I wanted to keep exploring international consumption patterns with this post on how people around the world consume their coffee (if any). I am sure these quotes will not be alien to you and you might be able to identify with one of them.


A ristretto, please!


In Italy, coffee is an institution and they make it either with very fancy coffee makers, or adorable “machinette”. It is taken at the bar downstairs from your office, quickly, having a chat with your pal about the latest performance of La Juve, or reading the newspaper. One sip (and what a sip! the strength of Italian coffee would kill most non-trained British stomachs), and go!


I have at least 3 coffees a day, I cannot do without them.


Much like the Italians, Greeks are a bit precious about coffee. They make it in a briki, and like it very strong as well. I found that most of my Greek friends also add heaps of sugar. In the summer, hot coffee is traded for its ice-cold version: the “frappe” — I mean, how else can you survive in urban Athens under 40°C without a frappe, I ask you?!


What are you having again, Laurence? You and you weird coffee! Have some tea instead!


People from the UK or Ireland usually do NOT drink coffee. They are a bit maniac about their tea, which is traditionally taken with a variable amount of milk and most often several times a day as well. Most confusing habit, by the way, as they also call their even meal “tea”. If they do drink coffee, though, they tend to be happy with hyper-sweet or hyper-diluted Starbucks versions.


I really like this instant coffee!


On the far-end of the coffee drinking expertise, you’ll find the Chinese. They produce such amazing and fragrant tea that until recent western culture invasions, coffee was never really a thing for them. Being told by my Chinese colleague that an instant coffee is really tasty was like…like saying that Cadburry makes good chocolate.


Belgium I guess would be in the middle (we are very compromising people!). We are not maniac about coffee, but it is  more prominent than tea for us. We would typically have a medium-strength coffee, in a medium-sized cup (unless you want an espresso), and it would come with a small piece of chocolate, or a Speculoos (crisp ginger biscuit).


And you, how do you like your coffee? I think would like mine in this hand-drawn paper cup: