Did you know that as far back as the 1930s, a study found that 98% of American families were coffee drinkers?
Neither did we until we did that particular little bit of research. No wonder almost a century later our interest in coffee has expanded well beyond our national borders and gone truly international. If you’re a coffee lover with a dash of wanderlust look no further than the definitive list of the best places in the world in which to grab a cup of Joe including some of the most exotic places where you can indulge your caffeine hit. From America’s own grunge capital Seattle to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Min City and all the stops along the way, these are the best places to escape from the daily grind.
The Austrian capital has long been renowned for its café culture at the heart of the city, including some of the world’s oldest coffee houses. As far back as the 19th century writers, philosophers and artists would use them as places to meet. Much of the character has survived in places like Café Schwarzenberg, the oldest café on the Ringstrasse, the fast moving ring road that circles the city. The café is often frequented by businessmen who read their newspaper while washing down delicious strudel with a cup of coffee. Café Prückel has been another favorite for 100 years and was placed UNESCO World Heritage list in 2011.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The French colonialists brought coffee to Vietnam in the 1800s and the Vietnamese have added their own twist to their brew. Vietnam now accounts of 19% of the world’s coffee output. Egg coffee is just one of their types, containing egg yolk, to enhance the flavor of their coffee. The Workshop was the city’s first specialty roaster. Don’t expect them to cater to your tastes though, rather the team here will attempt to instil an appreciation in you of the coffees and how they are grown as they serve your espresso from any one of a number of coffee brewing devices. An alternative is Bosgaurus Coffee Roasters, home to both the first and currently reigning Vietnamese Barista Champion, Tr’ân Hân, as well as the first and reigning Vietnamese AeroPress Champion, Le Dan Nha Thi. Yep, both are things.
Italy excels when it comes to, well, pretty much everything. There’s the beautiful scenery, the incredible architecture and art, the stylish people, the wine and the food. And who doesn’t think of Italy and conjure up an image of their incredible coffee beverages such as espresso, cappuccino and macchiato. You’ll get world-beating coffee pretty much wherever you go, but the Milanese go the extra mile. They love to socialize. Most will drink their espresso on the go, standing at the bar of the local café. In Milan, you can also request a Tazzotta, and you’ll be given an espresso with a creamy milk foam and some cacao on top. Try Bar Luce, designed by film director Wes Anderson, or the Milano Roastery.
Hawaii’s Kona coffee is one of the most famous coffees in the world and a close relative is Kauai Coffee. The coffee on the island of Kauai comes from the 4 million coffee trees on the 3,000-acre Kauai Coffee plantation which benefits from volcanic soil, tropical rains and trade winds. The plantation is the biggest coffee farm in the US and offers guided tours where you’ll see where the coffee is grown and harvested and enjoy tastings.
Seattle, Washington, USA
Also on American soil we have the grunge capital Seattle. It’s where Starbucks opened their first coffee shop back in 1971. Nowadays, there are thousands of artisan coffee shops to choose from. Some of today’s best coffee shops in Seattle, if you’re looking for an alternative to arguably the most famous in the world, include Elm Coffee Roasters on Pioneer Square and the shrine to coffee that is La Marzocco. It’s also a showroom for the Italian espresso machine company of the same name with specialist roasters rotating on a monthly basis, bringing with them their own experience, techniques and expertise.
What could be better than sitting on a pavement café without a care in the world while watching the stylish Parisians going about their business. The trendy Marais district is perfect for this. Examples here include Boot Café where you can enjoy great coffee and pastries. Nearby, The Broken Arm is a Scandinavian inspired respite where you can drink wonderful coffee and enjoy a range of sweet and savory bites. Add a croissant or Parisienne pastry and listen to Piaf. What more could we ask for?
If you've got a favorite coffee shop or destination be sure to let us know here at Trtl on our social channels. Right, time for a cuppa.