The Coffee World Cup

The Coffee World Cup

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup now in full swing in Russia, we take a look at the different coffee drinking habits of all 32 competing nations. Does coffee have any correlation with the top footballing nations? The Finnish, Norwegians and Dutch drink the most, Vietnam, Indonesia and Ethiopia are in the top 5 global producers and Italy have arguably the most established coffee culture but none of these teams qualified for World Cup in Russia.  Let’s dive a little deeper into those countries who did – are Brazil the favourites for the football and coffee world crowns?

Argentina

argentina-162229_640 Argentina is a country with an excellent footballing pedigree, having lifted the World Cup twice, in 1986 and 1978. But when it comes to coffee, Argentina is one of the least outstanding teams competing in this year’s competition. The average Argentinian drinks just one cup of the good stuff every two days, an annual consumption well outside the top 50 countries globally. Per capita consumption stands at just one kilo of coffee each year. Why so low? Well, the Latin American country is mad on drinking yerba mate tea – with consumption per capita for mate at a whopping 5 kilograms per year.  Each cup of mate contains a similar quantity of caffeine to a cup of joe – and that’s how followers of La Albiceleste prefer to get their buzz. Sticking to coffee, wander into any cafe in Buenos Aires and order a ‘un cafe’, you’ll get a short strong espresso, enough to give your body a Maradona-esque kick for a few hours. It’ll be served in one of these. Fun fact: In Argentina sugar is often added to coffee beans in the roasting process, which is known as torrefacto. In this way burnt sugar coats the beans as they roast, which helps preserve them – but makes the beans shiny, dark and much more bitter than other roasting methods.

Australia

australia-flag Fans of the Socceroos are a much more coffee friendly bunch, quaffing their way through 2.6 kilos of the stuff a year per capita. The emergence of a strong coffee culture in Australia owes much to the large number of Greek and Italian migrants who left Europe after World War II to build a new life down under, taking their fondness for the magic bean with them. Unlike in Italy and Greece, where coffee is still made largely in the traditional ways of pre-war Europe, the Aussies have become great experimenters and the country has a vast array of passionate in-the-know barristers and independent coffee shops with great pedigree. The ever-popular flat white was first dreamt up in the mid-1980s at Moors espresso bar in Sydney. In trendy Melbourne meanwhile, the locals favourite is known as a ‘Magic’. That’s a six-ounce cup of coffee made from a double ristretto espresso topped with steamed milk. Fun fact: The Aussies even have their own lingo for coffee. An Americano is called ‘A long black’ while an espresso is known as ‘a short black’. Try some Australian coffeeSkybury Extra Fancy

Belgium

belgium flag The Belgians are big coffee fans, drinking their way through an impressive 4.9 kilograms per person each year. Though big drinkers, Belgians are less innovative than Australians and the mainstay is the traditional cafe au lait – or coffee with milk. This is usually drunk at breakfast or mid-morning. Fun fact: Coffee is frequently an accompaniment to the country’s famed chocolate or waffles. The pairing sounds delightful – no wonder they drink so much of it! Try some Belgian coffeeFresco Belgian Chocolate Coffee

Brazil

brazil-flag Not only is Brazil the most famous footballing nation on the planet – it is also the world’s largest exporter of coffee, producing a whopping 2.6 million tonnes of the stuff each year. That’s equivalent to 25% of the global supply! With so much coffee being produced, it’s little surprise to hear that the Brazilians drink an average of 4.8 kilograms of the stuff each year. Fun fact: Much of Brazil’s coffee is grown at low altitudes, giving it a more bitter flavour profile when compared to coffees from other regions. Locals tend to drink it in a small single shot called a ‘cafezinho’, to which they add plenty of sugar to cover the bitter notes. Try some Brazilian coffeeDos Santos (FAF 1280)

Colombia

colombia-flag They may struggle to compete with the big boys at football – but Colombia is the world’s third largest producer of coffee and grows 810,000 tonnes of beans each year. The plant arrived with Jesuit missionaries in the 1700s but has thrived in the country’s so-called ‘coffee axle’ between the cities of Cali, Medellín and Bogotá. The regions rich volcanic soils, abundant rainfall, lack of frost and mean elevation between 1200 and 1700 metres above sea level make it perfect coffee growing territory. The beans grown are 100% Arabica – a type of coffee highly prized for its sweeter, lighter taste and low caffeine content. Fun fact: Given the high price on offer for local beans, most of the produce is exported with locals quaffing just 1.4 kilos per capita each year. The country also boasts perfectly legal – and by all accounts popular – coca tea, made from the leaves of the same plant used to produce cocaine and guaranteed to give you a buzz. Try some Colombian coffeeSantuario

Costa Rica

costa rica flag Another big-hitter from Latin America here, coffee is Costa Rica’s third largest export. The country farms 90,000 tonnes of the magic bean each year. Indeed, the cash crop is so important to the country’s economy that in 1989 a law was passed prohibiting farmers to grow anything other than the highly prized arabica variety, in order to protect the nation’s reputation for quality. The daily coffee or ‘cafecito’ is a tradition for the vast majority of the population, who guzzle down an impressive 3.7 kilos per person each year. The traditional method of brewing is known as aguas de medias which translates as “sock water”. Admittedly that doesn’t sound appetizing but gets its name from the sock-like fabric filters, which are filled with coffee and water and suspended above cups on a wire frame to make drip-filter brew. Fun fact: In 2012 a rare and highly prized cultivar of the Arabica bean called ‘Geisha’ from Costa Rica became the most expensive coffee sold in US Starbucks chains. It was put on the menu as “Costa Rica Finca Palmilera” and sold like hot cakes for the eye-watering price of $7 a cup! Try some Costa Rican coffeeBrumas

Croatia

croatia-flag The FIFA rankings peg Croatia as the 20th best footballing nation in the world – but they are 14th in the coffee drinking stakes. The national java habit sees the average Croat gulp their way through 3.8 kilos a year. Coffee has been around in the country for a long time thanks to the nation’s long trading history with the Italian city-state of Venice and the Ottoman Empire – both of whom were pioneers in the early trade of the bean. It’s quite common to see the Croats ‘borrowing’ the methodology of the Turks and using one of these iconic ‘Cezve’s’ In a strange way, this Italian and Turkish legacy persists in the way the nation drinks its coffee. Inhabitants knock back both espresso style cups as well as those made using the traditional Turkish coffee pot. Fun fact: The cafes in the sunny squares of Zagreb fill up with well-dressed coffee sipping members of the public on a Saturday morning. This is part of a time-honoured ritual cup known as ‘špica’, which is sipped in public with the idea of seeing who’s about and being seen yourself.

Denmark

denmark-flag A rank outsider to get their hands on this year’s trophy, Denmark is certainly one of the biggest coffee drinking countries in the tournament – getting through 5.3 kilos per capita each year. The Danes’ fondness for the stuff has been attributed to the long cold northern winters, as well as the national philosophy of Hygge. Hygge is all about savouring special moments that you have every day. These savoured moments like – feelings of cosiness or intimacy with friends. The Danes describe coffee as ‘hyggeligt’ – the adjectival form of ‘Hygge’ – due to how it punctuates the day giving people a moment to pause, reflect and connect with others. Denmark is also touted as one of the happiest nations on earth, so perhaps there’s something to be said for drinking more coffee… Fun Fact: Though big drinkers, tastes in Denmark are simple with the standard coffee drunk strong and black. Try some Danish coffeeHarmony Bay Gourmet Danish Coffee

Egypt

egypt flag At Russia 2018 Egypt will be united by its love for talismanic midfielder Mo Salah – but when it comes to coffee drinking the county is much less united. Per capita consumption comes in at a lowly 0.1KG per head annually, but coffee has an interesting history in Egypt. The drink was popularized in the 17th century by Sufi Islamic mystics who drank it during prayers. Today Egyptian towns and cities are filled with lively coffee houses where Joe is brewed up in what is known as the Turkish method – using a tall, long-handled pot that is placed over a flame. Fun fact: In Egypt if you want a sweetened coffee you need to communicate it in advance as sugar is not added after the brewing process, but to the water beforehand. Most people drink their coffee sweetened. Bitter coffee is traditionally served at sombre occasions like funerals!

England

england flag England has traditionally been a tea-drinking nation, but coffee consumption has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years. The English are still one of the smaller coffee-consuming bunches, with each person drinking their way through just 1.4kilos of the stuff a year. According to the British Coffee Association, a recent boom in high-street coffee shops is changing the nation’s taste. Around 16 percent of the population buys a coffee in a cafe each day. At home, the English are far from a nation of passionate coffee connoisseurs, however, with 80 percent of all households buying instant to get their fix. The English do love a fad and civet coffee is exactly that, go on treat yourselves… Fun fact: One of the world’s largest insurance marketplaces, Lloyd’s of London, began life as a coffee house. Lloyd’s Coffee House was established in 1688 by Edward Lloyd and was frequented by wealthy ship owners who liked to talk shop inside. This eventually giving rise to a group of financial backers who started underwriting ships and their cargoes. The same coffee house also gives its name to one of the world’s oldest running newspapers, Lloyd’s List. The newspaper provides maritime news and was initially published weekly at Lloyd’s coffee house starting from 1734.

France

france-flag England’s neighbours are much bigger coffee fans and drink an impressive 3.2 kilos each a year. The country is obviously famed for its cafe culture and is home to the globally famed cafe au lait coffee as well as the French Press method of producing it. But France’s coffee pedigree is not so hot. The national market for beans is overrun by cheap and bitter Robusta varieties, which are largely used in the nations cafes producing mixed results. A ban on smoking in public places has also hit the nations cafes hard, with the numbers now in historic decline. Fun fact: Every nation has its own version of the liqueur coffee – the Irish add Whiskey, the Italians Grappa…the French? Their version uses orange liqueur (usually Gran Marnier or Cointreau) with cream. Délicieux!

Germany

germany-flag The Germans are eighth in the overall coffee drinking standings, with a annual per-capita consumption of 5.2 kg – which works out at 150 litres per person per year. German coffee consumption is not spread evenly either, with much of the north being avid tea drinkers. The countries famed pragmatism is said to be reflected by their footballing side, but its also on display with their coffee habits too. Just six companies make up 85% of the national bean market, which is flooded with mild roasts and not much else. They also have a one-dimensional approach to brewing, with the vast majority of coffee drunk being plain old drip brew. Fun Fact: The paper basket drip-filter is actually a German invention that hit stores in 1908. It was invented by Dresden’s Melitta Benz, who developed the prototype using a page of blotting paper from her son’s school book while looking for a solution to the over-brewed cups of coffee she was tired of drinking.

Iceland

iceland-flag Located several thousands of kilometres from the world’s coffee growing belt, Iceland is one of the biggest hitters when it comes to coffee consumption. The Nordic nation drinks an impressive 9 kilos of coffee per head each year. Coffee consumption dates back to the early 1700s when it was first drunk by bishops in the country’s episcopal see. Spurring on the nations habit is the daily mid-morning pause for coffee and cake which is simply refereed to as kaffitími. Fun Fact: Although big coffee drinkers, the Island of Iceland does not contain a single Starbucks. Indeed, the locals tend to brew it up themselves using cloth drip filters.

