Surprising Breakfast Drinks Around the World (Slideshow)

In ancient Rome, the first meal of the day consisted of bread, wine, and fruit

Miso Soup, Japan

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While you might think of miso soup as an appetizer before your sushi, in Japan, it’s common to have a cup of miso accompanying a bowl of rice porridge for breakfast. The soup is most commonly made of dashi (usually a broth made from fish stock) mixed with softened miso paste and sometimes also contains mushrooms, potatoes, shrimp, or fish. 

Naranjilla Juice, Ecuador

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This diminutive fruit is popular throughout Latin America. Literally translated, the word means “small orange,” but the naranjilla is actually much more tart and acidic than an orange. Also, the green meat of the fruit more closely resembles that of a tomatillo. Breakfast juice is made from the naranjilla by squeezing its juice, then mixing it with lime, sugar, and water for a breakfast drink that’s both sweet and sour. 

Silk Sock Tea, Hong Kong

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This tea gets its name because unlike other teas, a sackcloth bag is used to filter the black tea. The bag makes the tea smoother. The prolonged drenching process eventually darkens the bag, causing it to resemble a stocking, or silk sock. After the filtering, silk sock tea is mixed with evaporated milk and sugar, giving it a creamy, sweet flavor. 

Cafecito, Cuba

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This drink is a single shot of dark, Italian roast coffee sweetened with brown sugar as it’s being brewed. Locals drink it either for breakfast or a late night pick-me-up, and while still dark in color, the drink is sweet enough to be taken without milk. 

Dou Jiang, China

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Dou Jiang means sweet soybean milk. This creamy beverage is as traditional at Chinese breakfast as cow’s milk is to the American table. To make this drink, soybeans soak for about 15 hours. Then they’re drained through cheesecloth, boiled, and mixed with sugar to form a sweet, thick mixture that can be served warm or over ice. 

Hefeweizen, Germany

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So maybe breakfast beers haven’t gone completely out of style. Hefeweizen translates to “yeast wheat,” appropriately so, since this golden beer is usually served unfiltered with little bits of yeast floating in the glass. Germans drink this beer for what is called brotzeit, which is actually more of a midmorning snack taken after the traditional breakfast. It usually consists of bread and cheese, or a pretzel, and, of course, a glass of beer. 

Breakfast Tea, England

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Breakfast tea isn’t just the term for a regular cup of Earl Grey served alongside a fry up. The term is actually reserved for a unique blend of black teas from India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. The debate rages over whether milk should be added to the cup before or after pouring the tea, but this strong drink is typically served with milk and sugar to cut the bitterness. 

Champurrado, Mexico

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This chocolate-based beverage is whipped with chocolate then blended with cinnamon, anise, or vanilla bean. It is served hot and particularly popular around Christmastime, but is also enjoyed with breakfast throughout the year. 

Café Renversé, Switzerland

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Leave it to the Swiss to take the traditional French café au lait and make it just a little bit different. Café au lait is typically just a cup of dark coffee with the addition of a thin layer of heated milk. In Switzerland, it’s the opposite: the heated milk is the base of the drink, and espresso is used for a dash of flavor. 

Bush Tea, Jamaica

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Bush tea is the local term for herbal tea made from mint, lemongrass, ginger, and/or soursop leaves. Typically served hot and taken first thing in the morning, these teas are meant to be curative and are believed to treat everything from fever to arthritis.