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1. a hot drink made from the roasted and ground seeds (coffee beans) of a tropical shrub.
2. the shrub of the bedstraw family that yields the coffee seeds, two of which are contained in each red berry. Native to the Old World tropics, most coffee is grown in tropical America.
Ah coffee! No matter whether you call it java, joe, brain juice, or morning jolt, so many of us start our days with a cup of this delicious brew every day. In fact, many of us are addicted to the stuff and caffeine. A bag of local coffee makes a great souvenir from your trip. Many Central American countries, like Belize, grow great coffee. This guest post features some of the best coffee places in the world to visit. Please enjoy!
Coffee comes in as the second most drunk beverage in the world, after water. In recent years, studies have shown that coffee has a long list of benefits for you, including protecting you from Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons, to helping you focus and concentrate.
Around 80 percent of Americans today drink coffee, and the majority of it comes from Central and South America. This is simply because of the geographical logistics that make it easy to import.
Coffee doesn’t only come from Central and South America however, there are over 50 countries around the world that produce coffee. From Africa to India, to parts of the Caribbean and Indonesia, they all have their own unique flavours. It all depends on the soil, climate, altitude and the different microclimates around the continents that make these coffees so diverse in flavour.
For hundreds of years we’ve been drinking coffee, and in those years the little bean has conquered 6 out of the 7 continents. It’s spread all around the world, and people in most countries around the world today drink the tasty beverage.
Coffee: The World’s Most Popular Beverage
Coffee and Travel
Coffee and travelling go together like strawberries and cream. When I’m on my travels, I literally can’t stop myself going into a cafe if it looks inviting. There’s something about visiting different cafes all around the world. Maybe it’s tasting different coffees from barista’s with their unique ways of making coffee. Maybe it’s the different styles of cafe’s, from the big open warehouses, to the small bricked cafes with random ornaments everywhere.
If you’re a traveller, and also a coffee lover, then consider visiting a couple of these places on your next adventure. They’ll take you into the heart of coffee country and to the beginning of the coffee revolution in America.
The Americas have in recent decades begun to get a reputation for being home to some of the best coffee growing countries in the world. As demand increased in the developed nations, the countries that had ideal coffee growing conditions boosted their supply.
The coffee industry continues to grow, and so does the quality of speciality coffee. The world has begun to grow coffee to satisfy not just the tourists from overseas, but also the locals. Which is why you can now find some incredibly tasty coffees, and the quality just keeps going up.
A few coffee lovers may not care where their coffee comes from, but more and more people every year become interested in where and how their coffee is grown. Coffee plantations have started to put together tours and experiences for all the coffee enthusiasts.
For those setting off on your next adventure soon, stopping off at a coffee plantation is going to be a cultural experience you’ll thoroughly enjoy. You’ll also understand how coffee is grown and harvested while tasting some of the freshest coffee you can get.
Where are the Best Coffee Places in the World?
So, without further ado, we’ve put together a list of some of the best coffee places in the world to visit to learn more about this little bean and to experience a small glimpse into the world of coffee.
The Very First Starbucks – Seattle, Washington
The first destination on our list is a little closer to home. The world-famous coffee house ‘Starbucks’ opened its first shop in Seattle in 1971, and it’s still open today.
If you often find yourself getting coffee from a Starbucks, then you should check out where this coffee empire started. It’s located at Pike Place Market and has barely changed from how it originally looked in 1971.
Even though Seattle is home to the coffee giant, it’s also got a lot of independent coffee shops, as well as some coffee roasting giants like Seattle’s Best. The city really has an amazing coffee culture that any coffee lover should visit. The culture paired with the chilly weather of Seattle means there’s little better than a cup of coffee.
Costa Rica’s Central Valley
This small country in South America produces some very high-quality coffee beans. So much so that Starbucks gets a lot of their coffee from here. In 2006, Starbucks announced that they were going to open their 600-acre coffee farm to the public, called Hacienda Alsacia. This is their global research facility, and you get to see how their process goes from bean to cup.
Costa Rica offers many different coffee tours and experiences. Finca Rosa Blanca, a beautiful eco-lodge in the middle of a 35-acre coffee plantation that produces some of Costa Rica’s best coffee.
