Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Coffee around the Globe

Ellen Shapiro

Recommended Posts

It’s inevitable—one of the first things I do when I land in a new country is sample the local coffee. Sometimes it isn’t all that different -- in Wellington, New Zealand, there were Starbucks a plenty -- but in others like Singapore, the local brew is a thick brew of beans and condensed milk. I’d almost be willing to fly the 25 hours to Singapore just to have a couple of cups. Anyone ever had any life altering coffee experiences while traveling? Oh -- and what is it about coffee on airplanes? Must it always be so vile?

Ellen Shapiro


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote: from Ellen Shapiro on 1:57 pm on Dec. 24, 2001

It’s inevitable—one of the first things I do when I land in a new country is sample the local coffee. Sometimes it isn’t all that different -- in Wellington, New Zealand, there were Starbucks a plenty -- but in others like Singapore, the local brew is a thick brew of beans and condensed milk. I’d almost be willing to fly the 25 hours to Singapore just to have a couple of cups. Anyone ever had any life altering coffee experiences while traveling? Oh -- and what is it about coffee on airplanes? Must it always be so vile?

SIN is conflux of many kinds of folks, you'll experience coffees as you traverse from one neighborhood to another -- South Indians want their brew strong and syrupy with milk (not condensed). Arabica @ Raffles along with the home of Singapore Sling :-)

Yes, airline brew is like their food,terrible.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first true life-altering coffee experience was in Israel during the summer of 1990 -- a little, nondescript cafe situated in the Tel Aviv "Shuk", where I had a french-style breakfast of croissants, fresh-squeezed Yaffa orange juice and arabic (turkish) coffee. Like freebasing caffeine, marvelous stuff.

I had gone to Italy prior to that and had real italian espresso, but its the arabic coffee in Israel that I found most memorable. The only place in the US that I have found so far that has one anywhere close to it is Bennies in Englewood, NJ. Which also has some really killer arabic-style spiced tea and homemade lebanese pastries/baklava too.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Puerto Rican cafe con leche.  The cortado, or short cup of this milk heavy and sweetened brew is a morning standard for the entire island.  Better than any Starbucks latte (I actually like Starbucks latte) and costs anywhere from 20-35 cents.  My favorite spots?  La Bonbonera in Old San Juan (100 year old diner) get a cortado and a mallorca sweet roll at the bar.  The other one, Plaza Mercado in Santurce, early morning in this fascinating farmer's market.  The best Puerto Rico coffee?  Alto Grande and Yauco Selecto. Runner up, Cafe Crema.    

I also enjoy strong Cuban coffee and especially the ritual of sharing a cup while standing with friends by pouring it into thimble sized containers.  

As an aside, does anyone know where to get good cafe con leche or Cuban coffee in NYC?

Another experience I was not as fond of:  Turkish coffee.  I had this served with loose grounds floating in the coffee (basically hot water poured over grounds).  Kind of like a French Press, but without the press.  Even after I waited for it to settle, I didn't really enjoy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

Started drinking isntant :angry: with my parents and grandfather in H.S. then grew to drip. Thankfully, drip here is damned good, local roasts, usually coffee with chicory.

Went to Italy in 1984 and had the wonderful strong breakfast coffee with milk (REAL latte) and then cappucino since it was so inexpensive, then on the espresso. Got home and bought an espresso maker for the stove. Changed my life; I'll go without before I drink instant or mass-market again unless it's to be polite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm guessing that Victor's restaurant has good con leche but if you're looking for a place to just get a cup to go I'm not sure. Next time I'm in Chelsea I'll try the Cuban sandwich place on 8th ave (it's in the mid twenties) and let you know how it is. Among my coffee revelations was trying Ethiopian coffee (as made in the traditional manner) for the first time. It was a heavenly elixir - quite possibly the best coffee I've ever had. The restaurant was in Denver and I was the only customer the entire time I was there. The traditional method involves roasting special grade of green beans on an iron skillet, grinding in mortar and pestel with some spices, then steeping and serving from a special clay pot. It is typically pre-sugared and if you're lucky you may end up in a place that offers the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony - truly a wonderful experience. On a more recent note, I just returned from Belize, where mediocre coffee (or even instant) is the rule rather than the exception. Was staying on a small and lowkey island called Caye Caulker. My advance research had yielded Cindy's Cafe as the only place onthe island where a good latte or cappucino could be obtained. Imagine my chagrin when I got a watered down latte made with skim milk - at $3 on an island where a good  complete dinner can be purchased for $6-8!  On a hunch I tried the cappucino at Il Biscaro, an Italian restaurant at the north end of the island. It was one of the slowest weeks of the year and they were nearly empty most of the time. Imaganer my suprise when the owner Salvador (native of Milan Italy and he makes an amazing al dente spaghetti) returned with one of the best cappucino's I've ever had anywhere.  He uses a Pavoni manual piston machine and gets Guatemalan coffee from a food whlesaler in Belize City. If you ever get to Caye Caulker give this place a try - amazing food and really cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Similar Content

