9 Top Experiences for Coffee Lovers Slideshow
Finca Rosa Blanca, Costa Rica
Kau Coffee Mill, Pahala, Hawaii
Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The Espresso Adacemy, Florence, Italy
Only in Italy would a seven-hour, €120 Milk Art course make perfect sense. The Espresso Academy in Florence offers classes such as Discovery, which teaches visitors the secrets of a true cappuccino, Tasting (because, as they explain, "Coffee is a product as noble as wine"), and Coffee Cocktails.
Chicago may not be the first city to come to mind when you think coffee, but Intelligentsia is a revered coffee house with nationwide locations, and they want you to take coffee as seriously as they do. To that end they offer a structured training program at their Chicago roasting facilities. It actually sounds a little like barista boot camp.
Stumptown Roasters, Portland, Ore.
Stumptown Roasters, born in Portland, Ore., where they say they began a coffee revolution, has branched out, but travelers to the Northwest can visit their Portland or Seattle houses to see first-hand the art and craft of roasting in vintage, double-walled steel drum roasters. Learn whether their promise is true — that the coffee sings.
Kona Coffee Cultural Festival
Specialty Coffee Association of America Event
Go pro at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America Event (April 19-22 this year in Portland, Ore.). Coffee enthusiasts of all backgrounds are welcome. Try the "From Seed to Roaster" Lecture, Intro to Cupping workshop, and check out the Barista Championship, Coffee of the Year Competition, and U.S. Cup Tasters Championship.
Wedang Sari Plantation, Bali
The most expensive coffee — from one of the most bizarre process — in the world can be found at Wedang Sari Plantation in Bali, Indonesia. A discerning little creature called a Palm Civet eats only the best coffee berries and when they, umm, come out the other end, workers gather, clean, and process them into a several-hundred-dollar-a-pound coffee known as Kopi Luwak, or pea berry coffee. Let us know what you think if you try it! (For more information, email Wedang_sari@yahoo.com)