A Coffee Addict's Guide to the World
Would you mix your joe with cheese? Butter? Whiskey? Most of the world loves coffee, but you might be surprised by how they take it. Bring your morning cup on a world tour with 25 popular regional spins on the caffeinated classic.
Netherlands: Bakkie Troost
Description: Literally translating to "cup of comfort," the Dutch bakkie troost usually comes black and served alongside a single spice cookie (you may also commonly see the drink simply referred to as kaffe). If you want a latte, you'll have to order koffie verkeerd, or "coffee wrong."
Sip Tip: Know your terminology! A bruine kroeg (brown cafe) is a tobacco-stained, pub-like bar, known for its untranslatable sense of gezelligheid (similar to coziness); a koffieshop (or simply "coffee shop") is the infamous Amsterdam shop that sells marijuana products; a koffiehuis will sell coffee and light meals; and a cafe is similar to a restaurant with a bar. You can find a good cup of coffee in any of them, but you should know what you're getting yourself into before going inside.
Cafe: Amsterdam is a city of coffeehouses, from less than savory to gleaming and grand. Often, the most rewarding spots are those steeped in centuries of history. Situated in one of Amsterdam's oldest wooden houses, Cafe In 't Aepjen (literally "In the Monkeys") gets its odd name from the tavern's storied history as a sailor's haunt. Reportedly, men returning from Asia in the 16th century sometimes paid out their tabs with monkeys they had picked up in their travels. Zeedijk 1, cafeintaepjen.nl, kaffe $3.17.
Description: The diminutive name of this drink (meaning "a little coffee" in Portuguese) belies a big fact about Brazil's coffee economy—the country produces almost a third of all the world's coffee beans. The national coffee is filtered through a cloth strainer and often served in tiny plastic or china cups, and comes very sweet and very strong.
Sip Tip: A cafezinho often comes free at the end of a meal in a restaurant.
Cafe: Skip the European-style grand cafes and head to one of Rio de Janeiro's botequins (neighborhood bars) like Café Gaúcho. At this popular sidewalk spot, guests must follow a few steps to fit in like a local: Pass coins to the cashier, get a small receipt, bring it to the man behind the circular counter, and receive your distinctly bitter cup of coffee. Rua São José 86, 011-55/25-339-285, cafezinho 50¢.
Poland: Kawa Parzona
Description: Also called kawa naturalna, this traditional Polish-style coffee is made by simply mixing ground coffee beans and boiling water directly in a glass with no filter.
Sip Tip: If you want to steep your coffee the traditional way, look on the label for drobno mielona, which is an extra-fine, Turkish-style ground. If the label just reads mielona, these beans have been ground and are suitable for a regular drip coffee pot or an espresso machine.
Cafe: Finding traditional Polish coffee is becoming increasingly difficult in the country's major cities, but it's simple to make the drink yourself once you buy the correct grounds. Though the coffee may come out of a copper pot rather than brewed in your individual glass in the traditional manner, Warsaw's Cafe Blikle serves up one of the most classic Polish cafe experiences. While most of the capital was damaged or destroyed during the two world wars, this spot has been going strong since 1869, thanks in no small part to its world-famous pączki (doughnuts). Nowy Świat 35, 011-48/022-826-0569, kawa $2.75.
Japan: Kan Kohi
Description: Introduced by the Ueshima Coffee Co. in 1969, canned coffee (which became kan kohi through Japan's system of adapting foreign phrases) is found in most grocery stores and vending machines, from which it is dispensed hot in the winter and cold in the summer.
Sip Tip: Though canned coffee is perfectly portable, that doesn't mean you should bring it everywhere. Eating or drinking on Japanese subways, for instance, is generally considered rude.
Cafe: Searching for the best place to find canned coffee in Japan is akin to searching for the best place to buy Coca-Cola in the United States—it's everywhere. The country operates an estimated 6 million vending machines (that's about one for every 23 people).
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