If your java love surpasses the average need for an early morning cup o’ joe, consider taking your vacation in one of these coffee-centric destinations.
Nicaragua today is what Costa Rica was ten years ago: a swath of pristine jungle just awakening to the modern travel world. Like many Central American countries, it’s home to a plethora of coffee plantations where you can see your favorite beverage make the journey from ground to cup. For a truly special experience, join the harvest at an eco-lodge. It’s far and away the trendiest place to get your buzz on.
If you want a true French press, there’s no better spot than Paris. Like many European capitals, the City of Lights is big on café culture and you won’t be out of place when you pick a spot to drink cup after cup of joe as you while the afternoon away. But if you’d like to feel less like a true Parisian and more like a kid in a candy store, visit La Cafeotheque: a real hipster-friendly joint which lines up bulk bins of the best beans from around the world like little ready-for-roasting soldiers.
If you’re a real coffee nut, you probably already know that this is where your beloved brew got its nickname “java.” Visit the namesake island, or one of its neighbors like Sumatra or Sulawesi, for a taste of the local delicacy kopi luwak, but only if you’ve got a stomach of steel – this particular specialty has been digested by Asian palm civets.
Could there be a more romantic place to enjoy an espresso than its native home? Whether you’re in bustling Rome or the rolling hills of Tuscany, you’d be remiss to spend time in Italy without bellying up to a bar and taking a shot of espresso in true Italian fashion, standing up. Enjoy a cappuccino while you’re at it, but for the purposes of blending in, save the foamy stuff for first thing in the morning.
If you can spare a week in November, pencil the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival onto your calendar. This harvest celebration has been in place since 1970, and brings the whole of the Big Island together to honor Hawaii’s centuries-old culinary tradition. Recipe contests, art shows, farm tours, and much more form the heart of this annual festival.
If coffee is akin to a religion for you, you’ll be in good company in Ethiopia. As a major driver of the country’s agriculture and economy, the coffee cherry forms each community’s lifeblood, and you’d be hard pressed to find another nation with greater variety in its coffee production. The vast majority of Arabica coffee originated in Ethiopia, so pay homage to this special birthplace on a coffee tour. Along the way you might also see the rock hewn churches of Lalibela or the majestic Blue Nile Falls.
Vienna is hardly a place of origin for the little bean you crave, but part of the charm of drinking coffee comes from the atmosphere of a coffeehouse and that is something the Austrian capital has in spades. Drink among the ghosts of Leon Trotsky and Sigmund Freud at Café Central, or sip a latte while watching intricate chocolates being made at Café Demel. The Viennese love to camp out at cafes so you’ll feel right at home.