Coffee is an almost universally enjoyed beverage. Each morning, people around the world wake up and make a cup of coffee. It’s become deeply engrained in cultures as diverse as Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Sweden.
But while the basics are the same, coffee culture, and how coffee is brewed, varies greatly around the world. Some places, like Italy, tend to drink coffee on the go, while standing at a counter in a café or gas station. Other countries, like Ethiopia, linger over their coffee, attaching great ceremony and ritual to its consumption. Even the ingredients included and the brewing styles can vary. In Finland, for example, coffee is poured over cheese curds. In Australian and New Zealand, the drink of choice is called a flat white, a variation on a latte.
Here’s a look at the best places in the world for coffee culture, where visitors can experience the wide diversity that comes with brewing and drinking coffee.
Vietnam is the world’s second largest grower of coffee beans. The French brought coffee to Vietnam in 1857, so most Vietnamese coffee is made with darker roasts, as is the preference in France. Vietnam grows primarily robusta coffee, which is known for being high in caffeine and more bitter than arabica. Vietnamese coffee is typically brewed using a phin, a metal cup that sits over a mug and brews coffee slowly, allowing thick, strong coffee to develop. Cà phê đá, coffee with condensed milk is a popular drink, as is cà phê trứng, which is topped with a layer of thick, sweet egg cream.
As the world’s fifth largest coffee producer, Ethiopia is known for growing nuanced beans that delight coffee nerds seeking single-origin brews. Ethiopia claims to be the native home of coffee—though Yemen also makes that claim. In either case, coffee has existed here for hundreds of years. And it’s brewed and consumed through a traditional coffee ceremony that starts with roasting coffee beans on a flat iron pan over charcoal. The beans are then crushed with a st