Author Archives: Katina
Author Archives: Katina
The best coffee.
Perfection(or heaven) in a cup.
Once an exotic bean found in Africa and Arabia, coffee has become a global drink and every coffee-drinking culture has done something to make the drink truly their own.
So we set out to see where the best places to drink coffee are. Where in the world is coffee so memorable that you hold fond memories of it even 20 years down the road?
And who better to ask than travelers and foodies?
So we asked:
Where did you have the best coffee of your life, and why?
Over 80 epicurean enthusiasts and world travelers kindly sent us their responses, and we learned one thing for sure:
The best coffee is all over the world!
A majority of memorable coffees were in the USA, followed by Italy, the UK, and Vietnam.
Every continent(besides Antarctica of course) had its share of special coffees.
There were a couple of surprising mentions, too, such as Romania and Iceland, which are places you don’t normally associate with coffee.
When it came to why the coffees were memorable, most explanations fell under three categories:
The last one was unexpected but so true! 8 folks mentioned that their best coffee was due to who they shared the coffee with, which highlights a really important part of drinking coffee: the cultural and social aspect of it.
The majority of responses cited taste, as you would imagine. A little under 1/3 cited atmosphere.
Thailand, Cuba, and Portugal were three countries where the atmosphere was what made the coffee really special.
Come and join us on this journey across the world in search of the best coffee!
The best coffee of my life will always come from New Orleans. I can make a cafe au lait at home and it will never ever compare to one made at the Cafe Du Monde in Jackson Square.
Hawaii for sure. Kona coffee is well known throughout the world, and for a good reason.The islands of Hawaii are the biggest coffee producers in the US, and produce around 11 million pounds of coffee cherries in a year. If you want to get a fresh roast and enjoy the seaside, you won’t get closer than this island state. Since most of the soil on the islands is volcanic, it’s incredibly rich in all the nutrients the plants need to grow. This makes them grow healthy, abundantly and rich in flavor!
More on traveling and coffee here
Those that know me know that I love coffee. I enjoyed the best cup of coffee ever in Kealakekua, Hawaii. My husband and I toured a coffee plantation for our 10th anniversary. In the brisk morning air, we enjoyed a dark roasted, 100% Kona coffee that was sweet and robust. It had a smooth taste and not even a hint of bitterness. It was like heaven, in a cup.
The city where I had the absolute best coffee ever was Austin, TX. There was an eclectic coffee shop around the corner from my hotel and I fell in love with it! They roast their own beans right there in house, and when you walk in the door — it is heavenly.
When I think of the best coffee I have ever had, it’s a tough call. But for me, I would have to say Home Cafe in San Francisco, California. I am not your typical black-coffee-with-a-splash-of-milk kind of girl — when I drink coffee, the more innovative and crazy-detailed it is, the better. Home makes this incredibly rich and smooth “Birthday Cake” Latte with rainbow sprinkles and foam art that is out of this world and perfect for any Instagram gallery. The contemporary and cozy feel of the shop paired with the friendly smiles of the baristas perfectly compliments San Francisco’s laid- back vibes.
I haven’t traveled to many destinations, but the best coffee I tasted in the past was from Ritual Coffee in San Francisco. They roast their coffee locally, which I believe contributed to the quality and taste. It was also a time of my life when I was trying many new types of food and beverage, so I was seeking and comparing new flavors and styles of coffee and this added to the positive experience.
The best coffee I ever drank was in San Francisco. I was down by the Ferry Building and enjoyed a cappuccino while people watching! The coffee was strong, the cups were super cute and there was a wonderful buzz.
The best coffee of my life probably has to be the place I keep going back to because a simple black coffee tastes so dang good! Lofty Coffee in San Diego knows how to make a cup of joe – and a toast or two too ;)!
I drank the best coffee of my life in a Starbucks on Sunset Blvd the first time I went to LA. Actually I do not even remember what it tasted like. You mean, Starbucks coffees are all more or less good and almost identical in every part of the world but I was finally in LA.
And I still remember the feeling I felt that morning. I parked my white Dodge in the parking lot. I got out of my car wearing a tank top with a big scarf to protect me from a light breeze that blew (a look that could not be more Californian). I crossed the Starbucks’ door and finally I could order the first completely personalized coffee of my life (cause in Italy we do have an excellent espresso but no or little opportunity to ask for modifications).
