By The Secret Traveller
If you’re reading this, and you’re Australian, then you’re definitely a coffee snob. You might not have realised it until now, but you definitely are.
Think about it: you have a regular order, don’t you? You have a favourite local coffee shop. You have an opinion on the best brand of coffee beans and the best way to treat it.
Most Australians these days are coffee snobs, which means it pays to know where you can get a decent cup while you’re travelling. And that’s not as simple as you might think…
While the bulk of the USA is filled with diners and cafes that get away with pouring stale percolated coffee or watery versions of espresso, there is hope, and it comes in the form of the Pacific North-West. Seattle – despite being the home of Starbucks – has great coffee, but the brew is even better in Portland, Oregon. There you’ll find a delicious cuppa treated with the respect it deserves.
What to order: Double Espresso
No list of cities with great coffee would be complete without a mention of Melbourne. Though Sydney has pretty much caught up, and Brisbane is nipping at its heels, the best place to get your java hit is still the Victorian capital. This is a city that takes coffee almost laughably seriously, where bearded baristas serve up organic single-origin caffeine hits to the discerning masses.
What to order: Piccolo Latte
You can thank Argentina’s long history of Italian migration for the great coffee scene in the capital, where everyone heads to sidewalk cafes to sip some of the best brews around. Buenos Aires wouldn’t be able to function without the “café cortado”, an espresso that’s “cut” with a small amount of hot milk. Add a few small, sweet croissants called “medialunas” and you’re ready to start the day.
What to order: Café ortado
There’s an argument from the Kiwis that they actually invented the flat white, although they try to claim pavlova as well, so you take these things with a grain of salt. Regardless of who came up with it though, New Zealanders have undoubtedly mastered this fine beverage, and there’s no better place to sample this mastery than in the cafes of Wellington.
What to order: Flat White
This may seem an unlikely entry, but they take coffee extremely seriously in Vietnam – including growing their own crop in parts of the country – and the result is amazingly good. Wander the streets of Hanoi and you see people everywhere sitting in front of coffee cups that each have a small metal percolator perched on top, with rich, black coffee dripping down into a glass of condensed milk below. It’s sweet, strong, and delicious.
What to order: “Ca phe sua da” – iced coffee with milk
There’s a lot to love about the crazy city of Fez, from the bustling streets of the ancient medina to the riads, or palaces that have been converted into hotels. One of the real joys of visiting the city, however, is drinking the coffee: a strong, Arabian-style drop brewed in hand-pulled espresso machines and cut with hot milk.
What to order: “Nous-nous” – Arabic for “half-half”
What have the Romans ever done for us? Well for starters they’ve given us the world’s best coffee. This is the home of espresso, a city in which coffee is drunk often and with relish. There are rules to follow in Rome – no cappuccinos after 11am, no funky orders like hazelnut flavour shots – but the result is undoubtedly the world’s best brew.
What to order: Cappuccino
Did coffee originate in Ethiopia? There’s some argument to that, but this high-altitude African nation was without doubt one of the first, and they continue to do the beverage extremely well. A coffee ceremony in Ethiopia is a thing to behold, a ritual of roasting beans, grinding them, brewing them, and then drinking three cups of coffee, starting from the strongest and working down towards the most mellow. It’s a great experience for any coffee lover.
What to order: A Coffee Ceremony
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