Coffee has been around for so many centuries, and is drunk in so many parts of the world, that there are a huge variety of ways to enjoy it. There are a great many more varieties than we can get out of our cappuccino machines. You can enjoy different coffees on their own, or mix them with flavorings, liqueurs and other beverages to make innumerable combinations. Caribbean coffee, Mexican Mocha, Grog, and the Cubano from Cuba are four of a much greater selection of options.
To make a Caribbean coffee, you need to heat a coconut in a hot oven for half an hour. Once the coconut has cooled break it open and grate the flesh inside. Heat this in a saucepan with coconut milk and regular milk until it becomes thick, and then run it through a strainer to remove the coconut pieces, stir in a couple of shots of high quality espresso and enjoy.
The Mexican Mocha is a spicy, warming blend of colorful flavors, perfectly suited to that part of the world. Mix chocolate syrup with ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Add a cup if freshly brewed coffee, preferably Mexican in origin, and a little sugar if required. Little whipped cream on the top with a further sprinkle of cinnamon finishes the drink perfectly.
The Cubano coffee is drunk in a strong straight shot, rather like a spirit. It can have a similar effect on the head too. For those who want to tame the beast, combining with a little hot milk can produce a pleasing taste. For the more adventurous, diluting with rum is a popular local alternative.
To make Grog, a veritable feast of a drink, you need to mix peeled orange slices with pieces of lemon. Add butter, dark brown sugar and ground spices such as cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add freshly brewed coffee and mix. Double cream should be added until the required consistency is achieved.
A few other potential concoctions on the multi-cultural coffee list include Viennese, Turkish and Vietnamese.
The deliciously decadent Viennese is made by combining melted dark chocolate with single cream and freshly brewed coffee. This is whisked together to make it bubbly and then allowed to settle. It is best drunk with a little spice sprinkled on top; try cinnamon mixed with cocoa.
Turkish coffee is unusual in that it is actually boiled, often in coffee makers made for the purpose called dzezvas. The finely ground coffee is mixed with water and sugar and then brought to the boil. The resulting drink is thick dark and strong, and the grinds can sometimes be cut with cardamom to produce a distinctive taste.
For a complete change in temperature, try the Vietnamese iced coffee. Condensed milk, fresh filter coffee and ice are mixed together with very tasty result.
Try a few other international delicacies and you can take a world coffee tour without ever leaving the comfort of your kitchen.