When in Rome… what to drink on your European vacation

Well coffee lovers, it’s time to get adventurous! During your next European sojourn, we encourage, nay implore you to be bold and sample coffee like a local! From eggs to lemonade, these magical cups are worth a step out of your comfort zone!


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Austria

Welcome to the sweet life! Music and history may dominate Austria’s legacy but, as with most Austrian arts, their signature drinks are sweet, rich, and sure to have you asking for seconds. If you enjoy exploring subtle variations on a familiar theme, we suggest ordering a mélange, a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso and topped with equal parts steamed milk and foam or an einspänner, an espresso topped with whipped cream. For the adventurers among you, we suggest trying a kaisermelange, an espresso poured into a honey-egg mixture and topped off with whipped cream and / or cognac.

Travel tip: If you normally take your coffee with cream, ask for a kapuziner, an espresso with a shot of liquid cream.


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France

Ah, il fait si beau! Oh, the joy of sitting in a Parisian street café, sipping your coffee, watching the day pass without a care in the world! Coffee in France is all about relaxation. Order your café au lait (a single shot of espresso with steamed milk), sit back, and just drink in the beauty.

Travel tips: If you are looking for a coffee more similar to what we typically drink in the US, order a café americano– just be sure to say ‘sans lait’ if you take it black! For a more robust coffee, order a cafetière, a French Pressed coffee.


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Germany

Ready to be let in on a secret? The Germans make it sweet; meet the eiskaffee. This deliciously decadent iced coffee is made of coffee, milk, and sugar and is topped with ice cream. If you are like me, you are thinking this can’t get better. Wrong! Top off your eiskaffee by asking for schlagsahne (whipped cream). After you finish your icy delight, warm up with a pharisäer, made of coffee, rum, and sugar and capped off with whipped cream.


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Italy

Espresso, cappuccino, latte, Italy has no shortage of love for the bean! Given Italy’s prominence in the world of coffee, it will come as no surprise that they offer a plethora of elegant, mouth-tingling caffeinated drinks. We suggest you start with an espresso romano, a refreshing espresso with a slice of lemon. If you prefer your coffee with milk, try a caffé all nicciola, an espresso with a dollop of luxurious hazelnut cream. After dinner, enjoy a creamy affogato, a scoop of vanilla gelato ‘drowned’ in espresso or a caffé coretto, an espresso with a touch of liquor.

Travel tips: To blend with the locals, only order a cappuccino in the morning. Italians believe later day cappuccinos and lattes adversely impact digestion.


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Portugal

Love a smooth, sweet coffee? Then you’re in luck! Hot or cold, Portugal is home to fun, tasty coffee drinks. For those who prefer hot coffee, try a galão, a delicious latte-like drink that is 1-part coffee to 3-parts milk. This creamy cup has a richer, thicker texture than a latte or cappuccino as the milk is warmed on a stovetop rather than by a steamer. For our iced coffee lovers, we strongly recommend a mazagran. This refreshing summer drink is made with cold coffee, lemon juice, ice, and sugar to taste.

Travel tip: If you are looking for a cup more similar to an American medium roast, ask for a bica.


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Spain

Spain may be the home of the siesta but their coffee is anything but sleepy! Smooth and sweet with a pinch of spice, the café con miel is a comforting mix of espresso, steamed milk, honey, and a pinch of nutmeg. This is a wonderfully delicate, calming drink. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the café bombón, a latte-like drink that layers espresso with sweetened condensed milk to create a perky, picture-perfect cup.


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Sweden

Eggs and cheese and coffee! The Swedes are bound to open your mind — and palate to coffee’s culinary possibilities. First off is Swedish egg coffee. This extraordinary silky, clean coffee uses egg and boiling water to strip coffee grounds of impurities and bitterness, leaving a beautiful, gentle brew. Next up, kaffeost, also known as coffee cheese. Coffee cheese is just that — sponge-like goat or reindeer cheese added to a cup of black coffee. The cheese absorbs and partially dissolves into the coffee resulting in a rich, creamy, and uniquely sweet cup. If you enjoy bulletproof coffee, you’ll love kaffeost!

Travel tip: Finland also has a version of coffee cheese called leipäjuusto.

 

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