When you love coffee, you love coffee. Sure, you can get a cup of Joe anywhere in the world, but true coffee connoisseurs are too discerning to drink from the carafe at the corner deli.
When traveling, coffee lovers need to know where to go to escape the substandard American-style brew most hotels serve. There are cities that define themselves by their coffee culture, and that should not go untapped.
Love it or hate it, Starbucks is here to stay. It was born in Seattle, so the cradle of grunge is a given if you like your lattes. Still, there are better cities out there if you’re a true coffee lover. Stumptown’s roots are in Portland, so that makes it a contender for best coffee city; on the other hand, San Francisco has more coffee shops per capita, and Honolulu gets props for being the capital of the only U.S. state that actually grows its own beans commercially.[slideshow:
Jump across the hemisphere to Italy, where Italians are so passionate about coffee they have created a coffee culture that is almost unparalleled anywhere in the world. Almost every household has a macchinetta, a stovetop aluminum percolator, and it’s a rare sight to see someone drinking coffee in a paper cup on the street. No, in Rome, coffee is an experience, a moment to be savored and respected. In fact, it was a trip to Milan that first inspired Howard Schultz to remake Starbucks into its current identity as not just a coffee purveyor but a public meeting place.
Because of the variables involved in making a cup of coffee — bean origin and quality, roasts, temperature, water pressure, baristas, drink style — not to mention variations in personal taste, it’s not easy to come up with a definitive list of the best coffee in the world. But there are certain cities that are definitely worth a visit if you’re hoping to indulge in the art of coffee.
To develop our list, The Daily Meal considered the number of coffee shops in each city, the city’s ranking on lists created by sources like Travel & Leisure and the BBC, and the growth of the city’s coffee culture.
#10 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a coffee powerhouse. The country, located in the Horn of Africa, is the world’s seventh-largest coffee producer and has 5,000 different strains of Arabica coffee, while other countries like Brazil and Columbia only have 20. So, there is little doubt that the coffee you are going to get in Ethiopia is good. Traditional Ethiopian coffee is roasted by hand and brewed in a traditional clay coffee pot. Nearly all restaurants and cafés in the city will have some on offer and it’s considered one of the best coffee experiences in the world. Scouting out coffee shops like Tomoca and Mokarara in Addis Ababa is highly encouraged, and taking part in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony should be an integral part of any exploration of Ethiopian culture.
#9 Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is a city of microbrewers, roasters, bean educators, and champion baristas. A study showed that locals prefer fair-trade and organic brews here more than the commercial chain shop stuff. Independent and small-chain cafés are eager to showcase interesting coffee varieties like Clover and brewing techniques like vacuum-pot and cold-brew. Milano Coffee, the original Vancouver coffee roaster, has won awardsfor its coffee as well its master blender, Brian Turko, who brought a modern and unique approach to European espresso to Vancouver when he opened his Gastown shop. Milano has won three gold medals from the International Institute of Coffee Tasters in Italy.