Iran

iran-flag   Iran consumes just 0.1 kilos of coffee per capita and that number is thought to be falling. In recent years several coffee houses are reported to have been shut down by government forces for failing to adhere to ‘Islamic values’. The state view of coffee houses as unislamic has a long history and can be traced back to the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Coffee has a long and rich history throughout the middle east, but the closure of coffee houses – which are often seen as forums for liberal debate and discussion – no doubt has other purposes under an oppressive regime. Coffee is still drunk and cafes continue to operate, usually serving it up brewed in the Turkish style, often with a Cardamom blend. Fun Fact: There is a social custom known as ‘fal ‘eh gahveh’ in Iran, whereby friends and relatives tell your fortune after you finish your coffee. Following your last sip make a wish and turn the drained cup over your saucer. The remnants will leave a trail on the dish below, which can then be interpreted by anyone professing to have the gift of divination…

Japan

japan-flag   The Japanese have a growing taste for the magic bean and now consume 3.3 kilos per head a year. Green Tea is still the nation’s favourite caffeinated drink, but coffee has been widely drunk in the country since the late 1600’s. The Japanese are also famed for whiskies, so for a little tipple why not try some Nikka Coffee Malt – intriguing right? coffe malt whisky from Japan Anyway, back to ‘normal coffee’….French press and drip filter methods of brewing tend to be common, which the majority of the country’s beans sourced from Latin America. The most traditional coffee shops and tea rooms are known as kissaten and are places where cups of joe are generally enjoyed alongside at breakfast or lunch along with a sweet pastry or light dish like toast, rice or noodles. Fun Fact: Japan was home to the world’s first chain of Coffee shops. The chain, known as ‘Cafe Paulista’ was a Japanese – Brazilian affair that first opened doors in Tokyo in 1908.

Mexico

mexico-flag Mexico is a leading producer of coffee with a whopping 234,000 tonnes produced annually. try some of their best produce here. In terms of making a cup of coffee, well it’s all about the Cafe de Olla, made with cinnamon and piloncillo to give it a sweet spicy taste. It’s brewed in an earthenware pot which gives it it’s unique flavour. The olla is actually the Mexican word for pot. Fun Fact: The Cafe de Olla has a bold history. In 1910, during the Mexican revolution, the coffee was served to soldiers to keep up their energy levels – using the same mix of cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, coffee and chocolate roasted in a clay pot that Mexicans still savour over 100 years later. In fact, it was said to be the favourite drink of Revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata. Double fact – the piloncillo, is made from unrefined raw brown sugar molasses and is supposedly really beneficial for your stomach due to the gut boosting enzymes.

Morocco

morocco-flag Another North African nation famous for tea drinking (especially mint tea) but does have coffee habits and a culture of cafe noir served with a cake or two. Oh and not forgetting copius amounts of sugarcubes with the aforementioned cafe noir! There is research suggesting the Moroccans drink 0.9kg per capita so grinding the bean does happen but not in any great volume. Whilst the football team haven’t progressed outthe group stages of the FIFA World Cup its unlikely Moroccan coffee culture is prevalent enough to challenge the main contenders in the coffee world cup stakes. Fun Fact: Another popular coffee in Morocco is the Nous Nous, which literally means half half (half milk and half espresso) and seems to be the drink of choice for Moroccan ladies.

Nigeria

nigeria-flag Cafe Neo is a chain of coffee shops that is booming in Nigeria, it’s targeting the young market with amazing 100% Rwandan coffee and has 11 cafes now with plans to hit 30 in four years time. Nigerians drink negligible amounts of coffee but as a nation they do produce 2,400 metric tonnes of coffee bean. Fun Fact: The Nigerian football team is a young squad, with lots of expectation on the shoulders of players such as Musa, Iwobi, Troost-Ekong all under 25. However, many are predicting they’ll go far in the next World Cup in Qatar 2022 should they qualify. The word is ‘growing’ much like the coffee industry in Nigeria.