While I was sitting at that table sipping my coffee I finally felt at home. I felt I had found my place in the world. Everything was so imperfect and at the same time so magical. I went back to LA many times and I went to a much cooler bar that offered very sophisticated coffee but the emotions I felt that first time in that Starbucks on Sunset Blvd I will never forget.
Los Angeles is the best city for coffee that I have been to. It has a great mix of original shops like Blacktop Cofee and Dinosaur Coffee as well as shops from other areas like Blue Bottle, Stumptown, and Intelligentsia. There are dozens of other great specialty shops as well so you can pretty much always find somewhere new to try.
The best coffee of my life was actually the best iced coffee of my life! It was in Moab, Utah after a day of hiking the trails in Arches National Park. I headed down to a cafe in the centre of town and ordered an iced coffee which was not only delicious coffee, but the best part was that the ‘ice’ cubes were actually made from coffee which meant that as they melted the coffee wasn’t weakened like with most iced coffees!
As I live in Seattle, a city known for its coffee, I’ll have to say that I’ve had the best coffee of my life here! One of my favorite cafes is a Seattle institution: Espresso Vivace — I always order the White Velvet, which has the most smooth foam.
I love the coffee at Mocha Mott’s, in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts. While the coffee itself is great, I treasure the vibe in this spot on Circuit Ave. Locals are always there, at “their” tables, and visitors mingle easily with them. The crew is friendly and sassy. Mott’s also serves sandwiches and soup and baked goods, and has a changing collection of local art on the walls.
Best coffee I’ve ever had is from Honest Coffee…a little boutique coffee shop in The Factory in downtown Franklin, TN. I love it so much because it’s pure, it has so much natural flavor & the vibe of the whole building can’t be beat.
The best coffee of my life was in Charleston, South Carolina at a little café called Black Tap Coffee. I got a pour-over coffee which was ultra-smooth and delicious! The combination of trying pour-over coffee for the first time, plus it being my first time visiting the amazing city of Charleston (hope to visit again soon!) made it the best coffee ever!
During my travels in the US and Europe, I have found fantastic coffee shops serving locally roasted beans sourced from the world’s top coffee-producing regions. However, the best coffee I’ve tasted was as local as it gets — grown, harvested, and roasted in Costa Rica.
Near Liberia, in the Guanacaste province, I drank coffee brewed in a traditional Costa Rican chorreador. A wooden stand with a fabric filter called a bolsita, the chorreador has been used to make coffee for hundreds of years in Costa Rica. Boiling water is poured over ground coffee in the bolsita causing coffee to drip into a cup placed underneath.
This traditional brewing method produces rich and boldly flavored coffee that is silky smooth and easy to drink. At home, I often add a splash of cream or milk to my morning java, but in Costa Rica, I only wanted to drink my coffee black.
I am actually not a big coffee drinker however whenever I am in Costa Rica that’s how I start every single day. I tried coffee around the world but none was as good as coffee made in Costa Rica.
The best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life and the coffee I still dream about was in Monte Verde, Costa Rica at the Monte Verde Rustic Lodge. The coffee came from a nearby coffee farm and we enjoyed it while looking out over the cloud forest during a beautiful sunny day. Amazing experience and the best coffee of my entire life. I drink a lot of coffee and the coffee in Monte Verde still holds the number one spot.
This is where I first tried and experience the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and I fell in love with it ever since. A morning drinking the Blue Mountain coffee with honey and the beautiful Jamaican landscape and the Blue Mountain as your morning view is just amazing!
I had the best coffee of my life in Kingston Jamaica. Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is delicious. I love the aroma and the flavor.
It was in Panama because I discovered the plantations of the geisha coffee in the mountains next to Volcano Barù.
I had the best experience there with the chef Alain Ducasse who introduced me to the finest coffee on earth, only handmade of course.
Not only the taste was unique but even your body sensations are different from regular coffee.
This is a tough question as we’re super into coffee and travel making for some absolutely fantastic cups of coffee! Our top three picks for amazing coffee experiences would be:
The coffee experience that stands out most to me is when I traveled to Antigua, Guatemala with my best friend and her family. Every morning we would wake up bright and early and walk to Plaza Central Park and there was a very small place where you walk right up to an open window and order a ‘cafe con leche’.
It was the best! I loved how the sweet lady would ask if we wanted it with canela and/or azúcar. I said yes to all of it and to this day it’s still my favorite coffee experience! Craving one right now! Also, I must add that Guatemala is known all over the world for their fine and distinctive coffees. Simply outstanding!
The most amazing coffee we experienced was in Cartagena, Colombia. Regarded as one of the best coffees in the world, Cafe San Alberto’s “coffee baptism” included tasting coffee using all of your senses and experiencing the differences in coffee based on the various ways of preparation. It was as knowledgeable as it was delicious.
One of my favorite cities for coffee is Medellin, Colombia. They take their coffee very seriously in Colombia, since it is a large part of their economy. That seriousness results in a very good cup of coffee, expertly made by a barista who definitely knows his stuff. Not only was I incredibly impressed by the coffee itself in Medellin, but the coffee shops are also fantastic.
Many of them offer special services, like a master class in coffee brewing, or the ability to pick every aspect of your perfect coffee, from the beans to the grind to the brewing method. If you’re a coffee lover, there’s no better place to be than Colombia.
Well without question that would have been in Cuba. It was rich, dark and served with warm milk. I am not sure of the why it in my mind was the best but it was. Possibly the tropical setting and the ambiance there just makes everything better.
Being Cuban myself I have always loved coffee. But, actually experiencing a cortadito while sitting in a coffee shop in Havana was a bucket list moment. It wasn’t only the coffee itself, which was amazing by the way, but also the culture and atmosphere around me. Cuba has no internet so everyone was either talking to each other, playing dominos, or reading a book. An amazing experience that I can’t wait to have again.
I remember having the best coffee of my life in La Habana. In a small cafe before our visit to the famous tobacco factory in the Cuban capital. I will never forget it because it was the most intense espresso I’ve ever had and at the same time, the sweetest cup of coffee without any added sugar. The great people I had this coffee with also makes this memory very special.
I had the best coffee experiences in my life in Toronto. The city’s coffee culture is very strong including a lot of indie coffee shops focused on local, specialty, organic or fair trade coffee beans. Being one of the most diverse cities also brings various coffee experiences from different world cultures including Turkish coffee and Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.
I believe in coffee first always and am always on the hunt for it whenever I’m traveling. The city that I’ve had my best coffee in is hands down Lisboa, Portugal. I definitely have a hometown love for Toronto, Ontario but the boldness and richness of the coffee from Portugal can’t be beat!
For me, the best coffee is to be found in Lisbon and, in general, all over Portugal. Here, coffee is a no-frills experience. It’s cheap, consistently good and it’s available everywhere. Even in the smallest of villages in the Portuguese countryside, you are bound to find a small cafe with a proper espresso machine.
No need for hipster cafes! Coffee in Portugal is also synonymous with socializing: every day, locals flock to cafes and pastry shops to enjoy tiny cups of espresso, chit-chat with each other and, why not, with the people working behind the counter too. “Do you want to go for a coffee?” is like saying “Do you want to hang out?” in Portugal. Portuguese coffee tastes distinctively different than coffee in other espresso loving cultures, like Italy.
In Portugal, we tend to use a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, roasted at low temperatures and brewed with very high water pressure. This combination makes Portuguese coffee taste unique. Furthermore, coffee is almost part of the Portuguese DNA. So, not only the drink in itself is deliciously intense, everything that comes along with it is a joy too!
I just began drinking coffee in 2016, but I can remember having a really good ones in Lisbon last summer. We walked through the streets of that beautiful city, decided to take a coffee to go in one of many (!) cute and stylish coffee spots, watched the barista (who definitely knew his craft) and took the amazing coffee with us on our walk. Really enjoy thinking about that moment, that time of my life – maybe, because Lisbon has been an amazing experience overall.
I had the best coffee in my favorite city Porto, Portugal at Combi Coffee. They have a coffee place in Bonfim but also drive around the city with a green truck. Best Cappuccino I’ve ever had!
One of the best coffees I’ve ever enjoyed was in front of Santa Maria del Fiori, at Firenze’s Duomo square. It wasn’t only because the creamy and rich flat white I was served, but the cafe’s atmosphere, the friend I enjoyed it with, the unique Italian light and, of course, the world-class destination. Highly recommended!
