Ah…coffee. Java. Joe. Leaded or unleaded. No matter how you refer to coffee, it’s a beverage that is known all over the world. If you are a coffee lover, then it’s handy to know how to order it in different languages. It also helps to know exactly what you’re going to get.
“Je voudrais un café, s’il vous plait.”
When you get coffee in France, you get an Espresso in a small cup. And when we say small, we mean smaller than a teacup. Espresso is a strong black coffee that is made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans. If you want milk, they will bring it to you in a small pitcher – a pitcher about the same size as the cup.
“Haluaisin yhden kahvin, kiitos.”
Coffee in Finland is straight up black filtered coffee. Considering Finland has the highest consumption of coffee – the average person drinks ten or more cups a day – it’s no surprise to find that they have the widest range of coffee choices in the world. Finnish coffee is typically made from light-roasted beans and tends to have a slightly acidic taste.
“Ich möchte einen Kaffee, bitte.”
While beer may seem to be the drink of choice in Germany, coffee is probably the closest runner-up. During the 1700s, coffee was a drink of the wealthy and educated, imported from Arab countries. If you were poor, you drank an equally poor substitute made from chicory or malt. Today you can find some good old-fashioned drip filtered black coffee in the popular coffee and tea houses throughout the country.
“Me gustaría un café, por favour.”
Like the French, the Spanish also enjoy a good cup of espresso. The only difference is that the Spanish tend to add milk to theirs. If you want sugar, you’ll have to add that yourself from the sugar packets the barista provides. Oh, don’t ask to take your coffee “to go.” The Spanish like to sit and savour their coffee, outside.
“Vorrei un caffè si, prega.”
Let’s stop and consider Italy for the moment. Italians were the first to invent a coffeehouse. Bars in Italy are where you stop and get…you guessed it…a coffee. And in Italy, you don’t linger over your coffee. In the mornings, you drink a cappuccino, which is basically a double espresso with hot milk and steamed milk foam. The rest of the day you drink an espresso. Forgot what an espresso was? Page back up and read the entry for ordering an espresso in France. It’s the same throughout the Mediterranean.
“Jag skulle vilja en kaffe, vänligen.”
Okay, so maybe the people in Sweden prefer good old-fashioned drip filtered black coffee, but they have made an art out of drinking and enjoying it. The fika – which literally translates to coffee break – is a social activity where you sit and enjoy your coffee with a pastry and friends. Their workplace break rooms are called “fika rooms” and every morning and afternoon like clockwork, you’ll find the employees hanging out and drinking their java.
“Chcel by som jednu kávu, prosím.”
Coffee in Slovak countries is a growing concern, especially after many of these countries were not able to get coffee during the Communist regime rule. Today, these countries are bursting with coffee shops that serve everything from instant coffee to Turkish to Viennese. Like the Swedes, coffee drinking is a social activity and best done with something sweet to eat.
“Mig langar eitt kaffi, vinsamlegast.”
While most people in Iceland prefer to drink Latte because of the abundance of fresh milk in the country, it wasn’t that way not too long ago. In the 1950s and 60s, Icelanders roasted their green coffee beans at home, occasionally mixed some chicory into it and brewed the coffee through a piece of cloth, usually a piece of flannel. Now, if you need something to strain your coffee with while camping, grab that shirt and put it to use!
“Chciałbym jedną kawę, proszę.”
Be thankful that Poles in 2017 like cappuccinos, lattes and espressos. Even as late as the 1980s, the Polish people were pretty much stuck with Robusta coffee, a strong bitter coffee that was pretty hard to come by. Nowadays, specialty coffee is booming in Poland, giving visitors to the country a lot more options when they need that morning and late afternoon boost.
“E rite i kotahi kawhe, pai.”
Hey, Europeans and Americans aren’t the only ones that like a little java juice to put some pep in their step. You’re not going to find automatic drip coffee in New Zealand, thanks to the heavy French influence in the country. But if you hear people asking for a “flat white,” they are basically asking for a cup that’s one-third espresso, two-thirds steamed milk and a bit of swirled froth on top.