America knows all about Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. We’re well versed in Peet's, Caribou Coffee, and The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. There are a variety of reasons we crave that cup of caffeine: to kick-start our mornings, to help us concentrate when we need to buckle down, to finish off a big meal (how European of us), or simply because some of us out there just love coffee. And it seems that a love — and need — for coffee is universal. There are many amazing coffee chains out there, not just in America but across the planet.
Coffee chains are the caffeinated equivalent of the corner bar, an integral marriage between retail and hospitality. They may be small, but they represent a huge part of their communities and help keep the energy of a city flowing, literally!
For many of us, the best coffee is the place on the corner; it’ s the café where the barista knows our order before we give it, and brews it just right.
A coffee chain can both be the symbol of a community and help create one of its own. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently shared a story about how the rise of the upscale café scene in India has made lower income groups more socially mobile.
Across the world, the value of a great cup of coffee is appreciated no matter who you are or where you go, so be sure to check out these coffee chains on your travels.
Aroma Espresso Bar
Aroma, opened about 20 years ago, was the first espresso bar in Israel. There are now more than 100 branches around the world, including some in the U.S.,, Canada, and Ukraine. You won’t find crazy coffee concoctions here; Aroma is more about perfecting timeless coffee classics. The chain is also respected for frequently employing special-needs employees in their locations across the globe.
Café Coffee Day
Café Coffee Day is an Indian café chain that started in 1996 in the city of Bangalore (now Bengaluru). There are now more than 1,000 Café Coffee Day locations across India, and it has also made its way to a few other cities around the world, including Karachi, Dubai, Vienna, and Prague. Run as a friendly local neighborhood café, Café Coffee Day has as its stated goal to rival the quality of worldwide chains like Starbucks, but remain affordable, keeping its shops an option for locals even at a lower income level.
Aly Walansky is a special contributor to The Daily Meal.