My best coffee has got to be in Milan. Coffee in Italy is generally excellent but my most recent caffeinated memory during my last trip to the European country was in Milan. At just 1 Euro, my espresso came within a minute and was amazingly fragrant even before I gestured to put the cup near my mouth. I downed the wonderfully acidic shot in one gulp.
Milan for sure. The coffee flavour is so intense and good over there. Just right. Not too mellow, not too strong. Just perfect. No matter which coffee I ordered it was always great.
Last summer I set off on a coffee journey across Italy together with my mom. During our first days in Rome, we accidentally discovered the best coffee I’ve ever drunk. It was a Soy Latte Macchiato, extremely light and creamy, served at the V y Ta in the Rome Termini train station. The coffee was very fresh and delicious and the soy milk had a bit of vanilla taste so it was a perfect combo.
I studied abroad in Rome in college and to this day, no cup of coffee or espresso compares.
As cliche as it sounds, the best coffee I’ve ever had were the €1 cappuccinos in Rome. The espresso is good and there’s no muss or fuss with the experience, but walking around the old cobblestone streets, stumbling on Roman ruins made the small coffee in my hands that much more fabulous!
Nothing beats Italy. When I visited Naples, there was a tiny café with S.S.C. Napoli memorabilia on the walls. It was located right next to the AirBnb in which I stayed. Every morning, I’d step in for my morning espresso. They also had great sfogliatelle on premises. The espresso itself was tiny – 2 sips, 3 max – bitter, but not too bitter, and very hot. But the banter and exchanges with the two guys behind the counter was what made it so special.
In my opinion, I had the best coffee ever in Napoli, italy. Over there the coffee is so intense, rich of flavor and strong. Somebody say is due to the sea water, they use to prepare “caffè”, I only think is legendary!
The best coffee I’ve had was at a small shop on a cliff overlooking the water in Positano, on the Amalfi Coast. It might have been the honeymoon, or the citrus and floral breezes, but Italy knows good coffee.
My husband and I visited the Amalfi Coast and we stayed at the beautiful Hotel Onda Verde which is perched on the side of the mountain and we had coffee at Franchino Restaurant which is just below Hotel Onda Verde. I am still not sure if it was the view or the coffee but it was absolutely delicious. My husband I and I would sit for hours listening to the waves crashing against the rocks with the stunning Mediterranean in the background. Having coffee there was the highlight of our trip.
My favorite coffee experience ever was in Venice, where the espressos are not only rich and robust, but I learned the concept of adding a spritzer lemon to my coffee… opened a new world of ideas for flavoring coffee for me!
There are more places in Italy that claim to have the best coffee. For sure, you can drink an excellent, well-prepared espresso in many places. Being born and bred in Italy, I would say that the best coffee you can get in Italy is definitely in Triest. The city boasts some of the oldest coffee traditions in both roasting and preparation. With the many historic coffee shops you will be delighted in testing the many variations of coffee, more than 30! Triest is a must-visit place in Italy if you are a coffee lover.
If I had to choose a city, I would say london! The coffee I had there was more like an espresso – strong but really mild! Just loved that!
Coffee is something that I know a lot about, especially as I drink it on a daily basis. My caffeine fix is essential, but it has to be the good stuff. I think London would be the best city for coffee. I absolutely love the passion and real depth of the coffee culture here, especially with those boutique coffee shops that roast their coffee themselves. Londoners are passionate about the quality of caffeine they consume and the taste too.
A weekend in London, to see friends and revisit old haunts from when I lived there.
Saturday morning in London, a couple of years ago – after a long night catching up with old friends, I sat in Brixton market, at ten o’clock, the sun streaming through, sipping the perfect espresso. I felt completely relaxed, at peace with the world.
I try and recreate that feeling every weekend.
The best coffee I’ve ever had was in my home city London, as there are so many coffee shops to explore and capture those perfect flatlay shots, especially in the East side of London. You’ll be spoilt for choices with the amount of pretty and delightful coffee shops.
I think for us both (Emma & Mark) we would agree on Bonanza Coffee, 35 Oderbergerstrasse in Berlin. Coffee that tasted of coffee with a strong, non- bitter taste. A good caffeine hit without the bitterness. Perfect for chilling out in Berlin.
My best coffee experience was in Berlin last year. I tried Five Elephants amazing coffees and loved this little Cafe with their healthy products. Everything was so tasteful and their coffee is high quality. Most of the Coffee Shops in Berlin are using Five Elephants blends.
