Your cup of Joe around the globe: Traveler's guide to coffee around the world
Travelling can be exhausting. Whether it’s an early train ride to the next city or the third full day of touring the Louvre, sometimes even non-coffee drinkers need a pick-me up in the form of that caffeinated nectar of the gods.
Ordering coffee outside of the US can sometimes be a bit tricky for travelers. I once ordered a "regular coffee" in New Zealand only to be met with a confused barista and a follow-up question of "What's a regular coffee?" (I ended up ordering an Americano because that was the first familiar thing on the menu I saw *facepalm*). Once you get the hang of it, though, you’ll find yourself enjoying some of the best stuff on earth, and it can be a rewarding way to make connections with locals. So here’s a brief overview of how to order coffee at a few stops around the world.
The coffee in France is pretty similar to coffee options in the US. The most common drinks are:
Cappuccino – Espresso with steamed milk and lots of frothy foam on top
Latte – Espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam on top
French Press Coffee – This is your standard black coffee, but instead of using a drip coffee method, cafes in France commonly use a French Press.
If you’re dairy free, most cafes in France will have soymilk available and are happy to use it for any drink. However, other dairy alternatives such as almond, coconut, and cashew milk are not as popular as they are in the US.
The specialty in Greece is a Greek Coffee. They grind the beans into a very fine powder and brew it in a narrow copper pot creating a thicker liquid with a bit of coffee froth at the top. This drink is very strong! It’s meant to be sipped over a nice long coffee break or morning breakfast.
The Greeks are also big on cold coffee. Pretty much any drink will have the option of being made as a cold beverage. One cold drink that is especially popular is the frappe. Much different than an American frappe, Greek frappes are cold whipped coffee. They are prepared in a special blender and come in a tall glass with a think layer of coffee froth on the top. They are delicious!
If you’re not a fan of dairy, most cafes in Greece offer coconut milk as a dairy alternative. This works really well in frappes (it even tastes better than regular milk!), but not as well in hot drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. Even if you’re a big fan of dairy, we suggest giving a coconut milk frappe a try — you just might love it!
Australia (and New Zealand)
Australia does not have regular drip coffee that we are used to in North America. If you try to simply order “a coffee”, the barista will look at you like you have three heads — trust us on this! But the good news is, if you know what to order you’ll probably get the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
Here are the basics:
Flat White – Similar to a latte but with less foam. This is a staple drink in Australia.
Short Black – Straight espresso. Hello, caffeine!
Long Black – This is akin to an Americano. Simply espresso and hot water.
Mac (short for macchiato) – Espresso and a little bit of cold milk.
They also have the standard cappuccino, mocha, and latte.
India (and much of Asia)
For ordering coffee in India, our best advice to you is: good luck! Coffee in India is not all that common, although it is getting more and more common in the tourist areas and big cities such as Bombay and New Delhi. When you order coffee, more times than not you’ll get a stale tasting cup of drip coffee.
In lieu of coffee, Indians prefer a special black tea with milk and sugar called chai. The tea has caffeine in it and is quite delicious.
If you are in a big city or you stumble on one of the newer coffee shops that have popped up in recent years, then you may be able to get a nice cup of coffee. But when in India, we suggest giving Indian chai a try instead.
If you’re curious about how to order coffee – or anything else – on your dream vacation, there’s no better person to ask than your travel consultant. When you hire a travel consultant who knows and understands the place you want to visit, they can fill you in on specific travel tips like these because they’ve been there and have the inside scoop on where to stay, where to play, and what to eat!