It doesn’t matter if your drink of choice if a decaf flat white with two sugars, an extra-hot three-quarter soy latte with a couple of sweeteners, or just a standard black cuppa Joe, we can all appreciate a good coffee.
They say that music makes the world go round, but we reckon that’s a farce. Honestly, coffee does. If the great musicians, entrepreneurs, scientists, and doctors didn’t have their daily dose of caffeine, the world would be moving at little more than a snail’s pace.
Some of us drink it like water, others rely on it for that much-needed 3 pm pick-me-up. For plenty of us, it serves as a mechanism for meeting up with friends or family. But of all the coffee-centric worldly cities, which stand head and shoulders above the rest?
10 Seattle, USA
We’re kicking off our coffee-inspired journey around the world in the USA’s Pacific Northwest. Seattle might be the birthplace of the world’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks, but it is coffee roots run far deeper. The Emerald City shows itself off as one of the clear frontrunners in America’s roasting scene, specializing in espressos, cappuccinos, and single-origin pours.
So after you’ve strutted around Pike Place Market, snapped a gross yet hilarious photo in front of the gum wall, and satisfied your touristy cravings with a visit to the Space Needle, head to any Empire Espresso, Victrola Coffee Roasters, or Seattle Coffee Works for that much-needed afternoon pick-me-up.
9 Melbourne, Australia
When it comes to coffee, the bustling and vibrant Aussie city of Melbourne is synonymous with the stuff. Barista nooks are dotted around every corner, so coffee snobs are never too far away from a cup of energizing, handcrafted love. It’s almost impossible to find a disappointing cup of coffee in Melbourne, and there are even coffee machines popping up in various bookstores, hairdressers, retail stores, and nail salons.
Degraves Street in the CBD mixes the city’s coffee culture with beautifully graffitied alleyways, while Axil Coffee Roasters in Hawthorn and Dead Man Espresso in South Melbourne are revered coffee by coffee aficionados.
8 Vienna, Austria
After a quick trip Down Under, we’re dashing off to our next coffee-mad destination, the Imperial City, Vienna. The coffee scene in Vienna is comprised of a perfect mix of old-world tradition with new-world innovation. On the one hand, the city sports UNESCO Heritage-listed coffee houses, which have been a staple of the local culture as meeting points for generations.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, there’s a rapidly evolving independent coffee sector that’s bringing a dash of hipster to a traditional setting. Of course, you can’t leave within trying a classic Viennese coffee, which is just like a cappuccino but with a dollop of cream on top.
7 London, England
Following suit on our coffee-inspired journey around the world is none other than the illustrious British capital city, London. If we can’t see past the stereotypes, we might make a narrow-minded observation that the UK is all about tea, and while it is exceptionally popular (especially with Her Majesty), the coffee scene is beginning to boom.
Over the last handful of years, the city’s range of cafes and high-quality coffee shops have really started to flourish. A few locales, such as Allpress Espresso, Climpson & Sons, and Caravan Coffee Roasters are touted as some of the most noteworthy, but there are new spots popping up each and every day.
6 Rome, Italy
We’ve bid adieu to London and we’re off to Roma for our next leg of this caffeine-inspired galavant. You’ll be sent on a wild goose chase in an effort to find a local who isn’t a coffee drinker, because espresso isn’t just a daily dose of caffeine in Rome, it’s a way of life. It’s not just Rome either, it’s a widespread phenomenon throughout the nation.
Just make sure that you aren’t ordering a cappuccino after midday, as it goes against local customs. You will either attract strange looks from the wait staff, yells from the locals, or a mixture of both.
5 Reykjavík, Iceland
As probably the most surprising destination on this list, our next caffeine stop is over in the beautiful, mostly untouched nation of Iceland. Believe it or not, but Scandinavians actually sit at number two (behind the Dutch) for highest coffee consumption per person. So it makes perfect sense that Reykjavík is somewhat of a coffee haven.
The beauty of the caffeine scene in Iceland is that there’s a noticeable lack of major corporations. Good luck finding a Dunkin’ Donuts or a Tim Hortons - Iceland is abundant with local and independent coffee nooks, who care about each individual brew. It’s pretty cold up there too, so a warm cuppa is often highly appreciated.
4 Wellington, New Zealand
Iceland, you’ve been great, but we’re heading back to the southern hemisphere for our next stop - New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. So, what exactly makes this place so special in the world of coffee? Two words: Flat white. The coffee variation is essentially the country’s unofficial national drink, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any locals who prefer the cappuccino, and you’ll probably get deported if you order a short black.
While it’s actually very difficult to come across a poor brew, a couple of notable locales that stand above the rest include Flight Coffee Hangar and the Lamason Brew Bar.
3 Istanbul, Turkey
As the melting pot between Europe and Asia, and the only major city to span across two continents (plus, being the most populated city in all of Europe), it should come as no surprise that Istanbul has some seriously impressive coffee game.
The Turkish style of coffee is rather unique - no sifters are used, so the coffee has to sit for a couple of minutes to let the grounds fall to the bottom. This means that the taste is thick, bold, and strong. If you are not a fan of sediment in your coffee, then perhaps stick to somewhere like Starbucks.
2 Singapore, Singapore
The incredible city-state that is Singapore is known for many things: Its world-class airport, high quality (and price) of living, the stunning Gardens by the Bay, and it's odd yet reasonable no chewing gum laws. One thing that flies under the radar, however, is Singapore's coffee.
There are plenty of spots to grab great lattes, mochas or cappuccinos, such as Dutch Colony and Strangers' Reunion, but what really grabs peoples attention is the latte art. Locals and visitors alike have developed somewhat of an obsession for the intriguing designs, which makes the idea of drinking coffee a much more creative experience.
1 Vancouver, Canada
Our caffeine buzz is starting to fade, but not before we stop into our final coffee-centric destination - the Great White North’s western city of Vancouver. The British Columbian urban jungle is known for two types of coffee brewing in particular - one being the Clover coffee maker, and the other being cold brewing.
Whether you’re floating through the downtown area, or further out in the suburbs, there is no shortage of A-grade coffee nooks to stop in for a morning or afternoon Americano or espresso. A few of the more revered locales include Bel Cafe, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters, and Caffè Artigiano. Oh, and we can’t forget good ol’ Tim Hortons!