Culture, Food & Drink

Travel Tips for Coffee Drinkers

September 11, 2015 • By

I’ve been thinking a lot about coffee lately. (Ok, let’s rephrase that. I’ve been drinking a lot of coffee lately…)

I like having a quiet half hour every morning all to myself. No company, no conversation, no reading or checking emails. I like to become fully aware of the day on my own terms, as I enjoy a Cup of Joe.

Lately, as I sip, I’ve been remembering travel moments that relate to coffee.

Coffee is a seriously universal thing – but the rituals surrounding it change from place to place.

Take cappuccino, for instance.

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I love it when they make cool designs in the froth of my cappuccino – how DO they do it?

This is my favorite way to drink coffee. I often have one in the morning but I also love having a cappuccino after a long, relaxed meal. Or after dessert.  But in Italy, the birthplace of cappuccino, you would never order this drink after dinner.

Cappuccino is for breakfast. (Only children drink coffee with milk after noon.)

In Italy and many other places in the world, espresso is the only coffee drink for grown ups.

Espresso Being Brewed

Espresso Being Brewed

Strong, dark and handsome is the way you should drink an espresso. With or without sugar. With or without a twist.

(Please. Don’t embarrass yourself with that wimpy cappuccino!)

Turkish Coffee with Sugar Cube

Turkish Coffee with a Date Treat on the Side

My husband (also strong, dark and handsome) sometimes orders Turkish Coffee after a meal. He’s even tried to make it at home, although the process is tedious and highly specific. (Turntable Kitchen has the directions for making Turkish Coffee on their beautiful site – you can click here to get directions.)

Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee being poured from a copper cezve.by Eaeeae

To make it, you need a special long-handled pot called a cezve. Traditionally, these are copper.but you can now find them in other materials as well.

Here’s a beautiful Turkish Coffee Pot and serving set I found on Amazon. The decorative aspect of the Turkish coffee ritual can be particularly beautiful.

I love the anticipation of Turkish coffee. It must be heated up repeatedly, just to boiling.  The one making the coffee must stand patiently at the stove, waiting for the dark mud to begin bubbling up the sides of the pot, removing it quickly from the heat. Over. And over. And over.

You would never add milk to Turkish coffee but you can add sugar.

One thing to remember when you’re traveling is that coffee can be highly political.

If you’re in the Middle East for instance, order Arabic coffee – not Turkish! (A friend of ours was once thrown out of a restaurant in Greece for ordering “Turkish” coffee! So do be careful.)

And remember, Turkish coffee grounds settle at the bottom of the cup. Once you start to feel the silt, stop drinking. And if your sleep patterns are caffeine-sensitive – this is not the drink for you.

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A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to spend some time in Crimea, traveling among Crimean Tatar villages and meeting some truly amazing people. There, Tatar coffee is served with a sugar cube that you hold in your teeth while you sip the brew.

It’s delicious.

One of my earliest coffee-related travel memories involves the French Press and a romantic summer in London.

French Press Coffee (photo by Christy Baugh on Flikr Creative Commons)

French Press Coffee (photo by Christy Baugh on Flikr Creative Commons)

I was a naive college student studying art and, as college students studying abroad often do, I fell quite madly in love with a mysterious, brooding teacher’s assistant some ten years older than me.

Once, after a night at a hip London club, he made a pot of French Press coffee wearing old jeans and his black leather jacket.

I had never seen a French Press coffee pot before – and when he turned around with that perfect glass carafe in his hands I was hooked.

The truth is, I’ve never gotten over the beauty of that moment, the melancholic charm of London or the perfection of the French Press Coffee Pot.

Don’t worry, I did get over him.

French Press coffee should be ordered when you want to while away an hour with a friend or two, preferably in a coffee shop with wooden tables and piles of newspapers and big glass windows. If it happens to rain while you’re inside, all the better.

That's a Big Cup of Coffee

That’s a Big Cup of Coffee

So there we have it. Those are the travel memories ebbing through my mind as I sip my gigantic, homemade cappuccino this morning.

How do you take your coffee?

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Travel Tips for Coffee Drinkers on Travel & Lifestyle Blog Rover@Home

Travel Tips for Coffee Drinkers on Travel & Lifestyle Blog Rover@Home

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