Euro Coffee Culture

Euro Coffee Culture

We take a look at coffee cultures across Europe, and what you might expect to order when you find yourself next in one of these countries.

Football, warm summers, good food… there are many things that we have in common with our European counterparts however, perhaps the one common theme that you will find pretty much right the way across the continent is good coffee.


If you are in Austria and, in particular, the capital Vienna, you might want to order yourself a Wiener Melange. Often compared to a cappuccino, it is more akin to a cafe latte. The name is both German and French for “Viennese Blend”.


In Croatia, the popular coffee of choice tends to be the “Bijela Kav” - essentially it’s a caffe latte and is the most popular coffee in the country.


In England, it’s fair to say that we have American coffee tastes – or perhaps they have British coffee tastes? Known as a tea drinking country for generations, we have very much taken coffee to our hearts and is rare that you can go anywhere without passing a coffee house, or cafeteria. Our coffee orders often include a latte, cappuccino or flat white or the good old Americano.


If you happen to be in Finland and fancy yourself a coffee, you are going to be asking for a “Kahvi”. Lightly roasted beans are used in its creation which gives it a more acidic taste. Not unlike many other variations on coffee, this has evolved to include different styles. It is mainly drunk black however, if anything, milk is used instead of cream to add flavour.


France will find you ordering a “cafe au lait” the literal translation of which is “coffee with milk”. The ratio of a cafe au lait is usually 50/50, espresso to milk but unlike the latte, the milk isn’t foamed. 

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The Germans favour a drip filtered style coffee to an espresso but if you are looking for a German coffee recipe for after dark, you can try the “Pharisäer” which is two ounces of rum mixed with dark coffee and sugar, then covered with whipped cream. Their more traditional coffee or “Kaffee” is not as strong as its European counterparts as they don’t burn the beans during roasting.


On to Greece and you are likely to find yourself drinking a “Greek Coffee”. Instead of being made with hot water, it is actually made by combining ground roast coffee beans with cold water and then brewed over a low heat until frothy. This is very similar to the neighbouring Turkish Coffee and originates from the Ottoman Empire Another popular drink is the iced frappe which you will find readily available across the country.


Keeping it simple in Hungary, you will take your coffee in one of two ways. Either the espresso or the espresso with water, “hosszú kávé”, which we guess you could also call an Americano.


Gaelic Coffee or the “Caife Gaelach” is a typical Irish coffee. Created in 1943, this popular drink, designed to warm you up includes whisky, coffee, brown sugar, and thick cream as a topping. There are two rules when making a Gaelic Coffee – do not stir the coffee and do not use whipped cream.



Think Italy and you immediately think of espresso. After all, Italy is the home of the espresso. Instead though, we are going to look at the “Ristretto” which is half a single shot of espresso. Less bitter and not as strong as an espresso given that it uses half the amount of coffee.


Ordering a coffee in the Netherlands is easy given the huge barista culture of the country. The typical native coffee is the “Koffie Verkeerd” which is coffee with milk. The Dutch do love their expensive coffee however and you will find a wide variety of lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites served across the country.


Simple yet effective could be used to describe the Polish method of serving coffee. To make “Kawa”, simply add a few spoons of ground coffee to hot water, let it sink and then drink. The Polish enjoy it black, white, sweetened – in fact, it sounds very similar to a good old fashioned instant coffee.


“Galao” is a speciality coffee in Portugal and combines 1/4 espresso with 3/4 foamed or steamed milk. Served in a tall glass, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a latte.


“Cortado” is the coffee of choice in Spain and not unlike an espresso in size. Pour a small amount of espresso into a small glass with an equal amount of steamed milk to cut the bitterness.


The Swiss have been enjoying a diverse coffee culture for centuries and you will find coffee originating in countries such as Germany, France and Italy served here. You can enjoy an espresso or the popular a “kaffe-crème” (cream and espresso). “Schale” will get you a bowl of coffee while ask for a “Luzerner Kafi” and you will receive a thin coffee with sugar and a dash of wine! Perfect in the winter.


A Turkish coffee, or “Turk Kahvesi” is made using coffee, water and sugar and brewed by boiling. Originating from the Ottoman Empire it is also enjoyed in other countries across Europe in different variants – Armenia, Slovakia, Poland and Greece are among these countries. It is a small porcelain cup called a “kahve fincanı” or coffee cup.

Even with this level of detail and research into coffees around the continent, we have almost definitely missed a few countries but if you think we have missed any coffees specifically, get in touch and we will update the article to include them.

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