23 Ways The World Drinks Coffee

The humorist Dave Barry once said, "It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity." Love it or hate it, almost from the moment humankind discovered coffee's great taste and many benefits, we have doggedly pursued the pleasure of its company.

It's our regular breakfast companion and somehow tastes great with everything from eggs and bacon to flaky croissants, is the perfect pick-me-up during the day, helps us focus when we are working on a brain-twisting task, and can be a comforting drink when we feel down. Entire ceremonies have grown around its preparation. Obsessed devotees spend their lives in search of the perfect cup and, after petroleum, and coffee is the most widely traded commodity in the world.

Coffee and its culture have slowly seeped into even the most stalwart tea drinking nations and we can use coffee culture as a window into different corners of the world. Coffee and how it fits into the fabric of a country's social and dining traditions can tell us a lot about its people; it's as if coffee has become a passport to different cuisines, so why not join us as we journey around the world one cup at a time.