When we think of Spanish coffee we tend to think of a steaming mug of coffee with rum or other alcohol and topped with whipped cream, but Spanish influence on coffee industry reaches much further than bar in a ski lodge.
Spanish ships carried coffee plants and seeds to many remote areas of world where coffee was not native but soon became central growing hubs. Descendants of Spanish conquistadors settled in Central and South America where they created huge plantations for growing Spanish coffee.
Coffee originally came to Spain with Turkish immigrants. Not much, if any, coffee was actually grown in Spain but they developed a method for roasting that produces very dark, almost black oily beans that make very strong coffee that is known as Spanish Roast, or Dark French Roast.
Spanish coffee growers in Latin America accounted for nearly half of all coffee exported; however, most Spanish coffee served in Spain comes from Angola and Mozambique and is roasted dark to bring out full flavor.
Coffeehouses in Spain are usually elaborate, elegant gathering places with high ceilings, ornate furniture and waiters in white shirts and black ties. The customers are appropriately dressed and atmosphere is somewhat reserved. Spanish coffee houses are quite different from other regions of world where a casual, informal environment would be expected.