Coffee Drinking Around the World

How Different Cultures Like Their Coffee

We all enjoy drinking our coffee in different ways, and add all sorts of extras to sweeten or spice it up depending on where we live in the world.

For example, while UK coffee tends to be milky, sweet, and made using light to medium roast coffee beans, Belgians favour the bitter, chocolaty flavour of dark roast coffee beans.

Here we look at coffee drinking culture around the world so that next time you go on holiday, you won’t be taken for a tourist.



An Irish coffee is a popular after dinner treat laced with whisky and sugar and often topped with whipped cream. It was originally invented in Ireland in the 1940s to warm up American tourists on cold nights.

Italian coffee drinkers prefer strong espressos, their version of ‘coffee on the go’, which is often drunk at a bar. Sugar is sometimes added to help take the edge off. Cappuccinos and lattes are always drunk in the morning, and are generally avoided after a meal as they tend to be very heavy.

French coffee drinkers take their coffee black or ‘au lait’ (with milk). Café au lait tastes similar to a latte and is often served in a wide cup, enabling croissants to be dunked in.



Belgians, famed for their chocolate,  enjoy putting it in their coffee.  This is combined with dark roast coffee beans, which also have chocolaty tones to their taste, for a rich and full-on flavour.

Turkish coffee drinkers enjoy really strong coffee made using dark roast coffee beans, which are finely ground to a powder-like consistency in order to extract as much flavour as possible. The coffee is generally drank from a cezve, a long-handled pot traditionally made from brass or copper.



Mexican coffee drinkers add cinnamon to make a drink known as Café de Olla. This is served in earthen jugs, which are said to bring out the correct taste.

African coffee varies greatly from country to country. For example, Ethiopians add salt to their coffee (‘bunna’) instead of sugar and milk. The Senegalese use cloves and black pepper for an aromatic, spicy taste, while Nigerian coffee is simply enjoyed with fresh lemon.