In many of the world’s top coffee cities, the cafe is more than just a place to get a warm drink – it is also a hub of culture and conversation for locals and visitors alike.
And while each city defines its coffee culture in a different way – whether it be by their classic drink style or by the sheer concentration of independently owned coffee houses – these are the 5 best coffee cities which have one thing in common: the cities are filled with people who live for the craft of coffee.
Many cities are fiercely proud of their cafe culture, but only Vienna can claim that its has UNESCO status. In 2011, Viennese Coffee House Culture received the organization’s rank of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The grand old coffee houses (such as Cafe Central, Landtmann,Griensteindl and Demel) may be a draw for tourists, but locals like to gather at lesser known spots, such as Cafe Frauenhuber, Braunerhof or Sperlhof.
Energy-boosting and abundant, coffee is the sun that overcast Seattle revolves around. No list of coffee cities would be complete without including the city that launched the world’s largest coffee chain. But even though Seattle is known globally for Starbucks, many locals prefer the independent spots that feature local art on the walls and fair trade coffee in their cups. The city is also ranked as the most caffeinated city in the US.
Australia’s got coffee culture tied up around its finger. Melbourne is Australia’s coffee capital, and we suspect it’s vying for the world title as well. It may be a long way to travel for a cup of coffee, but with more and more people calling Melbourne’s coffee the best, it’s also an unbeatable way to fight jet lag.
A proud history of independent cafes and innovative brewing techniques makes it worth the journey.
Words like “latte,” “cappuccino” and “espresso” are all Italian, so it should come as no surprise that the country’s capital overflows with cafe culture. Those who really, really love coffee should make the pilgrimage to Rome. In Italy, the coffee culture is vastly different.
Where North American cities get handsy with the settings, experimenting with temperature and water pressure, weird calibrations and other newfangled barista techniques, Italian coffee drinkers are much more traditional. Whatever the cafe of choice, Italians share an unspoken rule of what drink to order when: cappuccino in the morning and only a caffe (espresso) after eating.
People get seriously poetic about coffee in Lisbon. The irresistible combination of a storied cafe culture and a fantastic cup of coffee can do that to a person. Pour yourself into the experience by heading to a cafe, settling in for a leisurely sit, and ordering a bica.
The revered shot of black coffee is longer than an espresso and usually features beans roasted with a traditional low-and-slow technique that yields the drink’s signature flavor.