Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, with nearly 2.25 billion cups consumed every day. It is also one of the most valuable trading commodities, falling only behind oil in the United States. It is the United States’ largest food import, with over 3 billion pounds imported annually. When it comes to coffee, we prepare it in vastly different ways. Whether it’s using a pour over carafe, or French press, or even standard drip, we love our coffee. The rest of the world is equally as enamored with this caffeine infused elixir, but different cultures make for vastly different preparations. Here are three different coffee making methods from around the world that you can try at home.
Scandinavian Egg Coffee
This different coffee making method originated in Sweden and Norway and was brought to the United States by immigrants to the Midwest. Essentially, this brewing method calls for a whole egg to be mixed with the coffee grounds before you brew the coffee. There are some versions that even call for the egg shell to be mixed in as well. The resulting brew is smooth, nearly acid-free, and lacks a lot of coffee’s trademark bitterness. Here’s how you make it.
Start your water on a stovetop. Figure about six ounces per serving. Take 1 Tbsp. of coarsely ground coffee (a little larger than sea salt) for every cup you want and crack a whole egg into a container. Include the shell (trust us). Mash it up with a wooden spoon and mix thoroughly. When the water boils, add the coffee. It’s going to foam up a little. That’s okay. Simmer for five minutes and then add a cup of ice cold water. (This is important because it causes the egg/coffee/shell mix to congeal and sink).
Drink your coffee. Marvel at how little acid there is and how smooth and mellow it is. The shell’s calcium carbonate is a base which neutralizes the acid in the coffee. And the egg’s natural enzymes neutralize the bitterness, resulting in a deliciously smooth cup that has all of the caffeol, and thus, all the flavor.
Way back before the world had invented filters or drip methods of preparing coffee, the Turks started brewing and cooking coffee in a specialized pot. In the early 1500s, the Sultan Sleiman the Magnificent gave coffee the Royal seal of approval. Shortly afterwards, the palace staff came up with the first preparation of what is now known as Turkish coffee. The thick black concoction is cooked (never boiled) multiple times, resulting in a rich foam laden brew. Ignore other recipes that tell you to boil the coffee. That’s not how Turkish coffees are made. This different method of coffee preparation does take some time.
First, use a cezve or Turkish coffee pot and fill until the water reaches the middle of the pot. A single serving of Turkish coffee is about 2 to 2.5 fl. oz. (75 mL). Start with Turkish ground coffee. It should resemble fine dust. Put an appropriate amount of water in the cezve. Add 1-1/2 heaping teaspoons of coffee. (If you want to measure it properly, use a 10:1 ratio of water:coffee). Add 1 tsp of sugar and a pinch of cardamom. You can exclude the cardamom if you like.
Put the cezve on your stove at medium heat. When you see the coffee begin to sink, lower the heat to medium-low. Stir the coffee once to get a smooth mixture. Keep the heat low until you see a ring of foam begin to form at the edges of the pot. Turn the heat to low. The foam will rise upwards. Remove from the heat. Let the coffee rest for fifteen seconds. Put some of the foam into your cups (Consider this to be similar to crema in espresso). Return the coffee to the heat and let it rise again without boiling. Remove from heat and pour into demitasse cups slowly. Let the coffee settle for about a minute, and then enjoy.
Thai Iced Coffee
This different coffee making method is popular in Southern California, traveling from Thailand to the United States with immigrants. The warm spiciness of the cold drink is due to the addition of cardamom into the half and half used for this drink. To make it, you need to brew 4 cups of double strength coffee using either drip or (preferably) French press.
Once you do that, prepare the mix. Take 2 cups of half-and-half and place over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add 3 crushed cardamom pods (substitute 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom if you can’t get pods). Add 3 Tbsp. sugar and heat until just simmering. Remove from heat and strain out the pods. Add 1/4 tsp. almond extract. Fill a tall glass with ice and put about 1/2 cup of cream into it. Slowly add a cup of coffee to the top. Some people layer the cream over the coffee. Both ways have a different flavor when you drink it from a straw. The important part is not to stir the coffee while you drink it.
The result is a spicy-sweet drink that will refresh you on even the hottest day. You can even use the flavored cream in tea, lending a touch of exotic to your favorite afternoon break.
So there are three alternate ways to make your traditional morning brew. Of course, none of them are as fast as using a drip machine in the morning or stopping at your local coffee house. They are, however, great ways to putter around on a weekend morning and impress your coffee-loving significant other. You can even break them out for a spring or summer cookout and really up your wow factor.
However, if you're not that adventurous for now or just want to get your hands on that coffee real quick, be sure to check out our easy and yummy home-made coffee recipes right here.
As always, Think Crucial is here for all of your coffee needs. Whether you need to descale your favorite machine to get it heating properly again, or you want to invest in a permanent filter, we have the accessories you want.