The modern coffee aficionado can explore the world without ever leaving home — all through drinking a variety of coffee beans through a coffee subscription box service. But when the opportunity arises to travel, the lure of trying cafes in different cities can be incredibly exciting.
If coffee is a passion of yours, you are probably interested in going places where they value this delicious brown liquid. It says a lot about a culture. When a place has a passion for coffee, they probably know how to work hard or have a love for long-form conversation. It makes up some part of every culture. Below are five destinations that are known for coffee.
All of Turkey is known for its coffee. Turkish coffee is one of the strongest preparations in the world. Made with very finely ground coffee, finer than espresso in fact, and brewed in a traditional brewer over hot sand or coals, this thick and delicious coffee can be made with or without sugar.
Istanbul is a great place to try a variety of Turkish coffee. It is also a destination with an incongruous mix of old and new. An ancient city with modern people, there is plenty of history and nightlife. A mostly Muslim country with an alcoholic national beverage called raki, Istanbul remains stuck between East and West, the past and the future. One thing that remains is Turkish coffee.
Cuban coffee is another famous iteration of the beverage. Known for its small portions, you can get Cuban coffee just the way you want it. Traditionally, Cuban coffee is strong but milky and sweet. Stop at a few different coffee tents or shops in the morning to get a taste of the coffee culture in Havana.
Locals will have a cup here and a cup there on their way to work, engaging with the people they know along the way. Cuban coffee is delicious, but it has remained in part that there are no chain coffee shops like Starbucks in the country. Havana remains an amazing place to drink as much Cuban coffee as you can handle.
Vietnam is another country known for its unique coffee culture. From French colonization to now, the Vietnamese have created their own coffee beverages. They are perhaps known most for their iced coffee with condensed milk, but they also make coffee drinks with egg yolk and other unique ingredients.
Of course, you can also drink coffee black in Vietnam, but you should try some of their specialty beverages. Café culture in Vietnam is unique and interesting. You will leave dreaming of Vietnamese coffee. Yet it is far from the main reason to visit the country. With incredible food, friendly people, tumultuous history, and beautiful natural surroundings, Vietnam is a dream destination.
Jamaica isn’t known for its café culture, but it is known for its coffee cultivation. The Blue Mountains are famous for some of the most expensive and delicious coffees in the world. These rich, chocolatey, nutty, but floral beans are known for being versatile. If you’re headed to Jamaica and love coffee, make sure to visit the Blue Mountain region to tour the farms and drink some amazing coffee from the source. You can always order this coffee, but since the Japanese have cornered the market, it can be costly to import.
European cities are where you can sit at a café for hours drinking a standard cup or find some artisanal shop where you can have a pour-over. Whether it’s Rome, Paris, Barcelona, or Ljubljana, most cities in Europe have a high standard for coffee. Still, the love of coffee comes second to the love of café culture. In many places, “going for a coffee” refers to the act of sitting in a café together—not drinking the beverage. Europe is known for coffee for a reason. The standard is typically quite high and the culture around it is unparalleled.
Whatever kind of coffee you like, there are plenty of destinations known for it. Whether you like it strong, sweet or have no preference at all, the above places can offer a unique café culture. Even if you don’t like coffee that much, spending time in these places will provide a window into the culture. Coffee is a beverage, but how much a place values good coffee shows how much they value conversation, productivity, and the exchange of ideas.