Different caffeine cultures and how to order a coffee abroad

Uma Krishanwal, Travel Writer, India

24 February 2018

Always been a coffee aficionado and can’t survive without it? Here are some of the interesting facts and the guide to ordering your favorite cup of happiness whilst you travel…


Ditch the Americano for a while, how will you order your coffee in Italy?

How to order? – Un caffè per favore (“un-kaf-ay-per-fav-or-ay”)

Don’t stress, ordering your coffee in Italy is pretty easy! Asking for coffee or normal coffee is an espresso. Espresso is served on a saucer with a small spoon. Often you will also have a complimentary chocolate or biscuit. Sometimes you are given a small glass of water. Some Italians say it is to cleanse your palate before drinking the coffee and others say it is for afterwards to refresh. Just make sure you order “un caffè” as “espresso” is a technical term in Italian.


No doubt, coffee enthusiasts who will ground their beans themselves!

How to order? – Yksi vahva ja musta kahvi kiitos (“Ook-see-vaha-va-yah-mus-ta-ka-vee-kee-toss”)

Consuming about 12 kilos of coffee per annum per person, Finland no doubt has earned the impressive accolade of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Gives justice to the first line, no?  A great opportunity for all the travelling caffeine lovers- a shop at every nook and corner! Hunaja Café in Helsinki serves organically grown coffee and a delicious range of Vegetarian and Vegan dishes.


Spilling the beans- Brazil cranks out more coffee that any other country! But how do you order your coffee over there? Read on…

How to order? – Um cafézinho, por favor (Um-caf-ay-zeen-yo-por-fav-or”) 

Brazilian coffee is known for its clear, sweet, medium-bodied, low-acid qualities. Brazilians too are ‘coffee fanatics’ and tend to drink numerous small cups of quality coffee throughout the day. A cafézinho is a general term which translates to “small coffee” and it tends to be filtered and served very hot. Wherever you travel in Brazil, you will highly likely be offered a cafézinho as part of your warm and friendly welcome!


French colonists might have introduced coffee to Vietnam, but the morning cup of ca phe soon became a local habit.

How to order? –  Xin cho tôi một cà phê trứng (“Sin-choh-thoy-mot-cah-feh-chung”) 

With variations that make use of yoghurt, eggs and even fruit, Vietnamese coffee has developed a style of its own. When it comes to Vietnam, it has a lot to offer in the coffee department than just cliché coffee with milk! Travelling to Ho Chi Minh city? There are plenty of coffee shops where one can and must order a freshly roasted brew!



Travelling to these places? You must go and try the authentic coffee because ‘everything and every story just gets better with a cuppa-coffee!’