Vienna has one of the best coffee shop cultures I’ve ever experienced. You’ll find historic and traditional coffee shops around the city such as Cafe Central, Cafe Demel, Cafe Mozart and many more. When visiting you should enjoy a traditional Viennese Melange which is an espresso topped with steamed milk and milk foam, and this tastes smooth and delicious. To really top off this experience I’d recommend having a side of homemade cake which in most coffee shops in Vienna you’ll find a large selection of enticing options.
“The best coffee we’ve ever had was in Vienna, Austria. The Viennese Coffee House Culture is a true Intangible Cultural Heritage and part of UNESCO. The elegant, grand cafes, are so posh and alluring. You feel special just by being there. The coffee is strong and tastes fantastic. Here’s a fun fact: The Viennese coffee house is described by the National Agency of the Intangible Cultural Heritage as a place “where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill.”
I am actually not a coffee drinker. I can probably count on one hand how many times I have had it. Saying that though the best coffee I have ever had was an Irish coffee in Dublin with Jamesons. It had just the right amount of sugar and cream and the added touch of Jamesons really warmed me up on a cool March day.
Surprisingly, the best coffee I ever had was in a small but modern coffee shop in Bucharest, Romania. The specialty coffee scene in Bucharest is currently increasing and they have some awesome spots where you can drink the best long black, flat white or even cold brew ever!
The best cup of coffee I ever had was actually a cup of espresso in Grenoble, France. And I’m not even really sure it was the espresso so much as it was the experience. See when I was in university I traveled to France on my own, and there was something about that experience that just made me feel empowered. I remember sitting outside of a little cafe staring at the beautiful mountains on a seasonally warm day in February thinking I could do anything.
My ultimate coffee experience was in Paris, France at a nondescript patisserie by the Eiffel Tower. The flavor was extremely rich and well balanced. If perfection could be poured into a cup, it would be this coffee. While it was 20 years ago, I still remember how smooth it was with zero bitterness.
The best coffee is hands down in Paris. No matter where I had it, I always had the perfect cup of cafe au lait after every meal. Its like everyone there knows exactly how I like my coffee.
My fondest café memory was at the café Zango in Les Halles, right in the heart of Paris. The place has two levels, the first floor being a lively fusion food restaurant and the second floor being a cosy, intimate café decorated along the theme of travel. It was complete serendipity that I ended up in this café. I was walking the streets of Paris with an American friend when it started raining, so we found shelter in this most welcoming place.
I indulged myself to a chocolat viennois (hot chocolate with whipped cream on top of it), while my friend ordered a couple ristretti. As we sat there, surrounded by African masks and Indian Batiks, we noticed on the shelves a complete set of all existing Lonely Planets travel guides. We idly started opening one, then another, and ended up doing a two month trekking trip in Mongolia the following Summer.
I’ve had the best coffee of my life in Barcelona at Nomad Coffee. For me the experience was intimate, as I sat at the coffee bar getting to talk to the barista. I learned more about coffee and the culture in Barcelona that day, then I did the rest of my trip — special moments like this that can only be shared over a good cup of coffee.
The best coffee I ever had was definitely the moccha at Taste in Sevilla. The perfect combination of coffee bitterness and chocolate sweetness. Fairtrade too!
Of course in Amsterdam. Traditionally, the coffee houses and cafés in the Dutch capital make great coffee always keeping an eye on sustainability, economy friendliness, and biological aspects. A reason might be the strong connection to former colonies and, of course, the good taste of the Dutch people. Bigger American chains are mostly visited by tourists as locals know the better places. Our favorite coffee place is literally just around the corner in Amsterdam West.
Santorini, Greece was an iced coffee to never forget. I drank the island’s famous Frappe overlooking the sapphire sea and volcanic mountains on the horizon — it was pure caffeinated Greek heaven.
I had the best coffee drinks of my life in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was somewhat of a surprise. I think it had a lot to do with the milk in my cappuccinos and lattes, which was off the charts fantastic. Locals told me the dairy in Iceland comes from free range, happy, non-drugged cows and that is why they thought it was so exceptional. I drank as many cappuccinos as I could while there.
