Coffee drinkers are everywhere, but not all do the same techniques in preparing it. Mexico has Cafe de Olla, which is black coffee with molasses and cinnamon; Malaysia has White Coffee which came from coffee beans roasted with palm-oil margarine only, then later served with condensed milk; and Germany has the sweet Eiskaffee, an iced coffee drink with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. Each country got their unique versions of coffee and we are also hooked with these mixes that they’ve been popular and common.
So why not try out some other coffee mixes? For those coffee lovers who travel and won’t let a trip slip without them smelling and sipping a warm cup of coffee that is uniquely local, you can try out these 9 strange coffee brews around the world. Who knows? One of these might be your favorite.
1. Kopi Luwak
Indonesia’s Kopi Luwak, also known as Civet Coffee, is perfect for those looking for the rarest of all coffee brews, but not for those who’d easily get an upset stomach if they knew where these beans came from — cat-like luwak’s (palm civet) droppings. The forest animal eats coffee cherries and because it can’t digest the coffee beans, it just eliminates the beans along with the rest of its droppings. But hey, before you go hunt for that expensive bag, be sure it’s genuine and not a fake which comes from caged luwaks.
2. Kopi Joss
What’s special about this coffee? Charcoal. Found in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the concoction is made with the usual Javanese style of preparing coffee: loose coffee grinds and sugar in a cup and hot water poured on top. Then, a flaming hot charcoal is added to the brew to neutralize the coffee’s acidity. So for those who get upset tummies after drinking coffee, you might wanna try a smoking hot cup of Kopi Joss.
3. Coffee with peppercorn
For Moroccans, coffee won’t be complete with a kick of black peppercorn. Other than peppercorns, they also love making a cup with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom pods, cloves and other spices.
4. Coffee with salt
No, we’re not confused between salt and sugar. It’s actually common to add in a pinch of salt to coffee especially in Northern Scandinavia, Siberia, Turkey, Hungary, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It won’t make your coffee salty (unless you go over 10 shakes a cup); otherwise, it’ll cut down the coffee’s bitterness.
5. Kopi Gu You (Coffee with butter)
You might think about the “Bulletproof coffee” health fad, but dissolving butter in a cup of hot coffee isn’t new to Southeast Asia’s Singapore. Adding butter creates a nice aroma and makes the already thick coffee richer. However, finding a cup in newer kopitiams can be a quite challenge.
6. Coffee with cheese
You drink your coffee alone, and cheese is often paired with bread. But this time, cheese is dunked in a cup of hot coffee and later eaten when it’s all soft. For the Hispanics, they have Guarapo con Queso using Gouda or Edam. Meanwhile, the Swedes have Kaffeost using the Finnish cheese Leipäjuusto.
7. Coffee with eggs
And we’re talking about the whole egg — eggshells included. Different countries have their own versions of egg coffee and it’s up to you what you think will suit your tongue thirsty for some rich coffee. Americans with Scandinavian origin in the Midwest have their Norwegian/Swedish/Finnish egg coffee which is prepared by mixing ground coffee with egg — egg whites only, egg yolks only, shells for calcium, anything you want. Add them to boiling water and after filtering, you’ll get a thick, bitterless and acidless egg coffee.
And there’s Cà Phê Trứng or Vietnamese egg coffee, which is simply made my whisking a mixture of egg yolk, sweetened condensed milk and freshly-brewed Vietnamese coffee. Then, enjoy the frothy and mild tasting coffee.
8. Elephant dung coffee
If there’s Kopi Luwak from Indonesia, Thailand also has an exotic and pricey brew made from elephant dung. Just like the luwaks, elephants can’t digest coffee beans and therefore, these beans get mixed with the other food in an elephant’s vegetarian diet. Moreover, the protein found in the beans which makes coffee bitter are broken down. In the end, you’ll be drinking an expensive cup of earthy and smooth elephant dung coffee.
9. Coffee with citrus
Sao Paulo, Brazil has café com limão (espresso with lime) and Italy has
espresso with lemon peel or juice. Citrus lessens the warmth of coffee and can serve as a remedy to migraine. It also sweetens up badly roasted coffee.
Of course, if you’re not planning on visiting the places that serve any of these drinks, why not choose one and make your own experiment? You could even follow the footsteps of this guy who puts weird things in his coffee.
When On Earth Magazine is for people who love travel. We provide informative travel guides, tips, ideas and advice regarding places to see, things to do, what to taste, and much more for world travelers seeking their next dream vacation destination.