    • By Objective Foodie
      During the past year, our coffee consumption at home has increased substantially. We have tried beans from different roasteries from the UK and Europe, but we are constantly in the search of new ones. The speciality coffee market has been rapidly increasing in past years and it is becoming easier to find high quality beans.
      The best roasteries we have tried so far:
      UK based: Round Hill Roastery, Square Mile, Monmouth,  Pharmacie, New Ground, Workshop, James Gourmet, Ozone. Europe based: The Barn (Germany), Gardelli (Italy), Hard Beans (Poland), Calendar (Ireland), Roasted Brown (Ireland), Right Side (Spain), Coffee Collective (Denmark).  
      Have you had any exciting coffee beans lately? Do you have any other recommendations?
    • By Kasia
      After waking up, most of us head towards the kitchen for the most welcome morning drink. Coffee opens our eyes, gets us up and motivates us to act. Today I would like to offer you a healthy alternative to daily morning coffee. I don't want to turn you off coffee completely. After all, it has an excellent aroma and fantastic flavor. There isn't anything more relaxing during a busy day than a coffee break with friends.

      In spite of the weather outside, change your kitchen for a while and try something new. My green cocktail is also an excellent way to wake up and restore energy. Add to it a pinch of curcuma powder, which brings comfort and acts as a buffer against autumn depression.

      Ingredients (for 2 people):
      200ml of green tea
      4 new kale leaves
      1 green cucumber
      half an avocado
      1 pear
      1 banana
      pinch of salt
      pinch of curcuma

      Peel the avocado, pear and banana. Remove the core from the pear. Blend every ingredient very thoroughly. If the drink is too thick, add some green tea. Drink at once.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By Kasia
      My Irish Coffee  
      Today the children will have to forgive me, but adults also sometimes want a little pleasure. This is a recipe for people who don't have to drive a car or work, i.e. for lucky people or those who can rest at the weekend. Irish coffee is a drink made with strong coffee, Irish Whiskey, whipped cream and brown sugar. It is excellent on cold days. I recommend it after an autumn walk or when the lack of sun really gets you down. Basically, you can spike the coffee with any whiskey, but in my opinion Jameson Irish Whiskey is the best for this drink.

      If you don't like whiskey, instead you can prepare another kind of spiked coffee: French coffee with brandy, Spanish coffee with sherry, or Jamaican coffee with dark rum.
      Ingredients (for 2 drinks)
      300ml of strong, hot coffee
      40ml of Jameson Irish Whiskey
      150ml of 30% sweet cream
      4 teaspoons of coarse brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of caster sugar
      4 drops of vanilla essence
      Put two teaspoons of brown sugar into the bottom of two glasses. Brew some strong black coffee and pour it into the glasses. Warm the whiskey and add it to the coffee. Whisk the sweet cream with the caster sugar and vanilla essence. Put it gently on top so that it doesn't mix with the coffee.

      Enjoy your drink!

    • By Kasia
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather.

      Ingredients (8 cookies)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      1 big pear
      1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon
      1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
      2 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar
      2 tablespoons of milk

      Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper.
      Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Johnhouse
      Hello everyone!
      I have been working in food and beverage industry for almost 10 years in different countries. I am looking forward to learn new things on this forum to expand my food and beverage knowledge as well as sharing my experiences that I gained in my journey!
      Have a good day! ☺️ 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...