How Coffee Works

Coffee Around the World

If you travel throughout the world to countries where coffee is the beverage of choice, you'll find that the tastes vary greatly.

  • America - Most Americans still prefer a light roast; but with the popularity of Starbucks, darker roasts are becoming more common. Americans generally like their coffee with cream and sugar. Flavored coffees (which "taste" flavored only due to the aroma of the additive, not because the beans themselves are flavored in any way) are also popular.
  • France - The dark roast called, appropriately, French roast, is popular. The French also like café au lait, a half-milk, half-coffee mixture.
  • Austria - Viennese roast is a blend of two-thirds dark-roast beans and one-third regular roast (what's known as "European roast" flips those proportions).
  • Italy - Italy is the home of espresso, which is coffee brewed by forcing steam through finely ground, dark-roasted coffee beans. Espresso is very strong. By adding frothed milk, espresso becomes such variations as cappuccino, macchiato and cafe latte.
  • Turkey - A Turkish proverb calls coffee "Black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love." Turkish coffee is very finely ground (finer than espresso) and is brewed in little pots called ibriks or cezves. Turkish coffee is often spiced with cardamom, chicory or coriander.
  • Cuba - Similar to espresso, café cubano is an extremely strong coffee that is not sipped -- it is shot, like tequila. In restaurants, Cuban coffee is served at the end of the meal in tiny tacitas, cups smaller than demitasse cups.
  • Thailand - Thai coffee is a strong, chicory-tinged coffee served with ice and sweetened, condensed milk. To make it at home, add a tablespoon of sweetened, condensed milk to a 6-ounce cup of strong coffee and throw in some ice.

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