Panama

panama-flag Panama featured in England’s group in Russia but despite producing a rather physical brand of football tactic, they failed to progress beyond the group stages, smarting from a 6-1 drubbing by England in their second match. However, regarding coffee, this small Central American nation is no slouch. They produce the same amount of coffee as Cuba (6,000 metric tonnes per annum) but it’s got a rich reputation as some of the finest coffee in the world and is capable of turning you in to a complete coffee snob once you’ve tasted it, there’s no going back apparently. Try it – it’s 100% geisha Panamanian coffee and incredibly flavoursome Fun Fact: The geisha variety of the mild arabica coffee bean, largely grown in the vicinity of Boquete in the Panamanian Highlands, fetches higher prices than Costa Rican coffee, sometimes in excess of $700USD per kilogram. Read more about the coffee industry around Boquete here and here.

Peru

peru-flag Peru exported $702 million worth of beans last year, making it the world’s 15th largest producer of coffee. The majority of those beans were high-quality Arabica grown on the country’s fertile mountain slopes. Peruvians don’t drink so much of the stuff though and prefer – as many in South America – to get their kicks from mate or coca tea. A paltry 0.2kg per person of coffee is drunk each year. Fun Fact: Peru might not be a big consumer of coffee but it has practiced the en vogue cold brew method for decades now. In Peruvian households coffee is normally drip-filtered with cold water over night to produce a concentrate that is added to hot water in the morning and throughout the next day as required.

Poland

polish-flag The Poles are a fairly coffee friendly bunch and drink 3.1KG per person each year – the same amount the average American does! Some citizens still brew their coffee the hardcore way – by pouring water into a cup with freshly ground coffee in the bottom and letting it settle. Don’t let that fool you though, Poland has a very modern and sophisticated coffee culture and trendy cafes abound in all major cities. Fun Fact: During coffee shortages under communist rule in the 1970s, producers in Poland’s coffee hub of Skawina began producing a coffee substitute made from roasted barley, rye, chicory and beets. The drink – called Inka – is still widely enjoyed today as an alternative to decaf coffee. Inka is even exported to the US and Canada, where it has a cult following. Fancy trying it? Buy Inka online…twoje zdrowie!

Portugal

portugal-flag It’s ‘Bica’ in Lisbon and its called ‘Cimbalino’ in Porto – the coffee style of choice in your standard Portuguese cafe is short black espresso. And the Portuguese drink it morning, noon and night. They drink 2.6kg of coffee per person per year, which is actually more than the Greeks. The chain coffee shops are gradually infiltrating the cities and towns but your local independent cafes are still pushing out their Rica’s and Cimbalino’s for around 1 Euro and usually selling an amazing selection of pastels and croissants. The coffee history is rich and you can get your coffee in a myriad of different ways but that’s another blog post entirely. Fun Fact: It was the Portuguese colonialists who introduced the coffee plant to Brazil. Thanks goodness they did, centuries later Brazil is now exporting very good coffee indeed.

Russia

russia-flag Despite being the home nation, the Russian side are considered rank outsiders to get their hands on the famous trophy in 2018. The country would not fare well in a coffee drinking competition either. However, vodka consumption on the other hand…(they even have coffee vodka!) In the per capita stakes at least Russia is well outside the top fifty nations worldwide. Then again, in a country so vast and varied, such a figure is hardly helpful. While tea is the traditional brew of choice for most, in the large metropolises it’s a different story – and two thirds of all the nations coffee drinkers in the entire country live in Moscow and St. Petersburg! Cups of joe have been enjoyed in Russia’s biggest cities since the 1700’s when Peter the Great brought the magic bean back home from a trip to Holland. Fun Fact: Most Russians brew coffee in Turkish brewing pots called jezves.

