If I ask you right now, where the best coffee ever could be found, what’s going to be your answer? Let’s bet, I’ll get at least 30 different options. Everyone would insist to know better where the best coffee in the world is. It’s kind of a tricky question, because what I asked actually was : Where the best cup of coffee is served, not where the best quality coffee beans grow:)
Wherever it is, would you travel to get it served? Well…probably most of the answers were NO. I believe, plenty of you are still dreaming about the coffee you ever tasted, a coffee probably made thousands of miles away. I expect arguments about the best coffee of the world location. A regular cup of coffee is not something unique, most of us start the day with. How addicted are you? Do you enjoy daily the favourite cup of coffee? Does a particular caffeine mixture influence your performance?
My own coffee story is a bit different. I am NOT a passionate coffee drinker. I don’t need 5-6 (or more) cups a day to wake up, feel good or capable to work. I do prefer cappuccino. One MUG in the morning with honey is enough to cover my needs for the rest of the day. Don’t make an annoyed face, please! Cappuccino? And honey? I can see your mimics in regard to my coffee preferences:)
I might not be such an addicted coffee drinker, but I am a very demanding one. I consider myself a cappuccino expert and could recognise the good one for sure. So please, don’t be in a hurry to judge and kick me out of the coffee competition, just because I am a passionate cappuccino drinker.
I tasted different types and ways of coffee making during my trips, by comparing and getting curious about the local habits. For example, I am 100% convinced a proper cappuccino can’t be made in Turkey (they still try). But it’s replaced by the famous Turkish coffee which is very strong, served in small cups, accompanied by a glass of water. Same coffee is made in Greece and Cyprus (in fact all the Balkan countries do it), but expectedly there it’s called “Greek coffee”.
The procedure of making Turkish/Greek coffee is linked to strictly followed rituals. The first “tool” you need is a Turkish coffee pot, called dzezve/cezve/ibrik. The cold water must be measured in advance by the same cup you are going to drink it in. Then comes the measurement of the coffee fine powder by a tea spoon. The mix must be boiled three times before taking the dzezve completely away from the stove. It’s sort of an heresy not to sweeten the cup of Turkish coffee.
The magic happens after the cup of Turkish coffee is already drunk off. Here comes the famous on the Balkans coffee cup reading. Your destiny could be easily revealed, depending on the figures, formed by the coffee ground remains at your cup’s bottom. There are women capable to do the coffee cup reading art. This type of reading was commercialised and usually to hear what expects you in the future, you should pay for. Even if you don’t believe in the coffee predictions, I promise, it’s fun that keeps you drenched in your own coffee life story. The last time, I got such a coffee cup reading, was in Limassol, Cyprus. There at the bottom of my cup were seen a priest, a mountain with an angel above, four very long roads, a loving heart, a singing bird and a shiny sun. The interpretation depends on the cup reader, so I am still waiting for my long trip to …China:)
The next is the Arabic coffee , which has nothing to do with the coffee taste we are used to. It’s a complicated mix of spices, dependant on the region. The Arabic coffee is rough, bitter, a bit sour, usually served along with sweets, mostly dry dates. In the Middle East it’s a matter of respect to serve it in the afternoon, while welcoming your guests or family. It was not my type of preferable coffee, but I was curious to taste it.
Also its presentation is accompanied by rituals with strict requirements how to be served, how to be poured in the specific cups from a distance (about one foot). The Arabic coffee pot (Dallah) should be held in the left hand, the cup in the right one. The presenter of the coffee should be standing up, not sitting. The first coffee cup must be offered to the most mature person in the room, starting from the right side to the left one. In Qatar believe, it takes talent, time and respect to get hold of the perfect Arabic coffee service performance.