The best coffee I’ve had was a latte in Melbourne Australia at a city cafe made by a world champion barista, fresh milk from a local farm, and world class coffee beans freshly roasted. Melbourne is known as a coffee capital not only in Australia but on the world scene.
Melbourne does the absolute best coffee – the milk is reliably steamed to a thick, silky cream but never burnt. Australians take their coffee very seriously – just a shame it’s on the other side of the world…
My hometown Melbourne is famous for its coffee culture. Great coffee is what you expect in Melbourne and you will find
it in almost every cafe in the city. The Grain Store is a favourite place to go for my morning latte.
In Auckland! Auckland is actually streets ahead in terms of coffee culture – smooth silky flat whites, perfectly creamy lattes, and many places serve coffee which is fair trade, organic, and with plant based milks like organic soy, coconut, and almond. The way of the future!
Definitely Cape Town! The small hole-in-the-wall Deluxe serves the best coffee I’ve ever had. The way they stretch the milk forms the perfect consistency and it creates the ultimate latté.
Coffee to me is always about the beans then the quality of milk and how it’s stretched, that’s if I’m ordering a cortado or flat white, this makes knowing the barista on a first name basis and the exact manner in which this artisan has roasted his beans integral to my double espresso. The basis of all good cups. This is Exactly what I get every time from the quaint coffee bar Blue Crane Coffee Company on Dorp Street in the town of Stellenbosch. A must visit when in South African wine country.
Hmm. We have two answers. On a regular basis, there’s a shop in Kichijoji, Tokyo called Light Up Coffee that consistently makes delicious coffee with gorgeous golden crema and delicious microfoam. They’re consistently trying out new beans and they’re just stellar.
Their hand-drip is top notch, and their little tasting set does a great job of highlighting the different strengths of different beans. We’ve never had a bad cup. One time, though, we went to a secret place in Kichijoji. Maybe not a secret, but I don’t remember the name. We were riding our bikes and found this pretty looking shop, and when we walked in we found that it was a coffee shop.
It was run by one guy, and older man, and nothing was done with electricity. He was roasting his beans by fire beside us. He ground them up with a pestle and mortar. He boiled his water over a flame, and poured a gorgeous hand drip through cloth. He let us taste beans that grow in Japan, which isn’t super common, really. And it was surprisingly rich. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes or so, and he charged us fifty cents. Fifty fucking cents. He’s open only on Saturdays. He’s not doing this for the money, but just for his love of coffee, and you can taste it in every sip.
Turkey. It was in a little coffee place in Cappadocia and was particularly memorable because of the friendship made.
Having tasted coffees from incredible places such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Costa Rica just to name a few, I would have to say that I was quite impressed with the deep, rich and flavorful coffee from Yangon (Myanmar). I appreciated the cup of coffee for its’ no-nonsense simplicity and refined purity. Why? Maybe its because the country has been shut off from the rest of the Western world for so long until recently.
The best coffee I had is freshly ground Barako from Batangas, Philippines. It’s a very strong and robust blend.
I had the best coffee in Vietnam. At first the local coffee seemed strange. Its just extremely strong black coffee with sweet condensed milk, served with ice! After trying it twice, I was hooked 🙂
I’m not much of a coffee drinker myself so I can’t comment on taste. But the most exciting coffee I have ever had was in Vietnam. The coffee beans are grown in Vietnam, and served to you with a tiny drip filter on top of a glass.
Hot water is added and the coffee slowly drips down into your cup. To finish, ice and milk are added making it the perfect drink on those hot Vietnamese days.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and it is not even close after that! Sitting down on plastic chairs with everyone before work in a massive coffee culture country is an experience in itself. The locals like the coffee with plenty of ice and very sweet, just to take the edge of the hot and humid days of Asia.
One of the best and most memorable coffees I have ever had was surprisingly in the city of Hanoi in Vietnam. On a street food tour, we were led to a secret coffee shop, Cafe Pho Co, whose entry was discreetly located in the back of a retail store. Here we ordered a few cups of cafe trung for 40,000 dung each ($1.87 usd). The foamy beverage made with coffee, sugar, egg and sweetened condensed milk was served to us while seated on the fourth story with a view of the city down below.
The best coffee I ever had was in Hue, Vietnam (and in face in Vietnam in general). Vietnam serve their drip-filtered over condensed milk so it’s super sweet and has a toffee like flavour. But in Hue you can also try “salt coffee”, where they’ve added salt to give it a bit of a kick – kind of like salted caramel. So good!
