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Grab a coffee – learn about global coffee culture and vocabulary 

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December 8th marks Cappuccino Day and we’re here to share some words and descriptions of coffee culture around the world. 

Cappucino is indeed an Italian word which has a connection to monks, specifically the Capuchin friars. The colour of the espresso mixed with frothed milk in a cappuccino resembled the colour of the robe worn by the Capuchin friars, members of the Franciscan monastic order known for their missionary work and simple way of life. The Capuchin friars, named after their distinctive cappuccio (Italian for “hood”), which has influenced the name of the beverage when it was first introduced in Italy. On an Important note – when in Italy, you shouldn’t order a cappuccino after 11am! 

Coffee snobbery is a thing and so it will help you to understand some coffee culture, so you don’t stand out in café society! 

In Turkey, coffee is a symbol of hospitality; it’s brewed in a cezve and served unfiltered, with grounds settling at the bottom of the cup. These grounds are sometimes used for fortune-telling​​. 

The coffee ceremony is a significant part of social life in Ethiopia, involving roasting, grinding, and brewing coffee in a jebena pot. It symbolises respect and community​​. 

Fika is a tradition of taking a break with coffee and a sweet treat, emphasizing relaxation and socialising in Sweden​​. 

Egg coffee is a popular treat in Vietnam, combining strong coffee with egg yolks, condensed milk, and sugar, resembling a liquid tiramisu​​. Yum! 

Coffee is blended with local spices such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon in Morrocco, creating a sensory experience and symbolising hospitality​​. 

Greek coffee is enjoyed slowly and often accompanied by a glass of water and a treat and sometimes a board game. 

Coffee is sometimes mixed with horchata, a sweet rice milk drink, for a unique flavour experience – this is a favourite in the southern US​​. 

When you go to your local coffee shop, you’ll have a wide variety of choices for your coffee – each place specialises in their own and you’ll find differences from the water, milk and method. There are so many varieties to choose from:  

Espresso is brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water and steam under pressure through finely ground coffee, resulting in a dense coffee with a layer of crema on top. 

Doppio is essentially a double shot of espresso served in a demitasse cup. 

Caffè Lungo is an espresso made with more water, resulting in a longer shot that is less intense than a normal espresso. 

Caffè Americano is made by adding hot water to espresso, giving it a similar strength but different flavour from regular brewed coffee. 

Latte or Caffè Latte is typically made with one-third espresso and two-thirds steamed milk, with a small amount of foam on top. 

Cortado/Macchiato consists of espresso cut with an equal amount of steamed milk to reduce the acidity. 

Flat White is and Americano with milk – or similar to a latte but with a higher coffee to milk ratio and a velvety consistency of milk. 

These are just a few examples, and variations may exist depending on regional preferences and the coffee house’s unique offerings. 

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