Saudi Arabia

saudi-arabia flag The Arabica coffee variety was the first to be cultivated in the world – and it has been grown in neighbouring Yemen since the 12th Century. The desert country of Saudi Arabia is however, far to dry and flat for coffee production! But thanks to its bean-growing neighbour. coffee consumption has a long and illustrious history in Saudi Arabia. Fun Fact: The country has its own take on coffee, which is made in Turkish style coffee pots using a mix of lightly roasted ground coffee and cardamom. The brew is usually drunk unsweetened from small demitasse cups without handles. At the cafe, people will keep serving you coffee unless you place your hand over the top of your cup to indicate you have had enough.

Senegal

senegal-flag The leader of the Murid Sufi, Sheikh Amadou Bamba was said to have introduced coffee to Senegal and as he did, he invented the Cafe Touba often referred to as the ‘spiritual beverage’, a very unique coffee , made from ground robusta beans and flavoured with cloves and guinea pepper (selim). However, Amadou may not be a fan of the increasing amount of chain cafe’s hitting the Senegalese high streets where western visitors tend to prefer coffee via the French Press. Fun Fact: The word cafe isn’t used widely in Senegal, instead, people drink in the tangana’s that are essentially suburban street cafe’s, vibrant with chatter, banter and smiles. A fab place to visit, here’s a guidebook to Senegal, off you pop!

South Korea

south-korea-flag As in many Asian nations, tea has been the centuries-old go to in South Korea, but coffee consumption is on the rise. The drink first arrived in the late 1800s and was largely the preserve of the emperor and visiting diplomats. All that changed during the Korean War of the 1950s, when American Soldiers brought instant coffee to the country – finally introducing the middle classes to the drink’s charms The rise of fresh coffee consumption was cemented as the country’s economy expanded rapidly throughout the 80s and 90s and today the country is one of the fastest growing and most competitive markets for coffee worldwide. Fun fact: There are 49,600 Coffee Shops in South Korea and some 17,000 Starbucks alone in the city’s metropolitan capital Seoul. It only seems fitting that we proffer some classic Starbucks coffee in this Korean section!

Serbia

serbia-flag It’s a shame Turkey haven’t qualified for Russia 2018, they’re influence is huge. The Serbian word for coffee house is ‘kafana’ which is originally a Turkish word. Serbia’s coffee culture indeed owes a lot to the Turks, the most common method of preparing coffee in Serbia is using a Turka pot, which we’ve seen before in the coffee world cup rundown: turka coffee pot Serbia are famed for their strong midfield line up (Nemanja Matic of Man Utd is a Serbian hero) and likewise their coffee exploits are also of note on the world stage. The Serbs put away 5.4kg per capita of the black stuff each year, putting them 6th on the world list. More than the Brazilians, Danes and the Germans too. Fun Fact: The Serbs have developed a word that describes their own unique coffee culture ‘Kafenisanje‘. It eludes to afternoon coffee consumption, in local cafes where you dress ‘smarts’ and perhaps most interestingly, make the coffee session last at least 30 minutes, possibly hours. Think people watching and being seen yourself whilst socialising with friends in cafes with lengthy coffee menus and their customers, dressed up in the daylight hours….well that’s Kafenisanje folks, coffee culture Serbian style.

Spain

spain-flag The Spanish are big hitters when it comes to the football having triumphed in South Africa in 2010, with many of those players still in the squad such as Sergio Ramos, Andreas Iniesta and David Villa. Arguably the coffee based drink of choice is the Cortado, a strong espresso with a small drop of milk usually on a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of coffee to milk, closely followed by ‘cafe con leech’ and for the hotter Spanish regions cafe con hielo (iced coffee). The Spaniards consume over 3kg per head of coffee per year making them no slouches in the Coffee World Cup. Fun Fact: The cafe cortado should not be confused with cafe manchado (espresso with lots of milk, perhaps a ratio of 2:2) but either way they’ll be drank in these little stumpy coffee glasses. Spanish coffee culture is healthy,  ‘tomar un cafe’ is a daily ritual and the breadth of coffee styles is incredible, read this great article to delve deeper.