The best – or maybe most unique would be a better description – coffee I’ve ever had was in the Tampaksiring jungle region of Bali. Kopi Luwak, aka Bali jungle cat poop coffee, is considered the world’s most expensive coffee due to the uncommon method of production. With much trepidation, I sampled the beverage and found it to be surprisingly delicious.
The coffee in Dubai was the most memorable! They don’t use any milk and they add rose water so that the taste is fragrant without bitterness. And it’s usually accompanied by dates!
The best coffee I’ve had is actually a South Indian version of coffee, called Kaapi. It’s a rich, delicious, strong milky, frothy coffee that’s served in a stainless steel mug and the aroma is out-of-the-world! I’ve had it in a number of south Indian restaurants such as Madras Cafe and Ramashray in Mumbai.
Well the best Coffee I like is one from Bangalore, India. This South Indian styled coffee is made with frothed milk mixed with a coffee powder brewed in a traditional Indian filter. There is also another type of coffee served in mostly North Indian weddings, which I call Indian Style Cappuccino, which is also a personal favorite.
I’ve tasted coffee from several regions across Asia, the Middle East, as well as America. The absolute best coffee I ever had was in Coimbatore in India, from a restaurant chain called Saravana Bhavan. Their filter coffee is like a warm hug coupled with Oprah cheering you on — it soothes you, yet energises you. By far the best I’ve ever tasted!
Coffee has given me a lot of sweet memories. Amongst those La-Baguette, a brilliant bakery cafe in Pattaya is always special to me. It has a great ambience inside the cafe but I have chosen to enjoy the Pattaya street over a coffee. So I sat outside. Sitting outside of the cafe and enjoying the place, streets and people made my coffee the best one of my life.
Not too long ago I ran into ‘Charin Pie’, a coffee shop in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I have to admit that the pies were the motivation to go in… After discovering that they ‘printed’ any illustration in the coffee foam we had to try! The fact that they put so much love, care and detail in a cup of coffee was noticeable. The coffee was delicious and the fact that it was presented so nicely definitely contribute to that.
Chiang Mai! And that’s not only because Thailand is known as one of the top coffee producers in the world, but also because this mountainous city attracts a lot of outstanding barrister talent! Some of the places you gotta order a coffee in Chiang Mai are Overstand, Ristr8o and my personal favourite The Larder Café.
The best coffee I have ever had was an iced Vietnamese coffee in Chiang Rai in Thailand. We had just got off a long hot bus journey and saw someone selling them from a cart across from the bus stop. Before we loaded our bags on to a tuk tuk, we grabbed a couple and enjoyed them on the breezy tuk tuk journey to our accommodation.
I had the best coffee in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It was exactly what a coffee should be from the aroma right down to the taste. The presentation was also quite amazing so to this day, I still have visions of it.
Keurig K425 vs K525. These two machines may seem very similar at an initial glance, but are they really?
The two machines actually differ in a few key ways. Some of these differences will make the buying decision a LOT easier, and a few others will make you go “meh”.
Let’s dive into the differences first, and then we’ll also dive into a mini review of each model.
Now for the fun part. Which of these features are really necessary, and which are meh?
Capacity to me is not that important. In my house it’s just three people, and even between three of us, we don’t drink THAt much of coffee per day. So an 80 ounce reservoir or a 70 ounce reservoir, it doesn’t make a difference.
The display size is actually quite significant. Even though the difference is less than half an inch, the distance is measured diagonally, so it’s actually a lot larger than it would seem.
The water filter kit and reusable My K Cup are packaged with most 525 models, but I did find some listings on sites where the 525 was a standalone machine. If you are getting the K Cup and filter, then it’s a good deal, especially if you like to brew your own coffees rather than be limited to the kind of K cups you can buy ready.
The filter is also very useful if you live in an area with hard water(trust me, I know – I’ve spent 4 days once descaling an old coffee machine that had been lying unused for a couple of years).
The last two features, the nightlight and wallpapers are rather gimmicky and I don’t often change the background on my laptop, let alone my coffee machine.
The Keurig K425 is one of the first machines Keurig made that had the capacity to brew a single cup or a whole carafe at the same time. Equipped with a generously sized 70 oz water tank, the K425 can make a lot of coffee/beverage in one go.
