As an experienced coffee professional, I have spent a significant amount of time traversing the globe in search of the perfect cup of joe. My travels have taken me from amazing coffee plantations of Hawaii to the bustling cafés of Rome, and along the way, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to enjoy the best coffee while travelling. So grab a cup of your favorite brew, sit back, and let me help you with my hard-earned wisdom.
1. Do Your Research
When it comes to finding the best coffee, being well-informed is half the battle. Before embarking on your journey, take the time to research the coffee culture of your destination. Some countries, like Italy and Ethiopia, have a long-standing tradition of coffee excellence, while others may not be as well-known for their java offerings. Investigate local coffee roasters, cafés, and baristas, and make a list of places to visit on your trip. I recommend consulting websites, blogs, and social media platforms where fellow coffee enthusiasts share their recommendations.
2. Embrace the Local Coffee Culture
Each destination has its own unique coffee culture, and part of the joy of travelling is immersing yourself in these traditions. In Italy, for example, you’ll find that espresso is king and cappuccinos are only consumed before noon. In Turkey, coffee is often enjoyed with a side of conversation and a game of backgammon. In Japan, meticulous attention is paid to the brewing process in traditional kissaten (coffee shops).
Don’t be afraid to ask locals for their favorite coffee spots and tips for enjoying the local coffee culture. You might even learn a few new ways to enjoy your beloved beverage that you can bring back home with you.
3. Carry Your Coffee Gear
There’s nothing worse than settling into your hotel room after a long day of travel, only to discover that the coffee maker in your room is an abomination against all things caffeinated. To avoid such tragedies, consider bringing some essential coffee gear with you on your travels. A compact travel coffee kit might include:
– A portable coffee grinder for grinding your own beans (trust me, fresh is best)
– A travel-sized French press, Aeropress, or pour-over system for brewing your own coffee
– A small bag of your favorite coffee beans, just in case you can’t find a local source
Remember, these are merely suggestions — feel free to customize your kit to suit your personal preferences.
4. Learn the Language (as best as possible)
No one wants to be “that tourist” who struggles to order a simple cup of coffee in a foreign country, even though many terms stay the same. To avoid any caffeine-related faux pas, take the time to learn some basic coffee terminology in the language of your destination. This will not only make ordering your daily cup a breeze but will also help you bond with the locals over your use of their language and your shared enjoyment of coffee.
5. Be Open to Trying New Things
Even the most experienced coffee professional has room to expand their palate. As you travel, be open to trying new coffee varietals, brewing methods, and local specialties. You might discover a new favorite drink or learn a technique that you can incorporate into your own coffee routine back home.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Splurge (Occasionally)
As a coffee professional, I understand the importance of sticking to a budget. But sometimes, it’s worth splurging on a truly exceptional coffee experience. Whether it’s a rare and exotic bean or a world-famous café, these indulgences can create lasting memories and enrich your appreciation for coffee even further.
7. Document Your Coffee Experiences
Whether you’re an aspiring coffee blogger or simply want to remember the amazing drinks you’ve encountered on your travels, take the time to document your coffee experiences. Snap a photo of that expertly crafted latte art, jot down tasting notes in a dedicated coffee journal, or share your thoughts on social media. Not only will this help you remember the details of your coffee escapades, but it will also give you the opportunity to connect with fellow coffee enthusiasts and swap recommendations.
8. Get to Know the People Behind the Coffee
Coffee is more than just a beverage — it’s a labor of love that starts with the farmers who grow the beans and ends with the skilled baristas who prepare your cup. As you travel, take the time to learn about the people behind the coffee you’re enjoying. Visit coffee farms and roasteries, attend workshops or tastings, and chat with baristas to gain a deeper understanding of the passion and dedication that goes into every cup. Plus, these connections may lead to valuable insider tips and recommendations.
9. Don’t Neglect Quality for Convenience
It can be tempting to grab a quick cup of coffee from the nearest chain café when you’re on the go, but don’t let convenience overshadow quality. In most cases, a little extra effort to seek out a local café or coffee shop will be well worth it for the superior taste and experience. After all, you didn’t travel halfway across the world to drink the same mediocre coffee you can find at home, did you?
10. Maintain Balance
While it’s important to indulge your passion for coffee as you travel, don’t forget to strike a balance between your caffeinated pursuits and other experiences. Remember to make time for sightseeing, local cuisine, and cultural attractions, as these will enrich your travel memories just as much as that perfect cup of coffee.
Enjoying the best coffee while travelling comes down to a mix of research, immersion in local culture, adaptability, and a willingness to go the extra mile for a truly exceptional cup. Armed with these tips from a seasoned coffee connoisseur, you’ll be well on your way to savoring the finest coffee the world has to offer.