The way people perceive, drink, and prepare coffee around the world is extremely different. For example, if you want to have your Cup of Joe in Italy, be ready to spend several minutes to order it. The time spent ordering won’t be caused by language barriers either. Rather, you will be facing a unique experience to find the specialty coffee that you want, in an endless list of coffee preparations.
I would like to draw attention to consumption patterns in producing and importing nations. Being born in a coffee-producing country, and having lived in non-coffee producing countries, I have observed dramatic differences. In coffee-producing countries, consumers are exposed to their single origin (i.e. In Brazil, people drink only Brazilian coffee). Their palates can recognize a mild cup of Arabica, while others will be only exposed to strong Robustas. As such, their taste experiences are defined by the type of coffee they drink. Coffee is a product of national pride for producing-countries, and it represents the source of income for many families – the option of having coffees from other parts of the world is not even considered.
Another interesting fact about coffee-producing nations, is that even though a specialty coffee culture exists, and having a café is the best way to socialize, consumption is not as matured or sophisticated as the one I perceive in countries where the coffee is imported. Fortunately, everything evolves. This paradigm is changing, especially in some Latin American and Asian countries. Better economic conditions, growing Barista communities, and a change of mentality, are all key elements of this evolution. Consumers are now demanding better offerings and paying more for their premium coffees that are 100% locally grown and roasted, and that includes decaf!