Exploring Mongolia’s Coffee Culture: From Traditional Brews to Hipster Cafés

Coffee culture in Mongolia is a trend that has been growing rapidly over the past few years, with more and more coffee shops popping up around the country. While Mongolian tea has always been a staple in the country’s culture, coffee has slowly been making its mark. From traditional brews to hipster cafés, Mongolia’s coffee scene is a unique blend of both old and new.

Traditional Brews: A Taste of Mongolia

In Mongolia, traditional coffee is known as “boortsog coffee,” and it is a popular drink among the nomadic people of the country. Boortsog coffee is made by adding ground coffee to a pot of boiling water, along with pieces of boortsog, a traditional Mongolian pastry. The mixture is then strained, resulting in a rich and flavorful coffee that is enjoyed by many.

Another traditional Mongolian coffee drink is “suutei tsai,” or milk tea. This creamy and slightly salty beverage is made by boiling tea leaves in a pot of water, then adding milk and salt. Suutei tsai is often served with meals and is a staple in Mongolian households.

The Rise of Hipster Cafés

In recent years, hipster cafés have been popping up in Mongolia’s cities, offering a different kind of coffee experience to the locals. These cafés are often decorated with vintage furniture and quirky art, creating a cozy and relaxed atmosphere for customers to enjoy their coffee.

One popular hipster café in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia, is “Beans and Beats.” This café not only offers a wide variety of specialty coffees, such as espresso and cappuccino, but also live music performances by local artists. Customers can enjoy their coffee while listening to the soulful sounds of Mongolian singers and musicians.

Coffee Culture in the Countryside

While the coffee scene in Mongolia’s cities is thriving, coffee culture in the countryside is a different story. In more remote areas of the country, where traditional customs and lifestyles are still prevalent, coffee is not as widely consumed.

However, there are still pockets of coffee culture in the countryside. For example, in the town of Dalanzadgad, located in the Gobi Desert, there is a small coffee shop called “Desert Beans.” This café attracts both locals and tourists who are craving a caffeine fix while exploring the stunning landscapes of the desert.

The Coffee Roasting Revolution

In addition to the rise of hipster cafés, Mongolia has also seen a coffee roasting revolution in recent years. There are now several locally-owned coffee roasters in the country that roast their own beans, offering customers a taste of freshly roasted coffee.

One of the pioneers in the Mongolian coffee roasting industry is “Gobi Coffee Roasters.” This family-owned business sources coffee beans from around the world and roasts them in-house to create unique blends. Their coffee has gained popularity among both locals and tourists, who are looking for a high-quality and locally produced cup of coffee.

The Cultural Significance of Coffee

Coffee culture in Mongolia is not just about the drink itself, but also about the social aspect that comes with it. Coffee has become a way for friends to meet up, for business meetings to take place, and for people to relax and unwind after a long day.

For many Mongolians, coffee has become a symbol of modernization and cosmopolitanism. It represents a break from traditional customs and a connection to the global community. In a country that is known for its vast landscapes and nomadic lifestyle, coffee culture offers a taste of the world beyond Mongolia’s borders.

The Future of Coffee Culture in Mongolia

As Mongolia continues to develop and modernize, its coffee culture is expected to grow even further. With more young people embracing the coffee trend and the emergence of new coffee shops and roasters, the future looks bright for Mongolia’s coffee scene.

However, it is important to strike a balance between the old and the new. While hipster cafés and specialty coffees are exciting additions to Mongolia’s coffee culture, it is equally important to preserve and celebrate the traditional brews that have been part of the country’s heritage for centuries.

In conclusion, coffee culture in Mongolia is a reflection of the country’s changing landscape. From traditional brews to hipster cafés, Mongolia’s coffee scene offers a unique blend of old and new. With its cultural significance and growing popularity, coffee has become more than just a beverage in Mongolia. It has become a symbol of modernization and connection to the global community. As Mongolia continues to embrace coffee culture, it is important to preserve and celebrate the traditional customs that make the country’s coffee scene truly unique. So, whether you’re sipping boortsog coffee in a ger or enjoying a latte in a hipster café, the coffee culture in Mongolia has something for everyone.

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