The touch screen display is intuitive and easy to use. Just select the strength of the beverage and the size, and you’re good to go – the machine will brew it and get it ready in 1 minute.
You also have the ability to control temperature, which is great for fine-tuning the flavor you want.
The K525 can be thought of as the bigger, stronger brother to the K425. It can do everything the K425 does, but it has a larger tank(80 oz) so you can squeeze out one extra cup of coffee, plus a wider range of beverage sizes.
There is also a built in nightlight(like you read above), but honestly, this seems overkill and unnecessary. It’s like one of those features that manufacturers add to justify a higher price point or to make a product seem more appealing.
Between these two machines, in all honesty, it’s just a toss up. Check out the condensed version below to help make a decision!
The Keurig K425 is the right machine for you if:
The Keurig K525 is the right machine for you if:
Coffee cultivation began in Africa, soon spreading east and west. Today, coffee is found mostly between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Moderate sunshine, rain, steady temperatures, and porous soil are conducive to this magic bean, and the tree yields beans that carry entire economies on their shoulders. Coffee is a natural commodity second in value only to oil.
There are two types of trees: robusta and arabica. Arabica are generally better quality, and robusta are a little harsher – though they only account for around 30% of the global yield.
These are the top exporters of coffee in the world according to 2015/2016 data of exports of 60 kg bags:
Coffee first found its way to Brazil from French Guiana back in the 18th century, and it found a place to thrive! Brazil produces about 1/3 of all of the world’s coffee. Some people do feel that the quantity ends up sacrificing a bit of quality, but that’s not to say there aren’t any exquisite varieties of coffee from Brazil. Interestingly enough, Brazilian coffee is sometimes subject to frost, which devastates the crop. Frosts in Brazil inadvertantly give a boost to other coffee producing countries.
Notable Beans: Bahia, Bourbon Santos
Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by French missionaries in the 19th century, but production did not hit full power until the 1990s. However the explosive growth of coffee production is giving rise to quality issues because processing technology has not quite kept up yet.
Notable Beans: Vietnam specializes in robusta production.
Colombia is uniquely positioned in South America’s geography since it has ports to both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, helping push Colombian coffee to both sides of the globe very easily. Coffee is such an important crop to Colombia that all cars entering the country are sprayed to kill bacteria harmful to coffee. The crop is found in the temperate and moist foothills of the Andes mountains.
When the Dutch started a coffee plantation on their Indonesian island colony on Java, I’m sure they were not aware that coffee would eventually earn a nickname! High quality Arabica coffee grows on Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Flores. Still, Indonesia is actually the largest producer in the world of robusta beans.
Notable Beans: Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi (Celebes)
Ethiopia is the natural origin of the arabica tree and most of the legends surrounding coffee’s origins are from Ethiopia. It is the largest African exporter of coffee and domestically more Ethiopians drink coffee than any other African nation. 12 million Ethiopian’s livelihood comes from the bean, whose name comes from an Ethiopian province called “Kaffa”.
Notable Beans: Harrar, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe
Legend has it that India was the first place east of Arabia where coffee was cultivated. The Indian Coffee Board, however, is quite restrictive and some feel that this reduces incentives and affects quality.
Notable Beans: Mysore, Monsooned Malabar
Uganda, even though it is really close to Ethiopia, grows very little arabica, but is an important producer of robusta. Robusta makes up 75 percent of exports from Uganda and is a key source of employment in rural areas.
Notable Bean: Bugisu
Towards the end of the 18th century, coffee had found its way to Mexico and picked up in exports by the next century. There are nearly 100,000 small farms in Mexico today that account for most of Mexican coffee, and these are mostly situated in the south of the country. Most of the coffee that goes to the USA comes from Mexico.
Notable Beans: Altura, Liquidambar MS, Pluma Coixtepec
Serious coffee growing began in Guatemala at the hands of German immigrants back in the 19th century. Beans grown in Guatemalan highlands – especially on the volcanic slopes to the south are considered to be the among the best in the world.
Notable Beans: Atitlan, Huehuetenango
Peru is number 5 in arabica production in the world. Initially, most Peruvian coffee was consumed domestically, but exports eventually started and were boosted by easy transportation on the Pacific coast. Peruvian coffee grows on the slopes of the Andes.
Notable Bean: Typica, Caturra
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