Top Destinations for Coffee Lovers
Sometimes when traveling it is almost impossible to find a decent cup of coffee, but other destinations are the perfect places for coffee lovers. So if you’re a coffee aficionado or just addicted to caffeine, visit some of these top coffee destinations:
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
As one of the leading exporters of coffee it is not surprising that Ethiopia has a rich coffee culture with a long history, in fact there is a saying in Ethiopia, “Coffee is our Bread.” Not only in city cafes but also in private homes, coffee is regarded with reverence. Coffee ceremonies are held in private homes where the ceremony follows the coffee from the roasting through to the drinking of the brew. In Addis Ababa cafes, you can sample coffee in a variety of styles and flavors with added spices and sweeteners like honey, butter, cinnamon and cloves.
Melbourne is the ultimate coffee city in a country which loves its brew. Locals enjoy a wiener mélange, fresh ground coffee with steamed milk and milk foam on top or try a “flat white” a double espresso with frothed hot milk. Coffee shops stay open from early morning to late at night serving coffee brewed with beans from around the world, but especially Italian coffee thanks to the many Italian immigrants who arrived here after WWII. In Melbourne coffee takes time. People settle into coffee shop chairs with good coffee and good friends. Try the classic Pellegrini’s or the more upbeat Proud Mary or take a stroll down Degraves Street which is lined with coffee shops. The city is so coffee orientated that there are café and coffee culture walking tours.
Italy is the land of espressos and long lazy afternoons spent on sidewalk cafes watching the people go by as you sip endless caffeine. Italian aficionados look down on all these modern creamy concoctions. They take their coffee seriously, and it comes in several distinct forms and with traditions and rituals. Caffe, an espresso, should be drunk standing up; caffe macchiato, a Moroccan coffee is more popular in Milan than Rome and served with steamed milk on top; caffe lungo, is an espresso made with more water and cappuccino, shouldn’t be drunk after 11am. Italians favor strong, full flavored Arabica beans and like to drink endless small cups of coffee throughout the day.
Across the USA
Although not known for its classic authentic coffee roots, there is no mistaking the American obsession with coffee in every shape and form. You can’t go half a block without coming across a coffee shop, people start their day with a coffee and as with most things American the bigger the better. America led the way in boutique coffee stores and trendy designer coffee crazes. We have the US to thank for the Starbucks and Coffee Bean chains. They serve up coffee is a myriad of combinations like a “double Ristretto Venti half-soy non-fat decaf organic iced vanilla double-shot frappuccino with whipped cream double blended with ice!” Besides the famous chain stores there are many small coffee houses which take their blends seriously, using imported beans and even the unique Kona coffee beans grown in Hawaii’s volcanic soil. In Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks you can take a Seattle Latte Tour.
San Paulo, Brazil
The first coffee bush was planted in Brazil in the 1700s and the little bean has changed the country forever. The natural conditions in Brazil are perfect for coffee cultivation and they soon became the world’s leading exporters of coffee. Coffee plays an important role in Brazilian life, no matter where you are you’ll be offered a cup. Coffee is part of the Brazilian national identity. In San Paulo there are more than 25,000 coffee shops and that doesn’t include all the restaurants and bakeries that also serve coffee. Coffee in Brazil comes strong, piping hot and rather sweet (cafezhino). You’ll be offered café com leite (double espresso with hot milk) in the morning and espresso later in the day. Top San Paulo coffee shops to try out are Café Floresta and the Coffee Lab.