To celebrate National Coffee Week, we have put together a few interesting facts about one of the nation's favourite hot beverages. From how the Indians grow it to how the Cubans drink it - learn some interesting facts from our travel experts!
Drinking Café Cubano
they have the special Cuba Cubano
otherwise known as an espresso which uses demerara sugar in the ground before brewing. Therefore when it is brewed, it comes out a little bit sweeter than usual. You can experience this throughout Cuba as well as in the Cuban-American communities in Florida.
Taste this sweet Cuban coffee on our Cuba Libre (CL)
trip while exploring the island's revolutionary history and its modern, vibrant Caribbean culture. Travelling across the breadth of the country, you will discover beautiful colonial architecture and a lively music scene in Trinidad. Stay with the locals in privately run 'casas particulares', an excellent way to get fully immersed in local life.
Elevenses in Argentina
As a result of many Italians settling in Argentina in the late 1800s, there is now a huge coffee culture throughout the country. A favourite is a cortado
- an espresso served with a tiny drop of milk to cut through the bitterness. An alternative is the standard Café con leche.
The key to drinking this is to have it at around 11am with a medialuna
– a sweet Argentinian croissant to complete the typical Argentinian breakfast. Visit Argentina and enjoy elevenses on our Adventures in Patagonia (PA)
India’s smuggled coffee beans
It is thought that coffee was first brought to India by a 16th Century Sufi saint called Baba Budan. It is believed that he smuggled seven coffee beans from Yemen on his way back from Mecca. Allegedly the Yemenis dominated coffee growing at the time and only sold roasted coffee beans so the bean couldn’t be used to grow coffee and compete with them. Baba Budan gives his name to the place in the Southern Indian State of Karnataka where he grew the beans – the Baba Budan mountain range – and has a shrine in the mountains dedicated to him.
Visit India on our On Foot in Kerala (WIK)
trip whereby you will be able to see the locals tending the crops in the Seven Malai Hills. This 11-day trip enables you to trek among the forests and grasslands of the mountainous Western Ghats - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world's top ten biodiversity 'hot spots'.
Friar Cappuccino and the Capuchin order of monks
More than 300 years after his death, Marco d'Aviano cleared the last step before sainthood; the Pope recognised the friar's miraculous work, including curing a nun who had been bedridden for 13 years. When a vast Ottoman Turk army was marching on Vienna in 1683, d'Aviano was sent by the Pope to unite the outnumbered Christian troops. After a prayer meeting led by d'Aviano, they were spurred to victory. Legend has it that as the Turks fled, they left behind sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and milk. The drink was called ‘cappuccino’
after the Capuchin order of monks, to which d'Aviano belonged. On a cloudy Sunday in St Peter's Square, the Pope paid tribute to d'Aviano - known in Italy as ’Friar Cappuccino‘ – along with five other Italians whom he also beatified.
Experience some of the best coffee (and food!) in the world on our Cycle Tuscany (CTY)
The ‘Coffee Country’ of Colombia
Coffee grown in the Andes has a unique and distinguished flavour. The high altitude makes for difficult growing conditions and each country along the Andean range grows coffee with its own characteristics. In Colombia, the pickers hike up and down the mountains with huge baskets to collect the fruits. It’s a tricky balancing act on the hills but the result is beautiful coffee.
Our Contrasts of Colombia (BCO)
trip visits one of South America’s most interesting and exciting destinations; with a rich cultural heritage, many areas of outstanding natural beauty and a notoriously friendly and welcoming population. Join us and discover Colombia, the country that is ‘magical realism’ personified, through the colonial cities of Cartagena, Bogota and Popayan, the beautiful wax palms and coffee farms of Armenia and the blossoming cultural hub of Medellin.