Forget the hand-signed cups and eye-watering prices for a flashy sounding but often disappointing coffee. If you like to enjoy a good cup of joe while travelling, have you ever considered basing a whole trip around it? From brewing your own coffee in Australia to exploring a plantation in Costa Rica, these are the destinations you need to visit for a caffeine-buzzed adventure.
Taste the UK's Finest Coffee: Brighton
Strolling along the pebbled shore, you wouldn’t initially link great coffee with Brighton, but this vibrant English seaside town certainly delivers it. Nestled along the south coast of the UK, Brighton trumps London in the cafe scene, thanks to it range of specialty roasters and coffee shops. Take a trip through the town, and you’ll instantly be surrounded with the delicious aroma of coffee as it wafts down the street. Ignore the huge chains with their lukewarm milky coffees and follow your nose to Small Batch Coffee Roasters, a family run business that keeps on growing.
After enjoying a warming cup of coffee, no trip to Brighton would be complete without heading over to the energetic and buzzing North Laine. Amongst the spectacular independent shops you’ll find stylish Bond Street Coffee serving single origin coffee, roasted just up the road at Horsham Coffee Roaster. Each drink is prepared with care and precision to ensure you have a positive and memorable coffee experience.
Visit a Coffee Plantation: Doka Estate, Costa Rica
As you drink your morning cup of coffee, have you ever wondered how this wonderful drink comes together? Don't limit yourself to the end result, take an insightful tour round the stunning Doka Estate plantation in Costa Rica. Situated along the fertile slopes of the Poas Volcano, this lush estate grows some of the finest Arabica beans. Listen to a guide as they take you through the process from seed to cup and learn how to harvest the beans from the plants - a surprisingly tough job! Marvel at the oldest humid coffee processing plant in the world and finally sample the rich flavors of their single origin coffee. Make sure you don’t leave empty handed, and pick up some of their coffee to take home - you’ll definitely be craving it on the flight back home.
Try an Egg Coffee: Vietnam
When you’re offered a cup of coffee, the following question is normally ‘milk or sugar?’ But in Vietnam you’re likely to hear a few other quirky variations, including egg! Before you screw up your face at the thought of egg in your beloved cup of coffee, you definitely need to try it first. Visit Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, where you’ll find an impressive selection of coffee shops offering traditional Vietnamese coffee. Hidden away in the city’s old quarter is the humble Giang Cafe which lures the crowds thanks to its egg coffee, or ca phe trung.
The recipe was developed in the 1940’s when milk was scarce and egg yolks were used as an alternative replacement. During the process, coffee is brewed in a small cup with a filter before adding whipped yolk, butter, cheese and sweetened condensed milk. The overwhelming fragrance and bold flavor of the coffee continues to delight customers today, and the recipe has remained almost unchanged since it made it’s debut.
Visit an Unlikely Coffee Scene: Yunnan, China
Over a decade ago you might have struggled to get your coffee fix in China with ease, but in recent years, coffee has been increasingly infiltrating the tea culture of this huge country. Deep in Southern China, the climate of Yunnan province has proven to be not just ideal for growing tea, but coffee too - which is more lucrative. With a lush rainforest, warm moist air, and an ample amount of rain, this creates the perfect conditions to grow this much loved crop. Admittedly the Chinese still drink less than 2% of the world’s coffee, but with more Starbucks opening in China, and a growing independent coffee scene this could all change. Visit Shanghai’s Sumerian Cafe for a truly authentic Yunnan coffee which delivers high quality every time.
Travel to a Coffee Lover’s Haven: Turkey
With its beautiful landscapes and fantastic sunny weather it’s no surprise that Turkey is a popular vacation spot for Europeans. But what really makes this country special is their coffee. Ironically Turkey doesn’t actually grow it, but that hasn’t stopped this caffeine rich drink becoming a staple of everyday life. To create the perfect Turkish coffee, beans are finely ground and then simmered in a pot, before being poured unfiltered into a cup. Take a seat (if you can find one) in the ever popular Fazil Bey in Istanbul, and gentle inhale their coffee’s smoky, woody aroma. Once you’ve slurped your way through the delicious velvety rich coffee, let the cup cool under the saucer, and be prepared to see your future. For all those who are superstitious, it is believed the patterns formed from the sludgy leftover coffee grounds can tell your fortune - how cool is that?
Enjoy Coffee in a Beautiful Location: Gesha, Ethiopia
Prepare to recover your jaw off the floor as you explore the stunning Omo Valley in Southern Ethiopia. With fascinating tribes, an unbelievable variety of wildlife, and extraordinarily breathtaking landscapes, there’s no doubt you’ll be completely in awe of this country. Once you’ve managed to pull yourself away from the enchanting beauty of the valley, visit the newly established Gesha Village Coffee Estate. Set up in 2011, this lush 500 hectare farm uses seeds from the wonderfully wild Gori Gesha coffee forest to produce six varieties of coffee. Despite being relatively new to the coffee scene, this certainly doesn’t make them an amateur. With just one sip of one of their carefully prepared beverages, you’ll think they’ve been crafting their coffee for decades - it’s that good.
Get Clued up on the Coffee Process: Melbourne, Australia
After tasting the deliciously crafted coffee in Melbourne, it’ll be hard to go back to instant - luckily you don’t need to. At Market Lane Coffee they host classes for all you coffee lovers so you can brew the perfect cup of coffee at home every time. You’ll find five of these shops dotted around the city, but they’re not the only ones offering home brewing equipment and advice. The chic and quite minimalist The League of Honest Coffee is an incredibly popular hotspot for those seeking a fantastic cup of joe. Be prepared for a queue, as this hidden gem continues to wow regulars and newbies with it's always perfect cups of coffee. If you feel like you’re still not quite clued up on the coffee making process, boost your knowledge by attending the annual Melbourne International Coffee Expo. With over 120 exhibitors, this expo offers you the chance to experience everything the coffee industry has to offer.
Awaken Your Senses in a Coffee Capital: Italy
It’s hard to narrow down just one or two places to visit in Italy for a good cup of coffee. Whether you’re exploring a cute coastal village surrounded by countryside or roaming a popular piazza, the quality of the coffee is always consistent. Head over to one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan, which is home to not only stylish clothes, but stylish coffee. Indulge your senses with a cappuccino in a patisserie, or be daring and try a specialty coffee in one of the uber trendy designer cafes.