Cafe Culture in North America & Around the World
Café culture in North America is vastly different compared to many other countries. We have a “to-go” type mentality, and see coffee as a source of caffeine rather than something to truly enjoy. Many other countries view coffee and cafes as an experience – a time to enjoy conversations with friends or family. In this post, we’re going to delve into the cafe and coffee culture of three distinctive countries around the world.
We all know the scene in every French film where the characters sit outside the cafe while slowly sipping their coffee. This is pretty true to how it really is in France. You will see tables lined on the pavements of France filled with people chatting and drinking small cups of coffee. The French, like most other Europeans, have much smaller coffee cups with more concentrated flavors. Coffee breaks in France are all about enjoying the flavors of the drink, but also about having a break in the day where you really appreciate the present moment with someone else.
The cafe culture in South Korea is quite different to most other countries as the word “cafe,” refers more to a meeting place than a shop that sells coffee. Most people in South Korea live in apartments, so cafes are a huge hangout spot for friends. For instance, there are board game cafes, dog cafes, and flower cafes. You can enjoy playing board games or hanging out with dogs for free as long as you buy a drink while there. Although South Korean cafes and European cafes are similar in the sense that they are meant as a place of socialization, cafes in Korea don’t always focus on the quality of the coffee or the drinks. Drinks are sometimes just an afterthought in these themed cafes. Mind you not every cafe is like this, and there are many coffee shops that do focus on the quality of coffee, but many are just about having fun!
We can’t talk about coffee and cafe culture without talking about Colombia, the land of coffee. With approximately 560,000 coffee farms throughout the country, it is South America’s biggest exporter of coffee. One of the major differences in coffee culture in Colombia is their focus on taste rather than on caffeine. In North America, most people joke about how they need a coffee in the morning to get through their busy schedule. However, Colombians will drink coffee at any time of the day, including the evening. It’s seen as a drink to be enjoyed, not as a source of energy.
Coffee is a delicious drink and it is so much more than a caffeine fix. It’s a way to share a moment with someone. At Le Gourmand we are trying to learn from these other countries and abandon the “to-go” mentality. You can still get your coffee to go here, but we have also created a space for anyone to sit down and enjoy the whole experience. Try and take some time out of your day, and sip on some coffee and chat with your favorite person at Le Gourmand!