Coffee is a uniquely celebrated drink all over the world.
On our trip to Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands last year, we spent quite a lot of time hunting for local coffee shops - both the traditional and 'third wave' variety - and trying out different coffee drinks.
After we returned, we were inspired to put together a collection of as many different coffee drinks and recipes - from all around the world - as we could find.
Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia, though its origins are disputed. Over its centuries-long history, cultures and countries around the world have developed countless coffee recipes and rituals.
WIthout further ado, here are fifty ways to drink coffee from around the world!
Flat White - A popular Australian drink from the mid-1980s named for the thin layer of white foam at the top of the drink. Made by pouring steamed milk with microfoam into an espresso.
The Viennese coffee house is well-known for playing an important part in shaping Viennese culture. Guests can sit for hours to read newspapers and journals, talk, write, play cards, and discuss anything from world events to philosophy. “Viennese Coffee House Culture” is even listed as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by UNESCO, and is described as a place where ‘time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.’
Kleiner Mokka - A single espresso. German for small mocha.
Grober Mokka – A double espresso. German for large mocha.
Kleiner Brauner - A single espresso served with a small cup of milk or cream to add at your pleasure. German for small brown.
Grober Brauner - A double espresso served with a small cup of milk or cream to add at your pleasure. German for large brown.
Milchkaffee - A strong, double espresso topped off up to the rim of the cup with hot milk and sometimes milk froth. In Austria, a milchkaffee is often called a melange and is made from a mokka or a kleiner brauner and milk. German for milk coffee.
Franziskaner - The Franiskaner is a small Milchkaffee with a lump of whipped cream thrown in. In Italy this is known as Espresso con Panna, or Espresso with Cream.
Überstürtzer Neumann – In this drink whipped cream is put in an empty coffee cup and a double espresso is poured over, hence the upside-down, ubersturtzer in German.
Obermeier - A double portion of coffee in which a very cold, liquid cream is poured into the coffee over the back of a coffee spoon. The Obermayer was named after a member of the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert Obermeier, who wanted to drink coffee during intermissions of performances and needed the coffee to be cool enough to drink rapidly during the short break.
Wiener Eiskaffee – A double espresso poured over a bit of milk and a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. It is topped with some freshly whipped cream and often decorated with coffee beans.
Kaisermelange - The Kaisermelange, or Emperor’s Mix, consists of strong black coffee, an egg yolk and honey. The egg yolk is mixed with honey and the coffee is added gently to the mix while stirring. In Vienna, a shot of brandy or cognac is also added to the mix.
Fiaker – Named after Viennese horse-drawn carriages, this drink is comprised of strong, black coffee served in a glass with a shot of rum and whipped cream on top.
Biedermeier Kaffee – Named after the Biedermeier period, this drink mixes a double shot of espresso with a shot of apricot liqueur, topped with a dollup of whipped cream.
Maria Theresa - A double portion of coffee, mixed with a shots of orange liqueur and brandy, and topped with cream. This drink was named after the Hapsburg ruler.
Café Cubano - An espresso shot which is sweetened with demerara sugar which has been whipped with the first and strongest drops of espresso.
Café au Lait – Drip-brewed coffee with hot steamed milk added.
Café Crème – Dark coffee with heavy cream added.
Café Serré – A short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water in the same amount of time by using a finer grind.
Café Noisette – Espresso with a small amount of milk added. Translates as "hazelnut coffee" in reference to the dark color of espresso.
Café Brûlot – Alcoholic coffee beverage made from igniting a mixture of brandy, orange liqueur, sugar, cloves, and cinnamon and then gently stirring in dark coffee.
Irish Coffee – The origin of Irish coffee is disputed, but a leading theory is that it was invented by Joseph Sheridan, the head chef at a restaurant in the Foynes Airbase Flying boat terminal building in the early 1940s. The story says that after a group of American passengers disembarked after a several-hour failed Atlantic crossing due to inclement weather on a Pan Am Clipper flying boat, chef Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. When the passengers asked if they were going to be served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was ‘Irish coffee' :)
Italy has an incredible coffee culture, and is arguably the drink’s worldwide spiritual home. Introduced in the 1500s, coffee is deeply embedded into Italians’ everyday routine.
Ristretto – A short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water in the same amount of time by using a finer grind.
