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Five unusual brew coffee-based drinks

 For hundreds of millions of people, drinking coffee is way more than a mere food habit. It is actually a ritual, marked by a series of passages and actions that may vary from community to community. From Northern Europe (with Finland at the top, as the country with the highest consume of coffee per capita in the world) to the Mediterranean Area, from North to South America, from Centre Asia to Centre Africa: everyone has its way to prepare and drink coffee. Many of these methodologies are, shall we say, “institutionalized”; many others are so peculiar that they belong only to a few specific communities. Nevertheless, they have their dignity and, in some cases, their adepts outside their target communities; on the Internet there is more than a coffee forum that describes these rituals and how the coffee’s taste is modified by some people’s specific habits. Below you will find five of the most unusual ones.

  1. Black Ivory Coffee. Basically, the story goes like this: someone in India discovered that a specific enzyme inside the elephants’ intestine is able to destroy the protein that gives the coffee its bitterness. So the locals started to make the elephant eat coffee beans, only to “recover” them after the digestion: a method similar to the one used with the more notorious Kopi Luwak. The result is the most exclusive, precious, delicious and – of course – expensive coffee of the world.
  2. Café com limão. It’s a typical recipe from São Paulo, Brazil. Nothing more than a mixture between coffee and lime juice. The coffee must be long and quite watery, not an espresso. It can be consumed hot or ice cold. Many people think that it helps losing weight, though there is no medical evidence about it.
  3. Cà Phê Trứng. Vietnamese coffee plus condensed milk plus egg yolk. Mild, creamy and smooth, this blend is widely consumed not only in Vietnam, but in many neighboring countries as well (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand). It is considered a powerful tonic.
  4. Ipoh White Coffee. Originated in the eponymous Malaysian town, this coffee is actually just a little brighter than the usual black drink. The reason is double: first, the beans are roasted in a margarine made from palm oil; second, it is blended with a part of condensed milk. The result is delicate, velvety, smooth and sweet. Clearly, after such a treatment many of the nutritious vantage points of traditional coffee are bound to vanish.
  5. Café Touba. For those who like spicy gastronomic experiences, this recipe from Senegal is definitely something to try. A black, hyper-concentrated coffee with equal parts of sugar and black pepper, plus some cloves. Hyper-aromatic, it takes a few tries to get used to.


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