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World Without Coffee Part 2

The Swiss are to chocolate what the Italians are to coffee – making the world a better place with their recipes. In case you missed the first part of this series where I wrote about the imminent extinction of coffee, you can read it here. Apparently, cocoa shares its fate with coffee. The Swiss though, being ingenious, have invented a chocolate that can be made in the post-apocalyptic world and it looks as scary as the idea of chocolate and coffee becoming extinct. To start with, it is pink – need I say more? Bless the Italian laidbackness that they have not invented any such travesty yet.

Here’s how coffee is enjoyed around the world:

Cuba – Café Cubano

What’s the best thing about Marxism? The labour strikes. Honestly, the proletariat spend more time striking than working. While the bourgeoisie of Cuba savour their Cuban Cigars, the Revolution of the proletariat is fuelled by caffeine Cuban style – Café Cubano aka Cafecito. Making Café Cubano is simple enough, not unlike the simplicity of the life of a Cuban. Coffee is brewed on a stove-top espresso. A spoonful of the brew is whisked with sugar in each cup until a good crema is formed. The remaining brew is added to the sugar-coffee mix. The highlight of café Cubano is the sweet crema.

Ethiopia – Buna

Green coffee beans are roasted on pan over an open flame until they turn dark brown. During the roasting, spices such as cinnamon, cardamom or cloves may be added. The roasted beans are then ground to a coarse consistency by placing them in a wooden bowl “mukecha” and crushed with a blunt cylindrical pestle “zenezena”. The ground beans are then added to water in a clay coffee-pot “jebena” and boiled. The brew is served with or without filtering.

Although I have not personally tasted authentic Ethiopian coffee, I can bet top Ethiopian birr that it is a sensory delight.

Vietnam – Vietnamese Coffee

Second Communist country on the list. Probably the communists have made coffee their beverage of choice. Anyhow, Vietnamese coffee is prepared with a Vietnamese filter that sits directly on top of the serving cup. The coffee is prepared by first adding about a third of an inch of condensed sweetened milk in a cup and then placing the filter on the cup. Ground coffee powder is added to the filter and hot water poured over it. The water percolates through the ground coffee into the cup below. One can then stir the concoction to mix condensed milk properly or enjoy the sweetness after finishing the black coffee.

Austria – Viennese Coffee

Mozart, Strauss, The Sound of Music; Austria has a rich musical heritage. Just as rich and legendary is the Viennese coffee. Legend has it that the first coffee house was started by Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, an officer in the Polish-Habsburg army, in late 17th century. It is said that after defeating the Turks, the army found bags full of unfamiliar beans. Only Kulczycki knew they were coffee beans and opened a coffee shop. He then created the recipe for the Viennese coffee.

Viennese coffee is prepared by heating freshly brewed coffee (can be drip coffee) with cream and chocolate until the chocolate melts and the mixture becomes homogenous. It is topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings after pouring into cups. Cinnamon stick is stuck onto the whipped cream. Tastes best when listening to Mozart’s symphonies.

India – Philter Kaapi

Indians love milk. Especially cow milk. Be it tea or coffee, milk is not added for flavour but is considered a basic ingredient. South and North India may be divided by their loyalty for coffee and tea, respectively, but they are united by their passion for milk. While social media is abuzz about how intolerant India is, Indians are very much tolerant to lactose.

Filter coffee (or philter kaapi as it is pronounced) is a drip-type coffee made using a stainless-steel filter. The upper part of the filter holds ground coffee beans and hot water, while the lower part collects brewed coffee. It is served with frothed milk. It is very flavourful when made with freshly roasted beans.

Stay tuned for more world coffees.

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