Everyone knows espresso is Italian and what’s in an Irish coffee. But there are practically unlimited ways to enjoy of a cup o’ Joe around the world. Here are just a few of the more interesting ones.
The Finnish pour coffee over cubes of leipäjuusto (or, in the U.S., “Finnish squeaky cheese”), browned in the oven, to make a kaffeost. The cheese soaks up the coffee and is spooned out and eaten for a sweet, creamy treat with your morning mug.
Turkish coffee is an everyday drink, and is also a part of the traditional Turkish wedding customs. It’s made by boiling finely ground coffee beans with water and the desired amount of sugar in a brass or copper coffee pot called a cezve.
When the mixture begins to froth, about one-third of the coffee is distributed to individual cups to warm them. The remaining amount is returned to the fire to froth a second time, then poured into the cups. Pro tip: Wait a few moments before you drink to let the grounds sink to the bottom of your mug.
In Greece, as in nearly half of the world, instant coffee — often Nescafé — is the coffee of choice. Greeks like theirs as a frappe, a frothy blend of milk, sugar and Nescafé served over ice.
From the 1840s until 1997, Hong Kong was under British rule — and with the British came the ritual of afternoon tea. Hong Kong-style milk tea is black tea mixed with evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. In the bustling city, seven parts milk tea are mixed with three parts coffee to make a popular drink called the yuengyung, a sweet caffeine jolt served hot or over ice.
Introduced by the French in the 19th century, coffee became an important crop in Vietnam and the country is still one of the world leaders in coffee exports today. The Vietnamese didn’t have much access to fresh milk, so they began using sweetened condensed milk and pouring the drink over ice, called a Cà Phê Sữa Ðá
Cà Phê serves 1
Excerpted from “Vegetarian Viet Nam” by Cameron Stauch
I love watching rich robust Vietnamese coffee drip slowly into a glass. Grown in the central highlands and made from strong dark robusta beans, Vietnamese coffee is satisfying on its own, with its hints of smoky chocolate and caramel. It’s also stellar when stirred with a touch of sweetened condensed milk or, in summer, poured over ice.
Vietnamese coffee is traditionally brewed one cup at a time using a small filter (phin) perched atop a cup or mug. Search for a phin and Trung Nguyên brand coffee (my favorite!) in Vietnamese grocers. If you don’t have a phin or want to make coffee for several people at once, opt instead for a regular drip coffeemaker or an espresso machine. Plan for ¾ cup of coffee per person.
2 rounded tablespoons finely ground Vietnamese coffee or strong French roast
About ¾ cup (190 ml) just-boiled water
To Make Black Coffee (Cà Phê Den)
1. Place the coffee in the inner chamber of the filter and gently tap it to settle and evenly distribute the coffee.
2. Fit the insert into the chamber, twisting it once or twice around to flatten and spread out the coffee. Screw it about three-quarters tight, leaving room for the coffee to swell. Set the filter on top of a glass or mug.
3. Pour about ¼ cup of just-boiled water into the filter and wait about 30 seconds to a minute for the coffee grounds to moisten.
4. Pour the remaining hot water into the filter (it should almost reach the top). Cover with the lid and let the coffee drip into the glass or mug over 3 or 4 minutes.
5. If the coffee stops dripping before the chamber is empty, gently loosen the insert. If you’re using a mug, lift the lid to check on the progress (I like using a glass cup to watch the progress of the slow dark drip.)
6. Drink it black or slightly sweetened with sugar.
With Sweetened Condensed Milk (Cà Phê Sũa)
1. Pour 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk into the glass or mug before brewing the coffee.
2. Stir, taste, and adjust with more milk if desired.
With Sweetened Condensed Milk on Ice (Cà Phê Sũa Dá)
1. Mix sweetened condensed milk with coffee (above) and pour into a glass filled with three or four ice cubes.