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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 December 9, 2019

                                              5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                              5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                              Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                              Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                              Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                              1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                              Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                              This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                              In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                              The result: no more mental stress.

                                              2. Unplug

                                              Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                              How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                              It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                              Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                              3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                              Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                              Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                              4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                              That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                              How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                              • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                              • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                              • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                              While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                              5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                              This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                              The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                              So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                                              Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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