Coffee Drinking Practices Abroad
Coffee is an extremely popular drink in the United States. From college students consuming an extra three cups the night before finals to the middle aged men and women relying on it every morning prior to their nine to five workday, coffee has become a staple in American society. In other parts of the world, coffee varies not only in flavor but also in the nature of its consumption. Coffee arouses several stigmas including ones of formality and casualty depending on the type of coffee, surrounding atmosphere, and location. Here are some popular coffee drinking practices around the globe.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea has an elaborate tradition when it comes to coffee. Similar to the popular Tea Ceremony in Japanese culture, the Eritrean culture holds coffee ceremonies for significant occasions. Shabait reports, “Inviting one for a coffee ceremony is also something one does for a respected or honorable guest; people perform [the] coffee ceremony to show their respect for that particular person.” Thus, the coffee ceremony in Eritrea may be reserved for displaying admiration and appreciation for social/political figures and elders. Shabait also goes on to discuss how the coffee ceremony may not always be a formal practice. It can also serve as a way to bring parents, siblings, cousins, and other family members together to encourage or reinforce close family relationships and values.
Like in many other South American countries such as Bolivia and Peru, Brazil also grows coffee beans. Similar to the way individuals drink coffee in the United States, people in Brazil also drink coffee on a daily basis as the Coffee Tasting Club writes, “Coffee in Brazil is consumed very regularly. From waking up to going to sleep, coffee is drank at any opportunity possible, so much so that the word cafezinho, which means ‘small coffee’ is almost used as a welcome phrase.” However, while many North Americans like their coffee bitter and strong, Brazilians tend to prefer it sweet.
Unlike the United States, Brazil, and certain European nations such as France, China does not have a history of a popular “coffee drinking” culture. However, the popularity of coffee has increased within the past decade. Due to the effects of globalization and pressures to dominate the world market in different industries, coffee has begun to play a visible role in Chinese life. The Guardian conveys, “Coffee is still a relatively new departure for China’s tea drinking population and sweet milky coffee drinks like mocha and lattes are the most popular.” While drinking coffee, especially on a regular basis, is still an emerging concept in China, the creative ways people are combining tastes of the Chinese cuisine with foreign flavors can definitely increase the number of coffee drinkers in China.
Overall, the way coffee is consumed, the form of coffee consumed, and the prevalence of coffee differs depending on where you are in the world. Often times, the act of drinking coffee goes beyond the sole act of consumption. It can radiate symbols of respect, create a laid back environment, or play an essential role in one’s lifestyle.