Coffee Culture Around the World – Traveling with TEFL

When you return from teaching abroad, sometimes it’s the little things about your former host country that you miss most. For me, it’s the Italian café. There is just something about those memories of sitting at a table outside of a coffee shop at the edge of an enormous plaza in Venice, sipping a cappuccino, and watching the world turn that makes my heart ache. Of course, Italy isn’t the only place that offers a prominent café culture. Here are a few cities that you may not realize have a lot to offer the coffee connoisseur:

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Coffee shops abound throughout the city and have for a very long time. The oldest and most famous is Café Tortoni, which opened its doors in 1858, and is one of more than 50 cafes that are protected by the Argentinian government for their historical importance.

Mumbai, India – Traditionally a tea-drinking nation, the younger generations are turning to coffee. This is particularly significant because half of India’s population, over 1 billion people, is under 25 years old. Lattes and iced coffee drinks are very popular!

Beijing, China – Similar to India, it’s the country’s younger generations that are becoming coffee drinkers. The number of coffee shops has exploded to respond to the increasing demand.

St. Petersburg, Russia – Though tea was and still is the primary beverage of choice throughout the country, coffee is rising steadily through the ranks in the big cities and in Kaliningrad. Russians are gaining a preference for European-style coffee shops that brew espresso drinks over the traditional instant coffee.

Speaking of instant coffee, if you’re planning on teaching abroad, you may have to get used to the stuff. In some parts of the world, the most popular way to drink coffee comes in the form of instant coffee packets that are stirred into hot water.