One of the most invigorating things about travel is being able to taste-test food and drink from around the world. Trying new cuisines is one of the aspects of travel that makes us feel connected to a culture and its customs.
Listed below are 8 countries that have some of the world's finest coffee, and where you can go to try some of this first-rate java. From the best Arabica blends in South America to Blue Mountain coffee in the Caribbean, these destinations have it covered when it comes to offering the world's best cups of coffee.
While it boasts some of the best coffee beans on the globe, Colombia didn't acquire the crop until the 18th century, making it a newcomer in the coffee game so to speak. Colombia's coffee production is the third highest in the world, second only to Brazil and Vietnam, yielding 11.5 million bags annually. Though ranking third overall across the globe, this vibrant South American country is the number one producer of the Arabica bean.
Best Coffe Shop/Café: Café San Alberto
Address: 6a, Cl. 117, #6A-47
Located in the capital city of Bogotá, Café San Alberto's philosophy holds that coffee should be consumed both to awaken your senses and to generate memorable experiences. The cafe's coffee is bursting with rich flavors of dark chocolate and contains a delicate, fruity acidity.
Though this may come as a surprise to some travelers, Ethiopia's coffee production and culture are so prevalent that they even have a soccer team named Ethiopian Coffee Sports Club. This landlocked East African country is best known for producing Ethiopia Genika, an Arabica coffee grown exclusively in the country's Bench Maji Zone. Other prominent types of coffee produced in Ethiopia are Lekempti, Limu, and Teppi.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: TO.MO.CA. Coffee House
Address: Seychelles St.
TO.MO.CA. in Addis Ababa is a family-owned coffee-roasting company established in 1953, serving a variety of Arabica coffees such as Harrar, Yirgachefee, Sidamo and Limu.
Coffee production in Guatemala began to develop in the 1850s and remains an vital element of the country's economy. Guatemalan beans are a secret favorite among coffee lovers, being described as full-bodied, sweet and strong, with a gentle acidity and complex flavor notes. The highest quality coffee in Guatemala is the Guatemalan Peaberry, representing the top five percent of beans from the best crops.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: Fat Cat Coffee House
Address: 4a, Calle Oriente, No. 14A
Fat Cat Coffee House in Antigua Guatemala strives to serve the best cup of coffee in the area, brimming with unique flavors, consistency and complexity. Try the "El Coyotazo," an intense cold brew made from Jamaican rose liquor, tartaric acid, and hints of chocolate.
A list of the best places to get a cup of coffee around the world wouldn't be complete without mentioning Italy, a country that prides itself on the amount of coffee it consumes and how they consume it. According to Coffeeresearch.org, Italians consume 14 billion cups of espresso annually and approximately 3.7 Kg of coffee per capita. Italians are also extremely particular about what types of coffee they drink during specific times of the day: cappuccino is for breakfast, espresso and other forms are for the afternoon and evening.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: La Casa del Caffé al Pantheon
Address: Via Olmetti, 5B
Established in 1946 in the historic center of Rome, La Casa del Caffé al Pantheon is dedicated to serving high quality and accessible coffee varieties. This cherished local coffee shop is known for its very own "La Regina del Caffé" blend, a recipe that has been kept secret for over 50 years.
The Blue Mountains in Jamaica are the country's longest mountain range and coincidentally produce the famed Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, a bean that was introduced to the Caribbean in 1728. This particular coffee is noted for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness. Over the past several decades, it has gained a reputation for being one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: Cafe Blue
Address: Sovereign Centre, 106 Hope Rd.
Home of Jamaica's finest gourmet coffee drinks, Cafe Blue in Kingston offers prized Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, single or double espressos, cappuccinos, lattes, and gourmet teas. Pair your cup of coffee or tea with the cafe's selections of delicious pastries or crunchy paninis.
Indonesia makes the list because Bali is a leading producer in one of the most expensive (and interesting) coffees in the world, Kopi Luwak, otherwise known as civet coffee. Ringing in at around $100 to $200 per pound, Kopi Luwak is made from part-digested coffee-cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: Negari Luwak Coffee
Address: Jl. Raya Singapadu, Singapadu Tengah, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar
Those visiting Bali should head to at least one of the region's several coffee plantations to taste the one-of-a-kind Kopi Luwak coffee. Negari Luwak Coffee serves a short black cup of Kopi Luwak, developing a bouquet of caramel and cinnamon flavors.
Succeeding Brazil, Vietnam is the second largest and most important coffee-producing nation in the world, weighing in with 3,637,627,000 pounds per year, with rice being the ironly greater export. Vietnamese coffee is a signature drink. The brew is mixed with sweetened condensed milk, a specific preparation that can be found throughout several other Southeast Asian countries.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: The Old Compass Cafe
Address: 3rd Fl., Apt. 11, 63 Pasteur St., District 1
Located in Ho Chi Minh City, more popularly referred to as Saigon, The Old Compass Cafe invites guests in for a fresh cup of coffee or sets of traditional Vietnamese family-style cuisine, with vegetarian options available. The coffee shop regularly hosts live music and other performing arts events.
Coffee in Spain is more about culture than quality. Though their coffee is, in fact, delicious, there's a lack of variety and the real reason it makes the list is the mere prevalence it holds in Spanish culture. A day in Spain wouldn't be complete without at least one café con leche or cafe cortado before or after a hard day's work. When strolling through the city on any given day, visitors will spot hundreds of locals sitting outside of cafes, sipping on cups of coffee for what seems like hours on end.
Best Coffee Shop/Café: Piola
Address: Alameda de Hércules, 57
Situated in the heart of one of Seville's most happening nightlife neighborhoods, Alameda de Hercules, Piola is a hip café offering delectable cups of coffee, a unique menu, board games for passing the time, superb playlists, and bottomless pitchers of drinkable tap water on deck, a rarity in a country where wine is supposedly cheaper than water.
There you have it. We hope this list helps you get your caffeine fix the next time you're overseas. Cheers!