A cup of coffee previously referred to a bitter, dark, hot beverage used to wake up the go-getters. From its humble beginnings, coffee now includes a wide variety of sweetened or technical drinks, ranging from a decadent Frappuccino to a jolting triple espresso. Even with such variation stateside, coffee can refer to even more surprising beverage options internationally. Let’s take a look at five of these that are both interesting and surprisingly familiar.
Australia: The Flat White
Coffee connoisseurs may be familiar with a flat white, the strong espresso drink. In local coffee shops, it is often marketed as a more robust version of a latte and a “flatter” cappuccino, meaning it has less foam and milk. The idea for this drink stems from Australia, though some say the original spot is New Zealand.
A traditional Australian flat white gets made by pouring microfoam, or steamed milk with a smooth texture over two shots of espresso. Only 6 ounces, as opposed to the 8 or 10 for a latte or a cappuccino, the flat white comes across much stronger and is less dilute.
Vietnam: The Ca Phe Da
Taking a turn for the unfamiliar, we go to Vietnam for this powerful (and very sweet) iced coffee drink. A Ca Phe Da features a drip iced coffee made with a small-serving, French pour-over design. The iced coffee is made from coarse, dark grounds to give it a very acidic and bold taste. This gets balanced by the thick condensed milk added in equal parts to the iced coffee.
Many sources of information say Ca Phe Da is made with the cold brew coffee method, but this is inaccurate. It is important to know that a cold brew coffee is different from iced coffee. Cold brews are typically three times more caffeinated and have a much different flavor profile.
Greece: The Frappe
Coffee enthusiasts may, too, be familiar with this beverage, though not necessarily for what it references. The frappe has disputed origins and ingredients. In one account, it came from a small coffee shop in America as a coffee-flavored milkshake with actual ice cream. The more common and widely-accepted account holds that it came from Greece in 1957 by Nescafe.
The Greek version of a frappe pours instant coffee over ice and tops with milk foam. The drink stays in its simplistic form, rather than being further topped with whipped cream or chocolate syrups.
Portugal: The Mazagran
An excitingly different drink, a Mazagran is made by adding lemon juice to an espresso shot. Portuguese coffee drinkers remark that it makes them feel more awake and helps bring out the subtle notes in the coffee. Adding lemon to coffee or espresso is somewhat common worldwide, as many countries have their twist on the Mazagran.
Morocco: Cafe des Epices
This drink adds a spicy twist to coffee that purportedly gives it added health benefits. A cafe des epices adds a spice blend to a cup of black coffee to enhance its flavor. Though the exact blend varies based upon locality, it typically includes nutmeg and black pepper.
Those are just five of the unique takes on coffee around the world. Try one out and find a new favorite!