This is a guest post by Cruise Club UK
If you’re serious about both your coffee and your travel, then you’d have been there… flung into an accidental coffee cold turkey because you chose a holiday destination without a decent cup of the brown stuff. Thinking they’re helping you, someone kindly provides a sachet of instant. “No!” you scream, and fling it out of the hotel window before the poor quality burns your skin and sensibilities. The hotel staff watch in horror as the sachet knocks an old lady into the road, causing a traffic pile up. Engines explode, children scream, and before long, flames engulf this small local village as you walk away, crying at your withdrawal headache.
Some of that may be bordering on the farcical, I admit, but I’m sure you can relate to the first part. The good news is: it needn’t be this way! The best destinations for coffee lovers, whether they’re coffee plantations or cities with smashing roasting techniques, are also fantastic to visit. From North to South, East to West, we’ve put together a worldwide itinerary to tantalise your taste buds and inspire your wanderlust.
Lattes in London? Say Cuppuci-Yes to Europe
No European tour is complete without a visit of all the best coffee cities. We all know Italy is the king of coffee culture countries… but are you ordering it right? Thanks to the coastal nature of this beautiful country, the best ways to visit are as part of a Mediterranean luxury cruise, or a road trip which allows you to see all the gorgeous villages and towns along the way.
Spain and France are also big coffee drinking countries, though if you want to feel like a true Parisian with your coffee and cigarette, maybe stick to a realistic vaping device, rather than sacrificing your lungs for the sake of style.
A Cuppa Joe in Jo’Burg? The African Queens of Coffee
Ethiopia is quite literally the birthplace of coffee, but since then, it’s spread throughout Africa. Kenya is another excellent place for coffee, with many small, fair-trade co-operatives serving wonderful brew. The whole country, however, is a strong choice for a robust bean, and it’s a fantastic chance to see in more detail how coffee is grown.
Make sure you’re sourcing fair-trade coffee when you visit. Despite claims to the contrary, Starbucks is just one of the major brands accused of exploiting Ethiopian coffee farmers. If you like knowing where things come from, this is definitely the trip for you. You can experience real Africa by taking the risk and bussing across the continent, or you can play it safe and get a last-minute cruise deal on a luxury cruise to make sure your trip’s a comfortable one.
Caffeinated in Colombia? The South American Hotspots
Not only can you visit the coffee farms in South America; you can go and live on them! Colombia’s coffee region spans across multiple provinces and is a lush green coffee paradise. The entire belt of Central America is not only a total Garden of Eden, with a buzz, but a large amount of it is also on the Caribbean. So if you plan your Royal Caribbean luxury cruise well, you can sample the finest beans from Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia. You can even return with a bag full of those little beauties to freeze and keep your mornings awesome, long after your tan has faded. Just be careful of linguistic confusions. Asking for “Soy Milk…?” could get you the unexpected answer of “Nice to Meet You, I’m Jose.”
A Midwestern Mocha? Living the American Dream… of Coffee
Pass on up through Mexico and you’ll find yourself on a Route 64 road trip with such a high caffeine content, you’ll be driving through the night. Seattle may be the home of Starbucks, but Portland is the real stop for coffee connoisseurs. That’s right Central Perk: Portland, Oregon is done being ‘Friends’ with the coffee houses of New York, Seattle and San Francisco, which have been trying to claim the ‘coffee capital’ title. The gloves are off! Over-caffeinate in hipster style with your vegan, gluten-free, sugar free, fair-trade, organic piece of cake by using this guide.
Feeling Mellow in Melbourne? Coffee Chill Spots Down Under
Another hipster coffee paradise — but in a whole different hemisphere — is Melbourne. Not just the coffee capital of Australia, Melbourne regularly features on lists of the world’s best coffee destinations. Does going to the end of the earth for a decent cup of coffee seem a bit extreme to you? It shouldn’t. If you have a month and some cash to splash, hop on an Azamara, Royal Caribbean, or other luxury cruise to Australia. You’ll get to take in multiple other destinations on this list along the way, and then reward yourself at the end with a damn fine cup of coffee.
The Orient Espresso? Exploring the Cafes of East Asia
Unfortunately, good coffee is hard to find in most of Asia. Despite Vietnam’s reputation for doing a splendid cup, they’re actually extremely low-quality beans roasted in butter and pig oil to give them a bit of flavour. Did I hear you say “ew!”? That’s about right. Their other speciality, Civet/Kopi Luwak coffee, involves a lot of animal cruelty. Coffee to avoid all round!
Not to fear, though. Taiwan, the small and liberal, sweet potato-shaped island with ridiculously friendly locals, has a booming cafe culture that’s getting it a worldwide reputation. There are as many cafes as there are temples and the locals know their coffee. In many cafes, you only have the option of drinking it black so you don’t spoil the flavour, and a cup of finest Ethiopian blend that’s drip coffee will cost you as much as your day’s food. I’ll raise a cup to that!
Whether you’re on a worldwide Azamara luxury cruise or last-minute NCL cruise deal, taking a wild road trip through North America, or bussing it across rural Africa and giving your mother sleepless nights of worry, fix your coffee cravings as you go. With all these incredible worldwide coffee destinations, there’s really no excuse for heading on a holiday where you have to settle for a cup of tea.
Paul Edge, director of Cruise Club UK, has spent over 25 years working to improve the travel industry. When not in the office, he’s on an NCL luxury cruise sipping coffee on the deck and planning how next to bring last-minute cruise deals to Brits with a coffee orientated wanderlust.