Navigating Coffee Culture An Expats Guide to Bangladesh

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Welcome expatriates to the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Bangladesh, with insights and tips for navigating the local coffee scene. Whether you're new to Bangladesh or simply looking for new ways to connect with the local community, this guide is your roadmap to enjoying the best that Bangladesh has to offer in the world of coffee.

Understanding Coffee Origins and Production

Bangladesh's coffee journey can be traced back to the mid-19th century, when coffee seeds were first introduced to the region. Today, locally grown Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are used to create a range of delicious brews that are savoured by locals and expats alike.

While imported coffee beans are commonly used in mainstream cafes, there is a growing trend towards locally grown beans. A cup of coffee brewed from locally sourced beans is said to be richer in flavour, with a unique aroma that captures the essence of Bangladesh's coffee culture.

Several regions in Bangladesh are known for their coffee production, with Srimangal being a particular highlight. Known as the 'Tea Garden of Bangladesh', Srimangal is also renowned for its coffee plantations, where you can find coffee robusta and arabica produced by small-scale farmers.

Visitors to Srimangal can take part in coffee plantation tours to learn about the coffee production process, from planting and harvesting to drying and roasting. It's a fascinating insight into the rich traditions of coffee growing and production in Bangladesh.

Embracing Favorite Coffee Style Drinks

Bangladesh's coffee scene is diverse, with a range of coffee styles and flavours to suit every taste. From traditional brews to speciality blends, there's a coffee for every coffee lover.

One of the most popular coffee styles in Bangladesh is masala coffee, a spiced coffee drink that combines the flavour of coffee with a blend of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

Customers at Mamiks and other popular cafes in Bangladesh often order Masala Coffee, which is made by boiling strong coffee in a pot with a blend of spices and sugar, producing a rich, spicy, slightly sweet flavour. Try this hot and spicy coffee drink to unlock the Bengali culture's coffee experience!

Another popular coffee style in Bangladesh is Mughlai coffee, created by infusing cardamom and spices in coffee grounds before adding hot water. The aroma of cardamom gives this coffee drink a unique flavour, making it a true taste sensation.

For those who prefer a more straightforward coffee experience, traditional brews like drip coffee, espresso, and cappuccino are widely available in cafes across Bangladesh.

Embracing Coffee Drinking Customs and Traditions

Coffee is more than just a drink in Bangladesh; it's a cultural experience that is deeply embedded in the country's rich heritage. The art of making and serving coffee is a cultural practice that has been passed down through generations.

Bangladesh's coffee culture is steeped in tradition, with coffee drinking rituals that are deeply ingrained in the country's social fabric. For example, coffee is often served as a gesture of hospitality, with the host pouring coffee for the guest pouring three times, forming a 'namaste' gesture with the hands.

Another coffee ritual that is popular among families is coffee tasting sessions, where family members take turns sampling coffee brewed using different beans, blends, and brewing methods, discussing the flavour profiles and discerning which blend is the most aromatic and flavourful.

Conclusion

Bangladesh's coffee culture is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity, encompassing everything from locally grown beans to traditional rituals and contemporary brewing styles. This guide has given you a glimpse into the rich tapestry of coffee culture in Bangladesh, and we hope it has given you the confidence to explore the country's coffee scene, meet new folk, and enjoy the flavourful and memorable experiences that only coffee culture can provide.

We invite you to discover more about the coffee culture in Bangladesh and share your experiences with us. Join us, the expat community, on this coffee journey and immerse yourself in the joys of coffee culture. Remember, coffee is not just a drink but a journey that awakens the senses, historically and culturally linked with the Bengali society.

Additional Notes

To help expats explore the coffee culture in Bangladesh, we have compiled a list of expat-friendly cafes and cultural experiences. From chai-style coffee to traditional brews, these cafes offer a unique coffee experience that is steeped in local tradition.

  • Narail Beginning: Narail Beginning is a popular café in Narail, famous for its simple coffee menu and traditional brews. With its laid-back atmosphere and reasonable prices, Narail Beginning is a popular spot among expats and locals alike.
  • The Diner: The Diner is a trendy café in Dhaka, serving up a range of coffee styles, from traditional brews to contemporary blends. With its modern, minimalist décor and free Wi-Fi, The Diner is the perfect spot to work, read, or people-watch.
  • Chai's Coffee: Chai's Coffee is a cozy café in Gulshan, renowned for its chai-style coffee drinks, which are similar to the popular Bengali tea. With its warm, inviting ambiance and colonial-inspired décor, Chai's Coffee is the perfect spot to relax and unwind.