3. Turkish coffee. This does not refer to a type of coffee bean, but rather a method of preparation. Turkish coffee is made out of finely ground coffee which is boiled without a filter in a special pot called a cezve. Sometimes the coffee is brewed twice to make it extra strong, and then it is poured into a demitasse cup. The foam is preserved on top, while the grounds, still present in the mixture, sink to the bottom of the cup.
  4. Viennese coffee. This is a tasty dessert drink which comes served in a tall glass instead of inside a coffee cup. It is topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, and usually comes served with mineral water (in a separate cup) and a cinnamon biscuit which you can enjoy with the drink.
  5. South Indian coffee. This type of coffee preparation uses a saucer called a davarah, and a cup called a tumbler. The coffee is brewed in a filter, and sugar and boiling milk are added to the mix. The mixture is poured into the tumbler and then into the davarah, and then back into the tumbler. After pouring it back and forth a few times, the brewer can get the coffee to a very frothy state. It is served in the tumbler, which is then placed in the davarah. The davarah then serves as a cup-holder.

Some of these types of coffee require specialised equipment to prepare, but not too much of it. If you are able to purchase a davarah and tumbler or a cezve, you can make Turkish or South Indian coffee, for example. With some condensed milk and a metal drip brewer, you can make sweetened espresso with steamed milk. Next time you’re at a restaurant which serves ethnic cuisine, have a glance at the drinks menu. You may very well find an option to enjoy one of these unique beverages while dining out!



About the author

Nate is an avid blogger and the co-owner of, as well as an avid backpacker. While he enjoys a freshly brewed pot of coffee every morning, canned coffee is his guilty pleasure.

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