Home Coffee Brewing Devices From Around the World
There’s a backdrop to coffee that is largely unknown. Even though coffee is one of the most largely consumed drinks in the world, and because of it’s routine, monotonous place in American culture, little thought is given to the story behind the mug of goodness that wakes you up in the morning. Every coffee bean has a long journey ahead before it makes its way into your favorite thrift store mug, and every culture around the world has its own history with coffee. Some countries like Vietnam and Brazil have economies dependent on coffee exports. Countries like the United States, Australia, and Japan reside on the consuming end of the spectrum. Besides the economics of the coffee supply chain, there is tradition, family history, and implicit cultural factors that surround the act of brewing and sharing a cup of coffee.
While most homes in America have an automatic coffee brewer, many don’t realize there are a variety of ways to whip up a fresh cup of joe. In Turkey, brewing coffee in a Cezve (or called Ibrik) is a way to show honor to guests. Vietnamese men sit on the side of the road with a slow drip coffee from a phin, either iced or enjoyed with sweetened condensed milk. Let’s not forget to mention the various unique brewing methods that originated in Japan.
Many of these unique ways to brew coffee each come with a story. Fortunately, with globalization, those brewing methods are not exclusively enjoyed in the culture from which they originated. I might turn some heads if I used a siphon pot to brew coffee during a family gathering, but the fun reality in our day is that a wide range of experiences can happen through coffee in your very own kitchen. Let’s look at some of these brewing methods.
The Vietnamese Slow Drip
Vietnam has been the second largest exporter of coffee in the world for a while now. While not many coffee producing countries enjoy coffee as much as they export the crop, Vietnam is one of those countries. A walk down Ho Chi Minh city and you will see cafes on every street corner. If you travel up the mountains where the top quality of coffees are grown, you will see Veitnamese and other Asian travelers visiting coffee farms. Typically, coffee is roasted with butter (or some other oil) and sugar, and often complimented by chicory. Most of Vietnam’s coffee is from the Robusta plant which lends to bitter, bold flavors. Vietnamese dark roasts are brewed over a tin cup with a built-in metal filter, called a phin. The grounds are mixed with hot water to be pushed down by the weight of a metal lid through a filter slowly into your cup. The result might be the boldest cup of viscous coffee you have ever tasted. Enjoyed with sweetened condensed milk turns the drink into a delightful dessert almost. What’s neat is that this same style of coffee is sold HERE, so no need to buy a plane ticket to experience it yourself.
The Japanese Kyoto Cold Brew
While Japan boasts a rich coffee culture, it is uncertain whether the Kyoto cold brew method was invented by the Japanese or the Dutch. While the history of this brew method’s origin is up for debate, Kyoto cold brew was made popular by the Japanese in the 1600’s. There are many ways to make cold brew, and in my humble opinion, the Kyoto method is by far the most mesmerizing. Cold water drips slowly from a glass chamber onto a bed of coffee grounds. The water passes through the grounds extracting coffee flavors little by little to be filtered and retire from it’s vertical journey into another glass container. The process can take anywhere from 5-12 hours. Is it simple? No. Is it inspiring to watch and drink? You bet.
The Turkish Cezve
Drinking coffee brewed in a Cezve (pronounced “sez-ve”) is not for the faint of heart. The Cezve brew method is simple. It requires ground coffee finer than espresso, water and a heat source. Cezves are stunning hand-hammered, usually copper pots with a handle. These small, beautifully crafted pots hold water and finely ground coffee over a flame until the coffee and water slurry foams up to the top. This method is different than a traditional filter brew method because the water is boiled with the coffee, also known as decoction. Decoction is different than traditional brew methods because the boiling of water is required for extraction and the end product is not filtered, thus leaving a sludge of coffee at the bottom of the cup. In turkey, coffee is usually enjoyed with sweets, family and friends.
Have any novel coffee traditions or brewing methods you would like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
READ MORE: Our Guide for Choosing the Best Pour Over Set.
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