This morning, I woke up absurdly early. As any rational human being would do when confronted with such an unpleasant thing to do, I spent about 15 minutes groaning and clicking ‘snooze’ on my alarm, then I woke up and staggered out into the kitchen to make myself a coffee.
We working people live on coffee. I honestly think that if coffee ceased to exist, the world’s economy would crash and burn like we’ve never seen before. This delightful brown liquid is the stuff of life, the nectar of the gods, the fuel that keeps the world turning.
With that being said, I wanted to talk about some amazing travel destinations I’ve visited that boast an extra bonus: amazing coffee.
You’ve all heard of Kona coffee, I’m sure. It’s that volcanic soil that gives the coffee it’s unique, rich flavor, but when I visited Kona, the coffee was so smooth and so delicious that I was able to drink it black (and I’m NOT somebody who likes her coffee black). If you’re going to visit the Big Island and sample some of that sweet, sweet coffee straight from the source, you can also enjoy delights such as snorkeling with giant manta rays at night, viewing an active volcano, and of course relaxing by the ocean with a cocktail. In Kona, I recommend Huggo’s on the Rocks for a relaxing afternoon spent snacking and drinking cocktails with your feet in the sand.
Think of Italy, and images of delicious cappuccinos enjoyed on a sunny terrace come to mind. That image is exactly what it was like for me in Rome. Everywhere I went, amazing espresso drinks were available, and my Roman hotel had a rooftop terrace with a view of the Colosseum where I spent about an hour every day relaxing in the Italian sunshine, sipping an insanely delicious cappuccino and wishing this could be my everyday life. No post about amazing coffee travel destinations would be complete without mentioning the espresso mecca that is Rome, and really Italy at large. Go there. You’ll love it.
Australia takes their coffee seriously. Ask an Australian about coffee, and they will tell you all about how their coffee is the best there is and how your piddly American coffee can never compare. As an American who is also a coffee aficionado, I just had to see if that was true when I traveled to Australia. My verdict? Yes, their coffee is amazing. Saunter up to any coffee cart in Sydney and order yourself a flat white and prepare to be treated to a smooth, delicious concoction that is similar to a latte, only…different. I really did enjoy pretty much all the coffee I had in Australia, so well done, friends from the South. I do still take issue with their claims that all American coffee is crap, however. A few trips to Starbucks and other large coffee shop chains does not represent some of the delicious artisan coffee that can be found on our shores, but that’s an argument for a different day. 😉
While you’re in Sydney, make sure to take a tour of the famous Sydney Opera House, climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and of course just enjoy one of my favorite activities: wandering around an amazing city and discovering new treasures.
Los Angeles, California
I couldn’t write about great places around the world to get a coffee without a shameless plug of my hometown (I may live in San Diego now, but I’m an L.A. kid through and through). The thing is, L.A. has been in somewhat of a cultural revolution for some time now. Think of L.A. and your mind may wander to images of Hollywood and celebrities holding extra large buckets of coffee from Starbucks as they make their way in and out of Beverly Hills shops that are much too expensive for the rest of us. Yes, that is the international image that L.A. has had for quite some time, but I’m here to tell you that L.A. is a fabulous destination for culture, art, outdoorsy pursuits, amazing food, and, yes, fantastic coffee. Try places like Intelligentsia, Blacktop Coffee, TAZA. A social coffee house, Verve Coffee Roasters, Espresso Cielo, Go Get Em Tiger, Cognoscenti Coffee, and G&B Coffee at Grand Central. There are so, so many more that I couldn’t mention here without writing an absolute novel. Next time you’re in L.A., do yourself a favor and skip the Starbucks line in favor of some of the city’s amazing artisan coffee.
There are so many more coffee destinations in this world that I would love to visit. There’s Kenya, Nicaragua, Colombia, Istanbul, and so, so many more. Not to worry…I’m still young and there is still so much of the world to explore, and so much more coffee to be consumed. Coffee, I’m coming for you!