At any time during the day or night, you’ll find the locals in Albania drinking one of two things; alcohol or coffee (or both).
The coffee culture here, alike places around the world, differ from the ‘coffee cultural norms’ we have in the US. For starters, people rarely order their coffee to-go, as it is treated as a leisurely activity and not a raging-caffeine-addict necessity like most of us in the US (myself included) do.
People will more often meet up with their friends and family for coffee instead of grabbing a bite to eat. Even every gas station you stop at in the country doubles as a café/bar (I’m not joking). If that doesn’t say something about the drinking culture here I don’t know what does.
My personal favorite way to embrace the coffee-drinking culture here is to drink it along the breathtaking beaches, where you can order from any of the small beach restaurants and have them delivered right to your cabana or beach spot.
I’ve written about my favorite kind of coffee to sip while I’m relaxing along the Ionian in a previous blogpost, An Ode to The Frappe, which is what I usually drink while on the beach or with cousins and friends here. I’ve also picked up a new favorite, the freddo cappuccino at one of the most well known bar/restaurants here in Saranda, Limiani Restaurant.
I’ve also picked up a little habit of drinking Turkish coffee here and there with my family when we make our way home from the beach. Turkish coffee is common to drink in Albania as the two cultures share many similarities, their caffeinated beverages included. While filter coffee exists here and we have a filter coffee machine in our vacation home, traditionally most Albanian families do not have them in their kitchens. Therefore, when I go to my aunt’s home for some post-beach coffee time, she makes us the traditional Turkish coffee which I quite enjoy more than I thought I would.
So embrace these beautiful bits of Albanian coffee-culture and meet your friends for some good chat and good coffee.