European Coffee Culture

Around the world, coffee is a major part of morning hour and obviously, breakfast seems nothing without coffee.

Certainly Coffee is a hot drink of class! May it be black, bitter, and milky or sweet, it is the choice of many.  In winters, especially, it has its irresistible importance. Moreover, cafe culture is a significant part of the local spirit.

The History of Coffeehouses in Europe

Coffeehouses were first used as spots for friends and family to hang out. They tittle-tattle about what was going on in their area. Later, they were used for office meetups by writers and artists to discuss notions and scheme events.

In the Eastern Mediterranean and Western European countries, coffeehouses were places for intellectuals and artists to socialize.

Coffeehouses started to become the place for business meetings, trade discussions and political sessions during the 17th and 18th centuries in London. Today, the interior and adornment of coffeehouses and the trends of open mike night are traced back to the early cafes in Europe.

If you want to learn about locals and their customs, you can simply get to know by exploring their cafes. Here’s a look at the alluring regional portrayals of the global favorite hot drink.

1. Italy

Italy has a strong trend of drinking milky coffee in the morning, but not with a meal. Coffee is the most demanding drink among Italians; they usually order a coffee at the cafe, drink it there at the counter rather than having seats and enjoying gossips and taking sips while sitting. Suggesting the best coffee of time is Italian coffee. You should give it a go, as Italy has the largest number of coffee bars per capita!

Cappuccinos are either usually taken in breakfast or with sweet delights like a croissant. Milk in a cappuccino is considered as part of the meal in Italian society. That is the reason they avoid it at other times of the day and often take espresso after lunch, dinner or at supper time.

Interesting Fact:

In Turkey, a man would divorce his wife if she didn’t provide him with sufficient coffee during the 15th century.

2. Austria

Coffee is an essential part of Austrian society. The elegant Viennese kaffeehäuser (coffee houses) have been deemed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage element by UNESCO! Viennese coffee house often referred to as the city’s public living rooms is a unique place to visit.

The local coffee aficionado reported about these coffee houses as ‘places where time and space are consumed, but only coffee is found on the bill’. In these coffee houses, Thonet chairs, marble-topped tables, arches, and piano music are specially arranged.

3. Sweden

In Sweden, café culture is a great deal and it huge deal in Sweden and acquire an eminent component of Swedish traditions. The world’s heaviest coffee drinkers are the Swedes. They take prolonged breaks for coffee called ‘fika’ and are known for these.

The persistent periods of coffee lovers always have Semla (a flour bun, filled with almond paste and whipped cream) or ‘fikabröd’, which means ‘coffee bread’ and is basically a sweet delight like biscuits, cinnamon buns, etc. ‘Fika’ is taken at least once a day or up to four ‘fikas’ per day by every Swede.

4. Turkey

Image source: http://istanbul.for91days.com

In Turkey, cafe noir is prepared by special brewing methods in a rich communal traditional culture. The freshly roasted beans are ground to a fine powder. The ground coffee, cold water, and powdered sugar are added to the coffee brewer and brewed slowly to produce desired foam. It is then served in small cups along with a glass of water. This hot coffee is mainly available in coffee houses or cafe where people sit together to share, gossip and to read books. The tradition itself enhances the sense of hospitality, friendship, refinement and entertainment that permeates all walks of life.

The interesting fact is, the coffee grounds left in the empty cup at the end are often used to tell a person’s fate. Turkish coffee is regarded as part of Turkish cultural heritage: it is a part of literature and songs and is a crucial element of ceremonial occasions.

Fun fact! 

In Iceland, it is considered rude and arrogant to refuse a cup of coffee. If you are running short of time and you want to avoid the lengthy rounds of gossips, you can ask for Tíu dropar (‘ten drops’). You will get a smaller cup then and your host won’t be offended by you.

It is a common concept that European coffee has a special kind of taste. This is because of the dark russet that makes it more delicious. Another reason is that the Europeans enjoy their leisure time with coffee in their favorite cafes, which acts as a fervor for them.