5 Coffee Capitals Around the World
Leading a jet-set lifestyle looks incredible on your favorite travel guru’s Instagram feeds, but behind the scenes, it’s hard to keep up. If you’re running low on energy from a lack of caffeine (the horror!) or you haven’t had a decent cup of coffee in a while, don’t despair. The next time you’re packing your bags for your next trip, make sure to add these international coffee capitals to your itinerary.
Aside from being the headquarters for major coffeehouses Starbucks and Tully’s, this rainy city boasts a coffee culture as rich as your favorite roast. People tend to huddle in the fragrant, independent coffee shops to escape the gloomy weather, though many find it peaceful to have an espresso in hand, listening to the patter of raindrops outside. Seattle also offers classes on coffee tasting and mixing along with a guided tour of the best sips in the city.
In a country that’s been basically untouched by large commercial chains, it’s not surprising that Reykjavik hosts the perfect environment for independent coffee shops. The cold, blustery weather gives people an excuse to curl up with a good book and an even better cup of coffee. The drink is so embedded into Icelandic culture that there are even names for those who drink too much coffee in the morning and in the evening: morgunkaffi and kvoldkaffi, respectively.
Known as the source for specialty drinks and latte art, Vancouver definitely brings a lot to the (coffee) table. New ways of producing the perfect roast and milk-to-coffee ratios are met with rituals steeped in tradition. Talented baristas introduce new techniques every year while staunchly traditional coffee houses continue to operate tirelessly on Commercial Drive, Vancouver’s exciting shopping district.
Traditionally known for its tea, Taipei is rising on the list of best coffee cities in the world thanks to its newfound group of passionate baristas. Unlike other cities that focus solely on the perfect brew, Taipei seeks the perfect taste while striving for aesthetics and unique experiences. You can cuddle with adorable kittens in one café while downing multiple martini glasses of frothy, fruity caffeine in another.
Some may argue that the best cup of coffee, in its truest form, hails from Italy. Coffee rules are pretty strict here, as Italian coffee culture is more of a social convention than getting a quick caffeine fix. People prefer drinking out of glasses rather than porcelain, claiming that it tastes better that way. Lattes are hard to come by; you’re better off ordering a cup of milk rather than risk the social taboo of requesting the sugary drink.
If you’re a wandering soul who also yearns for that daily dose of caffeine, it’ll be no problem to find the picture-perfect drink around every metropolitan corner, even on the other side of the world!