For many, coffee is just a beverage to drink in the morning. But for some, coffee is a way of life.
Coffee has been around for centuries and different cultures have different ways of brewing it, drinking it, and experiencing it.
Some places on this list you may know of and some are newcomers, but here are 15 great cities for coffee snobs.
1) Paris, France
The city that more or less created café culture, Paris tops the list. With literally thousands of cafés, you only have to pick your favorite arrondissement, settle in, and let the street scenes of the city of lights entertain you as it has for millions over the centuries.
2) Rome, Italy
Vespas whizzing past, beautiful locals bustling through the streets, and church bells somewhere in the distance. What list would be complete without an espresso on the Piazza Navona?
3) Taipei, Taiwan
While not at the forefront of the coffee lover’s mind yet, Taipei is quickly becoming one of the most sought after coffee destinations in Asia. Fresh beans combined with a young, coffee-savvy population is sure to keep Taiwan on our radar.
4) Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazil produces nearly half of the world’s coffee. With large portions of its population hailing from Portugal and Italy, it’s only fitting that it would have at least one city with a firm sense of coffee culture. In addition to being the largest city in South America, Sao Paulo is also one of the best places to grab a cup on the south side of the equator.
5) Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver has established itself as the preeminent place in Canada for all things coffee. With no shortage of coffee experts, this modern world class city is leading the way with organic roasts, boutique cafes, and free trade beans, much like its neighbors to the south, Seattle and Portland.
6) Istanbul, Turkey
The Ottoman Turks had one of the largest empires in the last five hundred years. So influential was their reverence for coffee, that it islisted as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. What better place than a café on the Bosphorus in Istanbul for a cup that bridges the East-West divide?
7) Vienna, Austria
Interestingly enough, Vienna is the city that repelled the Turks during their European invasion. However, they also get a nod from UNESCO due to the importance of coffee and café culture. Once the heart of Austria-Hungary, pick any spot and soak up the history the city has to offer.
8) Reykjavik, Iceland
Ultra-modern Reykjavik is undoubtedly the farthest north city to have a burgeoning coffee scene. Long, cold winters, endless daylight in summer, and free of large corporate chains, it’s no wonder Icelanders have some of the highest consumption per capita in the world.
9) Wellington, New Zealand
On the other end of the spectrum, Wellington is about as far south as you can go to find a decent cup. The city that invented the “Flat White” which is steamed milk foam over a double shot of espresso is so proud of it, that it’s practically the national beverage.
10) Seattle, USA
It’s no surprise to see Seattle on the list; it’s the city where Starbucks was founded, inarguably, the most famous coffee chain in the world! But there’s more to Seattle’s scene than its green and white mermaid as some say the inhabitants drink more coffee and are more passionate about it than anywhere else in the US.
11) Havana, Cuba
Cafe Cubano, espresso mixed with sugar, is best experienced sitting in one of Havana’s cafés, admiring the city’s crumbling colonial architecture and the pace of street life. However, if you have an American passport, the closest alternative is Little Havana in Miami where you can get the same thing without the fear of reprisal if Uncle Sam finds out.
12) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
A full Ethiopian coffee experience includes roasting the beans on the spot, burning frankincense, and unflavored popcorn. The only thing that could possibly enhance the ceremony would be living it in sprawling, beautiful, and chaotic Addis Ababa which means “beautiful flower” in Amharic. If you can find a good Ethiopian restaurant as a substitute, do yourself a favor.
13) Melbourne, Australia
Australia’s second city Melbourne’s coffee star is on the rise due to its diversity and its inhabitants’ love of a good cup. Another place besides New Zealand to get a “Flat White,” order a cup and make some new friends over a cup as Aussies are notoriously gregarious.
14) Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Head to Sarajevo’s Turkish quarter and lose yourself in its charm over a cup brewed in a traditional copper pot accompanied by sugar cubes and a Turkish delight, a legacy of the Ottomans, who once ruled over Bosnia and the rest of the Balkans.
15) Portland, Oregon, USA
Rounding out our list is Portland. Much like the rest of the city’s institutions, the coffee scene here is fiercely independent, forward thinking, and socially conscious. While Vancouver and Seattle share a similar mentality, Portland is the king of the Pacific Northwest coffee scene.