There’s an optional tour (which you should definitely do if you stay here) that teaches you about coffee production, tasting, and roasting, all with an expert in the industry. They’ll even teach you how to appreciate all the different flavours and how to evaluate the aromas and profiles.
It’s any nature-loving, coffee drinking, travel passionate person’s dream.
Here is Central America’s highest grown coffee, and yes it makes a difference. The popularity of Nicaraguan coffee over the last few years has been increasing rapidly. This is thanks to some of the coffee giants recognizing the country’s fantastic coffee.
Coffee has long been Nicaragua’s biggest export, with more than 45,000 family-owned and operated farms, not including some huge commercial coffee plantations. There are 3 main growing regions, Nueva Segovia, Matagalpa, and Jinotega. All of their beans are Arabica and are grown above 800 meters.
What does altitude have to do with it I hear you ask. Well the higher the coffee is grown, the more acidic, aromatic and flavourful the cup of coffee is going to be. Although lower altitude coffee has less acidity, it’s also got less flavour and character.
The majority of people will tell you the best beans come from Matagalpa, because of their size, smooth and medium body and that beautiful aroma. There’s a reason that the locals call the mountains of the region ‘La Zona del Oro’ which means the zone of gold.
If you’re around this region, make sure you visit Hammonia Farm in Selva Negra, who have been operating since 1974. It’s a special farm that’s Rainforest Alliance certified and 100% organic. You’ll learn about sustainable farming methods, and the process in which the coffee is grown, picked and packaged.
There are lots of farms you can take a tour of in these regions, all of which have unique tasting coffee that is going to tingle your taste buds.
Ahh, Melbourne. I could sit and reminisce all day about this city. If you’re a city lover as well as a coffee lover, then you have to visit Melbourne. It’s a bright and vibrant city that always has a buzz about it. There’s always some festival or event going on, and often something to celebrate.
Even if you didn’t like coffee, the city is just a fantastic place to explore. With all its incredibly stunning graffiti that brings colour to the city, or parks that are dotted about everywhere.
But Melbourne is renowned for its coffee. It prides itself on serving only the best. It’s home to lots of little cafes that are all unique in their own way. There are some that are warehouses, that have been decorated and turned into a big, airy, open space. Or little cafes that you wouldn’t even realise were a cafe until you saw people walking in and out.
People enjoy cafes from early in the morning to late at night. When you go out to get a coffee, be prepared to wait longer than a couple of minutes, perfection takes a little time, and that’s exactly what you get. You’ll probably drink the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had in Melbourne, no joke.
Indonesia was introduced to coffee by the Dutch in the 17th century. The Islands are perfect for growing with their climate and soils, and so coffee quickly became a major industry. Each island produces coffee that has different characteristics, due to the climate, and the minerals and nutrients in the soils.
There are 3 major coffee growing regions, Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. Java is the largest by far and is famous for its high end, gourmet arabica coffee.
If you get the chance, make sure you visit the Kawasaki coffee plantation near Blitar, which is one of the oldest in Java. There are lots of surrounding volcanoes in the east that make a lovely setting, and there are also hot springs to relax in after a day of tasting coffee.
Over half of the coffee beans that are produced in Guatemala are exported to the US, so you’ve probably sipped on a brew from Guatemala before. You could characterize their coffee as sweet and full-bodied, with definite notes of chocolate. They often produce great coffee beans to dark roast, as the sugars caramelise to produce some beautiful sweet flavours.
There are seven growing regions, each with their own growing conditions which seems to be the norm in Central and South America. There are lots of varied flavours that come from each region, but they’re all consistently high quality.
Try to visit San Miguel Escobar which is a small town next to the Agua Volcano. There are around 30 farmers that make up a cooperative, who own farms that are located on the slopes of the volcano. The rich soils are full of minerals and nutrients that make some amazing coffee.
There are daily tours which give you an opportunity to see what it’s like to farm coffee in that area. You’ll learn how the different machinery operates and at the end of the day you’ll enjoy a freshly brewed cuppa. Made the Guatemalan way!
Author Bio: Tom has had a passion for coffee for many years now, but it started to grow bigger when he quit his job and started travelling the world to find the best coffee places in the world. He shares his passion on his blog Happybarista.com, giving advice and tips on all things coffee-related. If he isn’t sipping a freshly brewed cuppa, he’s either fishing or booking plane tickets to somewhere new.