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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 August 15, 2018

                                              7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                              7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                              Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                              Video Summary

                                              Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                              There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                              This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                              Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                              In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                              One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                              There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                              By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                              When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                              Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                              In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                              What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                              What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                                1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                                Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                                • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                                • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                                • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                                • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                                2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                  Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                  Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                  3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                    Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                    4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                      Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                      A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                      A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                      On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                      5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                        Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                        6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                          Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                          7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                            Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                            How to hold a plank position

                                                            1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                            2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                            3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                            4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                            5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                            6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                            7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                            Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                            Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                              How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                              1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                              2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                              3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                              Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                              Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                              You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                              • Prolapse
                                                              • After prolapse surgery
                                                              • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                              • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                              • Previous childbirth
                                                              • Overweight

                                                              Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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