16 of the World’s Most Popular Coffee Drinks (and How to Enjoy Them at Home)

Fill the fancy-coffee shaped hole in your daily lockdown routine, these tipples from Scandinavia, Australia and beyond are a great way to get your caffeine fix – and (relatively) easy to replicate at home.

Wake up. Grab a coffee. It's a routine shared across the world. But would you mix cheese with your cuppa? Or blend pepper in your brew? Whether you're upping your game after making the Instagram-famous dalgona coffee or simply want to fill the fancy-coffee shaped hole in your daily lockdown routine, these tipples from Scandinavia, Australia and beyond are a great way to get your caffeine fix - and (relatively) easy to replicate at home.

Wake up and smell the coffee culture around the world

Kopi joss


This tourist tick-off was invented in Yogyakarta in the 60s by a coffee stall vendor called Mr Man, who remedied his stomach ache by dropping hot coal in his cuppa - it's believed that the charcoal neutralises coffee's acidity while giving the drink a smack of burnt sugar. The name "kopi joss" comes from the sizzling sound made when the coal is dropped in.


Northern Scandinavia

The Sami of Lapland, as well as people in Finland, Norway and Sweden like their coffee poured over cubes of leipäjuusto or "bread cheese". Traditionally made from baked reindeer milk, it's a squeaky, halloumi-esque kind of curd that absorbs liquid (sorry, no molten cheddar here), making for small, spongey mouthfuls. True Scandis drink theirs from a wooden mug carved out of a birch burl (a rustic tree growth).



When life gives you lemons, make this coffee-lemonade hybrid. Legend has it that French soldiers stationed at Algeria's Mazagran fortress invented this zesty tipple in the 1840s to counter the hot African nights. Today's iteration is commonly knocked back (often in one gulp) in Portugal, Austria and France. Cold, sweetened coffee and lemon juice are poured over ice - optional add-ins include dark rum and sparkling water. The combination isn't that offbeat; an espresso Romano is served with a twist of lemon to bring out java's sweetness.

Café Touba


There are many riffs on spiced coffee around the world; what makes this Sengalese variation stand out is that the spices - typically grains of selim (a local, musky, peppery spice, available from speciality grocers) - are roasted with the coffee beans before being ground and prepared in a similar manner to drip coffee. The resulting decoction is considered an aphrodisiac, with purported medicinal properties to boot.


Saudi Arabia

Arabic coffee, or Qahwa, is a Unesco-recognised Intangible Cultural Heritage of Arab states. Preparation varies, but a typical brew may consist of lightly roasted green coffee beans with cardamom, saffron, rose water, cinnamon and cloves added for spice and fragrance. In Arab custom, the coffee is served in a miniature decorative cup - we're talking a small mouthful - called a finjān, along with a date, other dried fruit or candied nuts.

Türk kahvesi


If Arabic coffee is a little pungent for your taste, opt for a Turkish coffee, in which bitter spices are mellowed by sugar. They're combined with very finely ground coffee beans in a copper cezve pot over moderate heat, brought to a boil (often a few times) and poured into petite, ornate mugs - grounds and all. It's a rich, treacly drink, akin to Mexican hot chocolate.

Cà phê trứng


Since French colonists introduced the first coffee trees in Vietnam, the country has become one of the world's largest coffee producers. It's coffee preparations veer towards the saccharine, with condensed milk among the most common add-ins. Cà phê trứng throws in whipped egg yolks too for extra creaminess - think tiramisu, but drinkable.

Café de olla


Meaning "pot coffee", café de olla is a spiced affair in which ground beans are simmered in a clay pot with a piloncillo (raw cane sugar) and a cinnamon stick - cloves, peppercorns and orange peel are sometimes added too. It's a comforting brew, most commonly enjoyed in rural areas and served in a clay mug, which locals believe brings out coffee's flavours.

Dalgona coffee


The Korean pick-me-up that's become an Instagram sensation, dalgona coffee is cappucino's cool cousin, with hot or cold milk (or alt mylk, because #dairyfree) crowned with frothed coffee. Simply whisk together equal parts instant coffee, sugar and hot water to make the topping - we find a tablespoon of each is enough for one serving. Like this? Try a Greek-style frappé, the not-so-traditional invention of a Nescafé representative who, in 1957, shook instant coffee, water and sugar before serving over ice.

Bulletproof coffee


On the subject of trends, this butter coffee has been popular among carb naysayers since the early 2010s, when MCT oil (or "brain octane"), coffee and butter (grass-fed, of course) were blended in a bid to skip breakfast and give the body's fat-burning function of ketosis a kick. As with most health-food crazes - turmeric, kombucha, coconut oil - this caffeine fix has been plucked from history. Centuries before paleo enthusiasts and Whole 30 folk jumped on the bandwagon, Tibetan monks have sipped bowls of tea shaken with yak butter and salt - high calories for high altitudes.

Irish Coffee


Great as an after-dinner tipple, this coffee-cocktail crossbreed is made up of strong coffee, stronger whiskey, sugar and a head of whipped cream. Like this? Other boozy coffees include a German Pharisäer, spiked with rum, sugar and cream, and the luxurious Austrian Kaisermelange, in which espresso is mixed with raw egg yolk, honey and a shot of cognac.



Italians have had a huge influence in our global coffee culture, from the words we use to order - espresso, macchiato, latte - to the steam-driven espresso machine, which was invented in Turin in the 1880s. Coffee shops are no-fuss affairs here; don't bother asking for a grande no-foam latte with vanilla syrup. Instead, a "buongiorno" is often accompanied by cappuccino and pastry, as locals take a brief pausa (pause) to imbibe by a counter. You won't find many Italians ordering milky coffees after 10am.

Flat white


Like a small, grown-up latte, the harmonious blend of espresso and silky microfoam is our go-to order. It was born in Sydney in the 80s, brought to the world stage by Starbucks in the 2010s, and has since been upgraded with alt mylks, matcha, turmeric and the like. Spain's café con leche is similar, but uses scalded milk and has less of a flat white's foamy head.

Café Cubano


Indulge your sweet tooth with a café Cubano, in which a dark-roast espresso is brewed with sugar (traditionally of a brown, natural variety), as opposed to the sugar being added afterwards. Knocking one back is a cornerstone of Cuban culture, and popular among Cuban-American communities in Florida. Like this? Try the Brazillian cafezinho. Translating to "little coffee", it's a sweeter, more concentrated take on the espresso.

Café Maria Theresia


Since the Battle of Vienna in the 1680s, when Turkish soldiers left behind bags of coffee beans, the Austrian capital has had a deep-roasted love affair with its cup o' joe - by the 19th century, coffeehouse culture was booming and it has since been recognised by Unesco. Sweet tooth? Order a Maria Theresia, an espresso with orange liqueur topped with cream, chocolate shavings and orange rind.


Hong Kong

Yuenyeung is a kick of a beverage, made up from three parts black coffee and seven parts Hong Kong-style milk tea. Correspondingly, its name refers to the mating of mandarin ducks, a Chinese symbol of conjugal love, in which the male and female birds have very different appearances. A tea-coffee mash-up is also enjoyed in Ethiopia, locally known as "spreeze".

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