Sweden

swedish flag Like their Danish Scandinavian cousins, the Swedes won’t be favourites to lift the trophy in Russia but in terms of coffee they’re certainly in competing for a Top 10 finish. According to the International Coffee Organisation the Swedes put away 8.2kg of coffee per head per year. Now that’s a significant amount of bean. They’re long drinkers too, no espresso’s here. They hanker for a cup of strong americano to help get them through cold, dark winters where the sun can set at 3pm in the midst of winter. Sweden has a history and strong culture of coffee drinking, in fact there were around 50 cafes in Stockholm by 1700 alone. The drink was banned in 1765 by Parliament and ever since freedom has been a concept associated with coffee ever since. Fun Fact: Continuing the freedom and coffee theme is the well established coffee break called ‘fika‘. It’s your morning elevenses or brew equivalent in the UK. In Sweden people, actually stop, take stock drink strong coffee with a baked bun and put the world to rights. Quite refreshing in a world where coffee on the go is all the rage, where folks don’t seem to have the time to stop. Oh and apologies for the stereotyping here but you may as well enjoy your ‘fika’ sat round an Ikea Swedish coffee table!

Switzerland

swiss-flag Incredibly, the Swiss export more coffee than they do chocolate, much of this has to do with the HQ’s of Nestle and Nespresso (alongside 6 of the world’s main producers to boot) being situated in the landlocked alpine country. Swiss coffee exports are worth 2.2SWF billion, whereas chocolate is ‘only’ 848SWf. In fact 60% of the world’s coffee trading takes place in Switzerland. The Swiss don’t just export it, but they also consume it in big number, 7.9kg per person to be precise. It’s ‘kaffee-creme’ that seems to be the Swiss preference, though lattes are popular too, unsurprising in a country famed for it’s dairy production with those cud chewing bovines and their iconic cowbells. Fun Fact: Switzerland has a reputation for purity and cleanliness. In fact the Swiss Water method is now being used by coffee roasting companies pushing the ‘cleanest, purest’ coffees on the market – try some of this and see if you can taste the difference.

Tunisia

tunisia-flag Unlike most North African countries where tea is the staple hot beverage of choice, it’s not the case in Tunisia. However, orange infused coffee doesn’t sound like a terribly natural synergy but it’s how they do coffee in Tunisia, it’s a tradition borrowed from the Andalucians across the Mediterranean. If adding orange blossom water to coffee isn’t quite your thing an alternative used by Tunisian coffee connoisseurs is the blend rose water in to the coffee – I wonder if it’s the English rose, ironic considering Tunisia have been drawn in England’s group G. That game has now been played with the English coming out 2-1 victors in a nail biting finish. Fun Fact: After daily Fajir (dawn prayers), people move from mosque to cafe and sit with a newspaper, friends and a cup of the black stuff, no doubt infused with orange blossom. Read more on the true Tunisian coffee scene in this article.

Uruguay

uruguay-flag Just across the River Plate from neighbouring Argentina, the Uruguayans hold footballing talisman Luis Suarez in very high regard, alongside the bitter herbal tea drink, mate. Is coffee popular in Uruguay? It’s growing for sure, but there has always been a place for coffee in Uruguay (or should that read coffee and sugar, lots of it) and over the last decade the Argentinean coffee shop chain ‘Havanna’ has sprouted up in capital city Montevideo and further afield in swanky coastal hotspots like Punta de Este. Uruguay has Italian roots and is now following suit in craving good coffee morning, noon and night, a developing scene. Fun Fact: Uruguay is influenced by Italy and Spain. In fact, the Spanish coffee coating process of torrefacto is growing, this is when sugar is added to the roaster, coating the (typically low-quality) beans in it and creating a burnt, bitter taste. And when it’s brewed perhaps you could drink it in a Uruguayan coffee mug whilst watching Suarez, Cavani and co in the Russian World Cup!

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