Coffee Culture in Europe
Europe was the continent where coffee was first shipped to and introduced to the world. For many European, coffee is not that luxury fashionable black beverage that keeps us awake and feels trendy, but their food culture, the national history and zeitgeist that fused into daily living. Different nations has their own coffee culture developed from their very own history and people's habits, some even says we can learn a lot about the locals via their café!
Sweden, Norway and Iceland
The Nordic countries are among the top consumers in Europe. The Scandinavians import coffee from the world’s finest farms in Colombia, Guatemala and Brazil, and are experts at coffee roasting, only the Sweden and Norwegian like to have their coffee served black, but all of them like to enjoy their coffee with a sweet treat.
The Swedes are listed among the world’s heaviest coffee drinkers and are known for their lengthy coffee breaks called ‘fika’. Every Swede will have a ‘fika’ at least once a day, while some even have up to four!
Norway has always been one of the top consumers since the late 1700s! The traditional Norwegian way of making coffee is on a campfire, called ‘Kokekaffe’ or ‘steeped coffee’.
The Icelandic ‘kaffi’ is made with standard Italian techniques but a with milk version as their country is famous for the quality of the fresh milk. Coffee is part of Icelandic hospitality, it's rude to refuse the offer of coffee.
The Dutch drink a lot of coffee. They drink so much that they make a lots of funny coffee related terms: a ‘koffie’ at home in the morning, ‘koffietijd’ morning coffee break, ‘koffie verkeerd’ means ‘wrong coffee’, which refers to their version of a café au lait – half filter coffee, half warm milk. It's wrong because the traditional way to enjoy coffee in their culture should be with a ‘wolkje’, or small cloud of milk. The funnest part about their coffee culture for the outsider is, the Dutch don't go cafés for coffee but marijuana products, coffee is served in a ‘koffiehuis’, coffee house.
Coffee is an important part of the Austrian culture. So important that they have a coffee house being deemed an Intangible Cultural Heritage element by UNESCO! That's the Viennese kaffeehäuser which often referred as the city’s public living rooms. The local coffee connoisseurs described them as ‘places where time and space are consumed, but only coffee is found on the bill’.
The Germans drinks coffee in a more free style manner when compared with it's European neighbors. They tend to drink it whenever and whatever they wanted. Surprisingly, they import twice as much as coffee as the Italy does, while the Italian invented the modern espresso machine, the more relaxed drinking style Germans invented the drip coffee making, which was coined by Melitta Bentz.
It's very likely everyone would associate England with tea instead of coffee, however, coffee has an undeniable long history in the country. They had their frist café opened in the 1600s and also served tea. It is the fact that tea has been and always the main trend in England, however, coffee culture is also rising while a recent study showed that 70% of London’s wealthier actually prefer coffee to tea!
Coffee houses have been part of the nation since their emerge with Dublin in the 17th century! It's of course best known for
though it wasn't invented by a cafe but a pub.
Coffee in France really shows the personalty of the French. They have their very own style and different from the Italian coffee or those we get from the American chain coffee shops, plus, they don't even drink ice coffee. If you would prefer your coffee in Italian or American style or an ice coffee, the best place you can get what you want will be the American brand chain coffee shops or those high quality cafe near the tourist spots. The French usually drink plain espresso, so
, it's widely believed that no nation makes better coffee than Italians. The Italy love coffee, they can easy consume three or four coffee shots a day, and they can have it all day long. The Italian love strong black coffee so much that they even invented the modern espresso machine!
In Italy, coffee with milk are only served at breakfast time and together with sweet treats like a croissant as they consider the milk in the coffee as part of the breakfast.
They are the only European country who cultivate coffee on their own land and the farmer tend to roast their bean black and oily, and name this roasting style Spanish Roast or Dark French Roast.
The spanish love adding alcohol into their coffee, no matter when. They serve hot coffee with rum or other alcohol and topped with whipped cream, even in early the morning. They have their coffee with breakfast, then brunch, then lunch then afternoon snack and finally, with dinner or supper.
For most Portuguese, coffee is so important that it gives vitality to life as water and good wine does. In Portugal you'll find good quality, unpretentious and inexpensive coffee available in any part of the country, even in the most remote area, there will be 2 or sometimes 3 cafés serving a small village.
Like the Italian, Portuguese drink coffee all day long, since breakfast, then mid-morning snack, after lunch, mid-afternoon cake or after dinner, coffee is always there. Their coffee shop share the name with coffee in Portuguese, Café. However, if you order um café in Portugal, you'll probably get an espresso, and if you would like to order an espresso in Lisbon, you should order um bica (expresso) and, and it's usually served with sweet pastry treats like pastéis de nata (custard cups) while called um cimbalino is what you should order in Porto. Some other Cafés also serve finger savoury food known as petiscos or salgadinho.