Countries all the over the world eat breakfast differently. However, no matter where you are, one of the only similar elements that cultures include in their breakfast is coffee.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, at least in the United States. Depending on where you are in the world, your typical and ideal image of breakfast can vary. In many countries and cultures, coffee (and even tea), is considered a staple in their first meal of the day.
Here are a few examples of countries that include coffee in their breakfast, and how they make them.
Argentina - coffee and yerba mate
Argentina’s breakfast typically consists of pastry-like foods, along with coffee or yerba mate. Argentina’s national drink is mate, which is made from a caffeine-rich dried leaf called yerba mate, added with hot water. Much like many other countries, cafes and coffee in general are important parts of the culture in Argentina. The coffee in Argentina is heavily influenced by Italian coffee (which we will get to later on) but with slight alterations. For example, their cappuccino, called capuchino, consists of layers of coffee, milk or milk foam, and cinnamon or chocolate. A lot of variations not only depend on the ingredients of the coffee, but even the sizes in which it's served.
Cuba - café con leche
Breakfast in Cuba is usually tostada, which is sliced and grilled bread, with a cup of coffee. Breakfast coffee in Cuba is called café con leche, which literally translates to coffee with milk. This coffee is usually enjoyed hot, and in a cafe, the milk that comes with the coffee is served steamed or hot as well. However, the traditional and most popular coffee in Cuba is cafecito or café cubano. It is enjoyed in small servings because of how strong it is, and also sweetened with sugar. Other types of coffee in Cuba include colada, which comes in a bigger serving for sharing, and cortadito coffee served with teaspoons of milk.
France - café
As you might expect, the breakfast in France consists of a lot of bread, pastries, and of course, coffee. Specific examples of breads include baguettes or croissants. The coffee and cafe culture in France is unlike any other, and it is part of the country's food culture as a whole. France is the culinary capital of the world, afterall. Since there is such a diverse amount of coffee in France, there’s no particular type of coffee they drink for breakfast.
Most of their coffee, or café, is primarily espresso based, compared to drip or brewed coffee in the United States. Using espresso means your coffee is much stronger, which is why they are often served in a smaller cup, or “shot.” One example is the noisette, which is a shot of espresso with a few drops or either milk or cream.
Italy - cappuccino, café latte, latte macchiato
Italy has arguably created the coffee culture. They are the heart and soul of all the popular coffee drinks you know such as the cappuccino, latte, and americano. Perhaps the most important of these is espresso which is what is the base of practically all their coffee drinks.
Coffee in Italy is enjoyed during any part of the day, not just the mornings for breakfast. But as you can imagine, espresso coffee is their staple for breakfast, along with a pastry of some kind. Breakfast coffee is usually one that includes milk. Examples include the cappuccino, café latte, and the latte macchiato. All three of these drinks have the same exact ingredients, the only difference between them is the ratio at which the ingredients are added.
Morocco - mint tea
This one isn’t coffee, but it’s still worth mentioning. In Morocco, their breakfast consists of a Moroccan pancake called baghrir along with a traditional Moroccan mint tea. The mint tea is made by steeping green tea and mint in boiling water. It is often made to serve guests, friends, and family as a way to demonstrate hospitality. It’s simple to make and can be enjoyed during any time of the day.
Portugal - coffee with milk
Portugal is another country that has a huge coffee culture. Breakfast usually consists of an egg custard pastry called pasteis de nata. But of course, breakfast wouldn’t be that same in Portugal if it wasn’t paired with a cup of coffee. Coffee in the morning is typically milk heavy, the most common one being the uma meia de leite, which is half milk and half coffee. Another milky coffee is the um galão, which is a much weaker coffee served with warm milk. Interestingly, the reason the coffee is much weaker is because rather than refilling the coffee machine with new beans, the previous one is just reused.
Senegal - café touba
Although it is enjoyed throughout the entire day, café touba is a breakfast staple in Senegal. Café touba is a traditional coffee that is very unique because of its “spicy” taste. There are multiple elements that are put into café touba that make it so complex. This coffee consists of African cloves and spices. The spice is called djar (also known as grains of Selim), which comes from a dried fruit. It isn’t served with any milk, but it can be sweetened with sugar to balance the spice. Café touba is sold everywhere in kiosks, vendors, markets, and restaurants.
Singapore - kopi
Breakfast in Singapore is pretty simple: hard boiled eggs, yakun toast, and coffee, or kopi. Usually, the coffee beans are Columbian Arabica that are roasted in a wok with sugar and butter or margarine. Sometimes pineapple skins and maize can even be added when roasting the beans. The dark brown roasted beans are then ground up, brewed, and filtered through a thin cotton strainer.
There are variations of ways to sweeten the coffee, but condensed milk, evaporated milk, and sugar are the most common. Kopi can be served hot, iced, unsweetened, and even stronger in caffeine. Kopitiams are coffee shops that are in practically every neighborhood in Singapore, so having kopi in one of these shops is part of the experience of enjoying your coffee.
There are many ways you can prepare your coffee with breakfast, and these were just a few examples to get you inspired. However you enjoy your coffee in the morning, just know you’re not the only one getting their fix.