A few weeks ago, we published a blog post about coffee culture in North and South America. This time around, we’re exploring some of what Europe has to offer when it comes to enjoying a cup of the black stuff (or white stuff, depending on how you take it).
While differences between North and South American coffee culture are varied, nothing compares to the variety of cultural differences in Europe. From Danish Hygge culture to the rise of specialty coffee across much of Britain, the way Europeans drink their coffee is expansive.
Italy: Short, black and strong
Italy’s coffee culture is arguably one of the oldest in the world. They’ve been enjoying coffee since the age of the Romans, and much of the country celebrates this heritage. Caffé Greco – founded in 1760 – for example, is Rome’s oldest café and was
But it wasn’t until the 19th Century with the introduction of steam-infused coffee-making machines that Italy made its coffee mark and gave the world the espresso. Since then, Italy has enjoyed a short, sharp and sweet ristretto coffee, and it has become an iconic coffee symbol across the country.
France: Café culture at its finest
Paris is the most romantic city in the world. Hemingway went there to write in Parisian coffee shops in the 20s, and couples from across the globe flock to the French capital each year for fun and romance.
And nothing is more romantic than a French café under the Eiffel Tower. It’s a ‘laissez faire’ way of life and enjoying a cup of coffee is something that should take up a good portion of one’s day. You should tuck into a delectable croissant alongside your coffee of choice and watch the world go by.
Sweden: The land of ‘Fika’ culture
Coffee culture in Sweden is a big deal, too. Their coffee breaks even has a special name: ‘Fika’. Traditionally, Swedish coffee is served with ‘fikabrod’ (coffee bread), which can be anything from cinnamon buns, sweet bread or biscuits.
Fika can be had up to four times a day, and oftentimes, espressos are off the table. Swedes like their coffees large.
Ireland: The ‘Irish coffee’
The Irish are known for their drinking habits, and that includes coffee, too. Coffee culture has existed in places like Dublin for many centuries, and in 2008, Ireland produced the first ever Irish World Barista Champion.
Ireland, however, is best known for Irish coffee. A true Irish coffee contains whiskey, hot coffee, sugar and cream on top (we’ll accept the whiskey and coffee part). A head chef conceived Irish coffee in the early 1940s. He served up coffee with whiskey to a group of miserably wet American tourists to try and cheer them up.
We’re so grateful he did.
There’s so much more to explore
Italy, France, Sweden and Ireland are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring coffee culture in Europe. There are the ruin bars of Budapest, the elegance of Austrian coffee houses and Berlin’s underground and ever-rising third wave coffee scene to consider, too.
Europe is steeped in culture and heritage, and their coffee culture is no different. Each and every country has a unique take on how to enjoy a cup of coffee, and something can be taken from each and every nuance. We hope you take something from the above.