Now back to my cappuccino fever. I tried to expertise my knowledge at its homeland – Italy. My only complaint was the small (regarding my expectations) cups, the cappuccino was served in. At most of the cafes in Italy the regular cappuccino is served in kind of middle sized cups. All the other Italian coffee types as Latte, Frappuccino and Mochaccino are “mutations” of cappuccino prototype, mastered beyond the ocean in the USA. What we usually mean by ordering Latte, doesn’t exist in Italy. I got myself in a funny situation, after ordering Latte in a fancy restaurant beside lake Como, Italy. The waiter delivered just a single glass of milk, with no coffee in. I think both sides were surprised. In Italy Latte means just fresh milk, so I won’t recommend to order it, in case you expect to get kind of a cappuccino modification.
I should admit, though, the Italians, especially in Turin, Northern Italy, are magicians in preparing…the almost best cappuccino. The taste is really, really soft and smooth. Each cappuccino comes along with the spirit and the expertise of the barista. Very creative, with an own signature of finishing details. This doesn’t include just the figures on the top, but also the flavours and the mixture inside the drink. The cinnamon powder, chocolate mix, vanilla drops, coconut raspings, ice cream…such a variety of options.
The popular in Europe Viennese coffee is a cappuccino relative, made not by foamy milk, but by top of rich cream. The Viennese specialty contains strong black coffee, served always in a glass, instead of a cup, topped with whipped cream. The finishing surprise is the sugar powder or the cinnamon powder, served in addition. I find it a bit oily for my taste, but it’s almost as good as the cappuccino is. In case of emergency both could be easily replaced by each other. The final cream foam touch could be a bit tricky. If the quality is not good, then the topping would be quickly melting and would damage the taste of the Viennese coffee.
As Northwest you move, as worse the coffee gets. Excluding the large spread espresso, which doesn’t need any presentation, all Western Europe drinks “Schwarz coffee“. It’s fairly popular beyond the ocean as well. The real coffee taste is unlikely to find in there. To me this brown hot water hardly reminds coffee. I was unable to approve this “pagan” way of coffee making, that is like a step brother of the real coffee culture. My opinion could be considered too extreme, but the coffee admirers would probably agree with. It’s just the office culture, not the coffee one, that supports the Schwarz quick preparation. Easy, but not tasty.
At the opposite geographical side – as South you go, as better the coffee tastes. I won’t repeat what I already said about the Turkish and the Italian coffee above. I’ll just mention the Greek Frappe, a cool cappuccino version for the summer season. Following the geographical logic of the coffee taste, I figured out that to find the best coffee ever I should go further to the South. And guess what, I was right. The best ever world’s coffee I unexpectedly found…in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s truly wonderful. I found it accidentally, not on purpose, after some local Capetonians recommended it to me. Otherwise, I would have remained ignorant. The coffee of Cape Town is like a local myth, spread a word of mouth.
It was difficult to even find the cafe address, because its building was not designated by signs or labels. In Cape Town, on the way to the downtown, following Buitenkant street, is located this colourful cafe at street number 36. I did not notice even a name on it. There were some wooden tables, right at the sidewalk in front of the shop, crowded by visitors. In this cafe is served the super, extra, turbo, famous Truth coffee. I have no idea where the name Truth for the coffee comes from, but the taste is amazingly rich, smooth and fond.
I was confused, because no sugar or any other supplements were over the tables. In addition, the coffee was served without the usual small sugar packets in the plate. I asked for sugar, as I am used to drink my coffee sweetened. The waiter politely advised:”Madam, please, just taste your coffee first and you would find it doesn’t need to be sweetened at all”. I was in doubt. Anyway, I took a sip and you know what, the waiter was damn right. The Truth coffee needed nothing else to be added to. It should be drunk as it’s served. Believe it or not, it was just perfect, even to my sweetened taste, without being sweet at all. I was curious what is the coffee mix inside, that makes the taste so unbelievable. Then, I was told most of the ingredients were written right on the menu. It was admitted though, it contains also a pinch of mystery, that is not supposed to be revealed to the clients. Fair enough!
I completely enjoyed my coffee experience at that spot in Cape Town (they don’t offer cappuccino btw). Finally, I realised I should travel thousands of miles to drink the best ever world’s coffee. It was found at the edge of Africa. What a surprise for me! If you don’t trust me, then go and check on it. My best ever tasted coffee is called Truth coffee.