Espresso – The default coffee and base for most drinks. When in Italy a caffè is a shot of espresso. Espresso coffee is brewed by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans.
Espresso Romano – An Espresso Romano is a short or long shot of espresso served with a small piece of lemon rind for a unique hit of flavor. Some people say this coffee comes from baristas using lemon wedges to clean their espresso machines during times of water shortages.
Doppio – A double espresso. Normally an espresso is 30 ml, a Doppio is 60 ml.
Corretto – Literally translates as “corrected coffee,” this drink features espresso with a splash of alcohol, such as grappa or sambuca.
Espresso con Panna – Italian for "espresso with cream." A shot of espresso topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Affogato – A scoop of vanilla gelato covered with a shot of espresso and served immediately
Americano – The Italian interpretation of drip-coffee from the United States: espresso diluted with plenty of hot water.
Lungo – This ‘long’ coffee is made from espresso with a splash of hot water - the overall drink is weaker than an espresso but stronger than the Americano.
Cappuccino – A beverage made from espresso, hot milk, and frothed milk. To make one, add equal parts of espresso, hot steamed milk, and velvety milk froth.
Bicerin – A luxurious coffee-and-chocolate drink topped with frothy cream. This drink originated in a cafe in Turin where the original recipe is a closely guarded secret.
Shakerato – The name comes from the English word ‘to shake'. This drink is prepared by shaking together a shot of espresso with ice cubes and some amaretto or syrup in a cocktail shaker until a frothy consistency has been obtained. It is usually served in a martini glass.
Latte Macchiato – Steamed or foamed milk 'marked' with a splash of espresso, and topped with light foam.
Café de Olla – A special spiced coffee from Mexico. Prepared on a saucepan, the coffee is brewed in a mixture of water, cinnamon, and piloncillo (unrefined whole cane sugar).
Bica – A Portuguese espresso. The word bica is Portuguese for spout.
Garoto – Named after the Portuguese word for child, or little boy, this drink is approximately half coffee and half milk, and was given to children to introduce them to the flavor of coffee.
Carioca – Café Carioca can either be a weak, watered-down espresso, or an elaborate drink containing rum, Grand Marnier, sea-buckthorn syrup, lemon juice, coffee powder, and whipped cream. The former is most commonly found in Portugal, whereas the latter is mostly found in Brazil.
Café Cortado – An espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity.
Carajillo – The carajillo combines coffee with brandy, whisky, or anisette. Its origin dates back to the times when Cuba was a Spanish province.
Café Bombón – This drink was popularized in Valencia and spread throughout the rest of the country and eventually into Asia. It consists of a delicious ratio of equal parts coffee and sweetened condensed milk.
Barraquito – A specialty from Tenerife, Barraquito is traditionally prepared with Licor 43.
Café Crème – A long espresso drink. Despite its name it usually does not contain any cream but is rather a large espresso.
Luzerner Kafi – This drink from Lucerne is enhanced with Träsch liquor.
Turkish Coffee – Turkish coffee is prepared by grounding coffee with a manual grinder to a very fine powder. It is made by bringing the ground coffee (with water and sugar) to boil in a cezve (special pot). Once the mixture begins to froth about a third of the coffee is poured onto individual cups, with the remaining liquid returned to the fire and re-distributed once it starts to boil again. This type of coffee is very strong and normally served in special small porcelain cups.
Iced Coffee – Now immensely popular, iced-coffee as we know it originated in North Africa as Mazagran. It was brought to France in the 19th century and quickly became popular in Paris. This was the first coffee drink to be served in tall, narrow glasses.
Ice Blended Coffee – Ice-blended coffee is related to the Greek Frappé, a foam covered iced coffee drink. It was invented accidentally by a Nescafe representative in 1957 after which it became popular all over Greece.
Mocha – This drink consists of three equal parts of espresso, hot chocolate, and steamed milk.
Breve – Italian for "short". An espresso with half-and-half (light cream), instead of whole milk.
Ca Phe Sua Da – Coffee was introduced into Vietnam by the French in the mid 1800s. The rising popularity of the Café Cortado in Spain and then in France influenced the rise of the Vietnamese take on adding sweetened condensed milk to coffee.
This list is by no means comprehensive, and coffee culture is still evolving today. What are your favorite ways to drink coffee? We personally love the café de Olla and the (of course) classic cappucino, but would love to try the carioca one day!