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Coffee around the world, is consumed in different ways, in differing styles, with differing strengths, but the tendencies for certain areas of the planet may surprise you.
It’s probably little surprise that the United States of America is the largest single market for coffee products, but it may surprise you to know that the second largest is Germany.
They may live a far more relaxed life than those people in the US, but the nation of Finland consumes the most coffee per head of population in the world today.
The cafe is an almost entirely North American and European trend, turning the serving of tea, sandwiches, pastries, and other light refreshments into an extremely profitable industry. In areas of the Middle East, Africa, South America and Asia, coffee is seen as something more like cigarettes, where you drink it while doing other things, or socializing, rather than as a form of entertainment unto itself.
In Northern Europe, many people hold coffee parties, where homemade cakes and pastries are served.
Around the world, large coffee buying companies sponsor events in small countries, to determine which growers have the ‘best tasting’ coffee. Competition for the top prize at these events is fierce, because victory can mean not only a regular contract to sell the beans, but also other farmers wanting to purchase that variety of seeds for their own fields.
United Kingdom Coffee Culture – In the United Kingdom, where tea has traditionally been the drink of choice, coffee has overtaken the distinctly British beverage as the favorite hot drink of the population. Tea remains the drink of choice, however, in India, which was formerly colonized by Britain.
While the Japanese are famous for their intricate tea ceremonies, the Ethiopians hold coffee ceremonies that are an important part of the social scene.
Being invited to an Ethiopian coffee ceremony is considered high praise, and the procedure can take upwards of two hours.
From Epicurean magazine: “The long involved process starts with the ceremonial apparatus being arranged upon a bed of long scented grasses. The roasting of the coffee beans is done in a flat pan over a tiny charcoal stove, the pungent smell mingling with the heady scent of incense that is always burned during the ceremony. The lady who is conducting the ceremony gently washes a handful of coffee beans on the heated pan, then stirs and shakes the husks away. When the coffee beans have turned black and shining and the aromatic oil is coaxed out of them, they are ground by a pestle and a long handled mortar. The ground coffee is slowly stirred into the black clay coffee pot locally known as ‘jebena’, which is round at the bottom with a straw lid. The lady finally serves the coffee in tiny china cups to her family, friends and neighbors gracefully pouring a thin golden stream of coffee into each little cup from a height of one foot.”