Did you know that in certain parts of the world it is deemed as being rude or offensive to refuse a cup of coffee? Coffee and tradition are intertwined in many cultures, where coffee etiquette and social interaction go together like peas and carrots. Every country has its coffee traditions and drink their brew differently. 

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks enjoyed by millions right across the globe which is consumed and served in unique ways. 

Coffee is a fruit and the beans are seeds of red berries that grow on trees, but of special interest is that coffee was at first eaten and not drunk by African tribes that used to make “power balls” from coffee beans and fat which was then eaten when they need to boost their energy levels! Coffee is usually not eaten, but drunk in many ways, and is a great “pick me up” when your energy levels drop – especially when coffee is pure and organic. 

Do a little research before travelling to ensure you respectfully drink your coffee in the presence of others when you are visiting foreign lands. 


Drinking coffee in Italy

Italian coffee is absolutely divine – often drunk in small cups, espresso, which is concentrated coffee is almost consumed like an alcohol shot and sometimes a little slice of lemon is rubbed around the edges of the espresso cup to add that little zing to the experience. A glass of water is often served with coffee to clean the palate. Furthermore, coffee is ordered after meals – always. Not before eating or during a meal. Liquor is sometimes added, and cappuccino is usually consumed in the morning. Espresso is never ordered on-the-go. 


Drinking coffee in Saudi Arabia 

Coffee comes with some serious etiquette in numerous Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia, where refusing coffee is seen as being ill-mannered. It is the norm to serve the oldest in the group first and men usually drink with men and women with women. Alcohol and drugs are banned in Saudi Arabia; therefore, coffee is the stimulant of choice. Coffee is Saudi Arabia is called Kahwa which is thick and dark and very, very bitter. Kahwa is flavoured with cardamom and is often served with sweet dates to cut through the bitterness. 


Drinking coffee in Turkey 

Turkish coffee is brewed with sugar and not afterwards and is referred to as Turk Kahvesi. An old proverb describes this thick beverage to perfection -” black as hell, strong as death and as sweet as love”. This might sound quite daunting, but Turkish coffee is viewed as being a dessert which is served after a meal accompanied by sweet treats. Kahvesi is prepared in a traditional copper pot and is so hot it can scorch your lips!  


Drinking coffee in Ethiopia

Drinking coffee in Ethiopia is a national tradition which can take several hours to infuse; it is one of the oldest and most ceremonial traditions on the continent of Africa! Coffee is served in three rounds – these are referred to as the awol, tona and baraka. The coffee ceremony is extravagant and quite lovely. The pouring ceremony is only performed by the lady of the home. The coffee is called “buna” and is lovingly brewed in distinct carafes, then poured from a distance over cups without spilling a drop. Traditionally, the coffee is flavoured with butter and salt. 

Coffee is popular throughout the world and brings international travellers from far and wide together. Whether you love your coffee piping hot, frothed and steaming with milk, or with a zing that leaves you energised throughout the entire day, there is a coffee culture for you, but be certain to respect coffee cultures no matter where you drink your brew. 

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