As Charlotte continues to attract new residents from all over the world, the demand for traditional foods and drinks are ever increasing – including coffee.
If you’ve never traveled to other countries, you may just think of coffee as that black drink that comes from a drip coffee maker, or that sweet frothy latte from Starbucks. In other parts of the world, however, ‘coffee’ often means a very different thing.
We decided to put together a list of some of the most unique and traditional coffee offerings that you can now find right here in Charlotte.
Cuban Coffee (also known as ‘Cafe Cubano’) is an amazingly-sweet and extra-strong coffee made with whipped sugar and strong-brewed coffee (border-line espresso). The whipped sugar creates a thick, foamy layer resembling a beautiful crema-like surface (called ‘espuma’).
If you’re looking for the best place to find authentic Cuban Coffee in Charlotte, look no further than La Unica on South Blvd. (6625 South Blvd). They sell a small Cuban Coffee for $1.75 and a large for $1.99.
Many say that the coffee plant was born in Ethiopia – the country now has more varieties of the heirloom coffee plants than any other country in the world.
Along with the coffee plant, the traditional coffee ceremony was also born in Ethiopia. A ceremony that consists of roasting the pits of the ‘coffee cherry’, then grinding the pits (aka coffee beans), and boiling the ground beans in filtered water.
At Red Sea on Monroe Rd., they give reenactments of the traditional coffee ceremony on a daily basis. It’s some of the freshest and best tasting coffee you’ll find in Charlotte.
Greek Coffee is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of European coffee, dating back several thousand years before Christ.
It starts with a fine grind of freshly roasted arabica beans, and it’s then boiled in a tall and slender pot, called a ‘briki’. It’s then served with grounds in the cup, which are allowed to slowly settle as the coffee is sipped.
The most traditional Greek Coffee we found in Charlotte is at The Mad Greek on South Blvd – you can get a cup of traditional Greek Coffee for $2.98
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Turkish Coffee is very similar to Greek Coffee, but each country will say their version is different, better, and the first version of the brew.
It’s made by boiling very finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar in a special coffee pot called a cezve. The mixture is boiled slowly so that as soon as the mixture begin to froth, about one-third of it is poured into small cups; then the remaining amount is returned to the stove and allowed to froth a second time, then the remainder is poured into to the cups.
The best Turkish Coffee we found in Charlotte is at the Euro Cafe on Central Blvd. They sell cups of the traditional brew for $1.99 each.
Vietnamese coffee, or cà phê đá, is made with coarse grounds of Asian or Indonesian Bourbon Coffee beans. The coffee is brewed using a small metal Vietnamese drip filter (aka phin cà phê). The hot water slowly forces concentrated drops of hot coffee slowly into a small cup. As soon as it’s finished brewing, it’s quickly poured into a glass full of ice, and traditionally sweetened with condensed milk.
The best place we found with traditional cà phê đá is Pho Quynh on Central Ave. (4900 Central Ave.) they sell a cup for $3.50.
If you’d like to try your hand at making any of these traditional types of coffee at home, you can find freshly grown and sourced coffee beans from every region around the world here in our coffee shop.
All of our single-origin beans are roasted the day you place your order and will arrive at your house within 3 days.