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World’s Top 11 Coffee Cities Every Coffee Lover Should Visit

World’s Top 11 Coffee Cities Every Coffee Lover Should Visit

When you love coffee, you love coffee. You have distinct opinions on where the best coffee is in your local area. When you travel, you have to know the scoop on where to get some quality brew. But if the entire city had a high chance of providing a tasty cup of Joe…well, it could be your personal heaven.

Coffee lovers, your destination choices for your next vacation just narrowed down. Here are 11 of the best cities for coffee across the globe:

Rome, Italy

    source: hturkhan via Flickr

    Italy is known for its love of quality food, and the same applies to the coffee. Rome is packed with caffès that keep the city running. Coffee brewers take their business very seriously, so that you rarely meet a watered-down cup. Italians often enjoy some black or very mildly sweetened coffee, so those who like a full-flavored no-frills brew will find themselves among friends.

    Top places: Caffè Greco, Rosati, Ciampini

    Havana, Cuba

      source: Trip Advisor

      If you’re planning a trip to Cuba (if you’re either not American, or you’re a very persistent one), you’ll find that this much-maligned country offers a slew of strong and often sweet coffee drinks. Espresso is the popular drink component of choice, which you can get as a Café Cubano (espresso shot brewed with sugar) or a cortadito (espresso shot with milk). Cuban coffee is a bit of an acquired taste, but those who drink it say you quickly learn to prefer it!

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      Top places: Cafe Bohemia, Cafe Escorial, La Chucheria

      Reykjavik, Iceland

        source: anjapfeiffer via Flickr

        This might seem like an odd addition, but Icelanders have become much more interested in quality brews in the past couple of decades. Without much of a presence from big coffee chains, competition is strong for the country’s independent coffee shops, resulting in high quality coffee to impress and draw in customers. Even the commercial roasters there are small-scale, so you’re not getting big mass-produced roasts even if the shop doesn’t grind their own beans.

        Top places: Stofan Cafe, Cafe Paris, Cafe Babalu

        Vienna, Austria

          source: Akademie des Österreichischen via Flickr

          When it comes to coffee, Vienna goes hard: the city had its coffee shops listed as “intangible heritage” by UNESCO in 2011. Vienna cafes pride themselves on their atmosphere, taking the furnishings and decoration of shop interiors quite seriously. These spaces are great social or people-watching atmospheres. Viennese particular enjoy cappuccinos and espresso drinks, as well as the local Wiener Melange (“one espresso shot served in a large coffee cup topped with steamed milk and milk foam“).

          Top places: Cafe Neko, Cafe Korb, Cafe Weimar

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          Seattle, WA, USA

            source: Crosscut Seattle

            In Seattle you’ll find coffee shops both upscale industrial-chic and artsy hipster, and varieties in between. Seattlites have pretty strong opinions about who makes the best coffee — mostly because we have to, seeing as how “coffee” is permanently associated with Seattle in the public’s eye. Some of us might tell you that we don’t like or go to Starbuck’s but we’re totally lying. We have and will go there.  (Note: If it isn’t obvious yet, Seattle is my hometown. Represent.)

            Top places: Caffé Vita, Victrola Coffee, Tin Umbrella Coffee

            Melbourne, Australia

              source: Dale Gillard via Flickr

              Melbourne loves coffee so much that they host an annual coffee expo and have their own coffee-related publication, the Melbourne Coffee Review. What makes Melbourne coffee shops unique is the way the city is divided: the city is divided into several “villages”, each with its own specific culture. The most recommended drinks to get in Melbourne are typically lattes or other coffee drinks with milk.

              Top places: Pillar of Salt, Stassi Cafe, Captains of Industry

              Istanbul, Turkey

                source: tannaz via Flickr

                Turkey is known for its rich, dark coffee beans. They have a unique method for it as well. Turkish baristas grind beans into a fine meal, and boil them both with or without sugar in a cezve, a specially made pot for Turkish coffee. They don’t use sifters, so the cups of coffee are given a moment to let the grounds settle to the bottom before being served. If you have a taste for thick, flavorful coffee and a desire for a whole new experience, Istanbul is the way to go.

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                Top places: Mandabatmaz, Velvet Cafe, KronotRop

                Addis Abada, Ethiopia

                  source: Travel Aficionado via Flickr

                  Considered the “birthplace of coffee”, and one of the world’s top coffee bean producers today, it’s no surprise that coffee is an important part of Ethiopian culture. If you have friends or relatives there, or you makes some new friends, expect to be invited to a coffee ceremony. You’ll enjoy roasting and grinding the beans, then brewing them in a clay pot before finally enjoying the final product with your hosts.

                  Top places: Tomoca Coffee, Mokarar (Harar) Coffee, Alem Bunna

                  Vancouver, Canada

                    source: Neal Jennings via Flickr

                    Vancouver is full of coffee micro-brewers and skilled baristas, and is a great urban destination for quality coffee. Cold brewing and the Clover coffee maker are two favorite brewing methods. Downtown reportedly has a large number of excellent coffee shops, but gems can be found in some of the city’s less-bustling neighborhoods too. Vancouver residents enjoy Americanos and espresso drinks in particular, but there’s certainly a wide variety of well-crafted cups.

                    Top places: Bel Cafe, Caffe Artigiano, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters

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                    Portland, OR, USA

                      source: meligrosa via Flickr

                      Take the hippie-est parts of Seattle coffee culture, multiply it by at least fifty, and you get Portland. It’s not that there’s no sophistication, far from it. There’s simply a greater variety of quirk and homey coffee spots. Fair-trade and sustainable options abound, and you’ll find a lot of really fun shops with artsy or cozy interiors and rave reviews.

                      Top places: Spella Caffe, Barista, Courier Coffee

                      Taipei, Taiwan

                        source: Carrie Kellenberger via Flickr

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                                              Taiwanese are particularly enamored with brewed coffee drinks over espresso, though espresso is widely available at more commercial chains/shops. Expect coffee beans in Taipei and other parts of Taiwan to be freshly roasted and high quality, and a preference for slower brewing to get the best flavor. However, the prices can be a bit high (at least converting to US dollars), but experts on Taiwanese coffee culture say its worth it at the independent shops.

                                              Top places: Melange Cafe, Barbie Cafe (yes, really), Paper Plane Cafe

                                              Featured photo credit: Good Morning!/Valentina Mancini Roma via flic.kr

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                                              Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                              12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                                              12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                                              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                                              1. Nuts

                                              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                              2. Blueberries

                                              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                              3. Tomatoes

                                              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                              4. Broccoli

                                              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                              6. Soy

                                              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                              7. Dark chocolate

                                              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                                              15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                                              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                                              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                              10. Gingko biloba

                                              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                                              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                                              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                              11. Green and black tea

                                              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                              Find out more about green tea here:

                                              11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                              12. Sage and Rosemary

                                              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                              More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                              Reference

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