How to order coffee in Melbourne like a Melbournian

8 Things They Never Tell You About An Australian Working Holiday In Melbourne

Melbourne coffee guide: Melbourne’s Cafe Menu’s explained

I was told that the best coffee I would ever have would be in Australia- and the best city to find it in was Melbourne. Now after being in the Australian city for a few weeks, I can vouch that it is true: Melburnians have a bit of a love affair with coffee. They love it so much in fact, that the city free walking tour even included a trip to a cafe for Flat Whites.

Melbourne snobby love of a good cuppa is infamous, and Melbourne barista’s are actually sought after by cafes around the world. Melbourne is after all, the city that defied Starbucks, favouring independent cafes and brunch spots. Supposedly there’s not a bad cup of coffee to be found in the city and so far I’d have to agree with that.

Considering that Australia is the birthplace of the Flat White and responsible for the well established latte art culture that we are all used to worldwide, I feel that I have to take what Melbourne’s coffee menus say as bible. However when I got here, the thing that surprised me most was just how big of a difference there is between the typical Australian versions of coffees and the ones I am used to in England.

After working in a cafe here in Melbourne along with working my way through a lot of caffeine filled beverages in the city, I feel that I know a fair bit about Melbourne coffee culture. So, I thought that I would make this guide on the Australian coffee menu for all of the other confused coffee loving travellers out there- now you can order your morning pick me up without feeling like an outsider.

Melbourne journal cafe
Journal Canteen

Here’s how to order coffee in Melbourne

Flat White

The Flat White in Melbourne is like the tea to England so it’s always a safe bet if you don’t know what to order. In Melbourne, a Flat White is a little like a latte. It really comes down to the thickness of the froth- a true Flat White should consist of espresso with hot steamed milk and only a thin layer of micro foam. It is also usually served in a cup, not a glass like a latte. Unlike in the UK, a flat white in Melbourne isn’t necessarily a stronger drink and usually just comes with just a single shot unless specified that it’s wanted ‘strong’.

Latte

Latte’s in Australia aren’t the soup bowl sized milky beverages that we are used to at home. A regular latte in Melbourne is fairly small in size, with a thin layer of froth that comes served in a tall glass.

Cappuccino

Cappuccino’s seem to be the same all over the world. In Melbourne cappuccino’s consist of one shot of coffee, foamy milk and chocolate powder, usually sprinkled on top of the espresso shot before the milk is added, for aesthetics.

Long Black

Americano lovers, this one is for you. Ask for an Americano in Australia and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Consisting of just coffee and water, the long black is your milk free coffee drink of choice. The main difference between the latter and an Americano is that the espresso is poured on top of the hot water, rather than first, as not to scorch the coffee, and it’s usually diluted with less water. It’s still acceptable to order milk at the side. Sorry to disappoint those visiting from the states, but filter coffee isn’t really a thing here.

Short Black

That’s an espresso to us Europeans.

Short or Long Mac

Simply a single or double Macchiato. A small amount of foamy milk is spooned on top of an espresso, usually served in a glass cup.

Piccolo

No, I’m not talking about the drinking game. A piccolo or Cortado, as it known in Europe, comes down to the size of the glass. To make it, latte consistency milk is poured over an espresso served in a tiny glass- it’s just like a latte in minute form.

Iced Coffee

Don’t assume that an iced coffee is a sensible option when you’re looking for a cooling beverage: In Australia, an iced coffee usually comes served with ice cream. Generally the espresso shot is poured in a glass with a scoop of ice cream and then topped with cold milk. If you want it without the calories then it’s usually best to specify that you’d like a ‘iced latte’ or a ‘iced long black’

Bullet Coffee

Bullet Coffee is something that I expected to see more of on the menu in Oz but it’s not actually that common. What makes a bullet coffee unique is that it is made with butter. Sounds odd? Well actually once melted, the butter turns the coffee the same colour as milk would and the fat from the butter is supposed to keep you fuller of longer and give you tons of energy, hence the ‘bullet’ part.

Melbourne Tulip coffee
Tulip Coffee

Other drinks

Chai Latte

The humble chai latte is also a big thing in Melbourne. One of the more popular coffee alternatives, chai tea powder is mixed to a paste, topped with hot milk and finished with warming cinnamon powder.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate in Melbourne is all about the athletics; expect beautiful latte art on top of your cocoa.

Turmeric latte

Turmeric Lattes are something that have become quite popular in the UK too. To make them, a small amount of turmeric powder and usually something to sweeten it with, are mixed to a paste with water and then topped off with hot milk. The vivid yellow colour of this drink makes it appealing and it’s caffeine free meaning that it’s a good choice for the afternoon.

Matcha Latte

Matcha Latte’s aren’t just popular in Melbourne’s Chinatown; you can usually order these green coloured drinks in the city’s more trendy cafes. Green tea matcha powder is mixed to a paste and topped off with hot steamed milk. The matcha powder is supposed to be high in antioxidants and has a smooth, strong taste.

As usual, I hope that you guys enjoyed this post and found it useful. Does anything in this post surprise you or more importantly, do you disagree with anything that I’ve said? Let me know in the comments below. Similarly, if anyone has any cafe recommendations for Melbourne then I would love to hear about these too.

You can read more about my travels in Australia here, or take a trip around the globe with me through my worldwide cafe reviews here. 

Finally, Good Coffee On Brighton Beach: The Flour Pot Bakery Is Open

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Hey guys

So I woke up super early this morning as the sun was streaming through the blinds and I happily realised that it was Monday and I had no work today. It’s so hot here in the UK and Brighton feels like the Med at the moment so I thought I’d make the most of it and go and chill on the beach,  although I had one stop to make first.

The new Flour Pot Bakery has opened meaning one pivotal thing: Finally good coffee on the beach. I couldn’t wait to check it out. If you’re not from Brighton then you might not have heard of this local coffee chain which has a few premises over the city but the Flour Pot is a bit of an institution in Brighton and its a go to for great coffee, bread and cakes.

I was a little worried there wouldn’t be any seats as it was its first official day open but I think the fact that it was early and it was so hot meant there were lots of free tables outside: perfect for tanning! I absolutely love the Flout Pot’s new location. It’s right next to the i360 and the west pier meaning that it’s the ideal place to sit and people watch. You’ll definitely find me there doing some work this summer. For a city of foodies it’s surprising that we really don’t have many good cafes on the beach, the majority of them being in the North Laine, so it’s great to finally not have to walk that far to get my iced coffee.

I’ve always loved the flour Pot Bakery for their fantastic selection of cakes. The flourless chocolate cake really does cure all problems. The great thing about this new location is that they have an entire kitchen menu in addition to the usual counter spread meaning that now you can sit down and enjoy a stone baked sourdough pizza (Can I please have the Francisco with blue cheese, béchamel, potato, fennel and pear?) Gluten free option available. They also serve some hot dishes, salads and desserts such as the caramelised white chocolate tart. Oh veganism has gone out the window.

I’m a cheap skate (and I’d just had breakfast) so I went for an oat milk iced latte and one of their white chocolate cookies (which are always my go to because they are massive and cost me just £1.50). As for the savoury food I doubt it will be long until I’m back munching my way through the lunch menu. Probably tomorrow actually.

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How To Order Coffee In Vietnam

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Vietnam coffee guide: From Hanoi to Hue, How to order coffee like a pro in Vietnam (and where to get it from)

Whenever people ask me what my favourite destination I’ve travelled to so far is, I struggle but I usually come to the same answer: Vietnam, and that’s mainly for the coffee.

When I turned up to Hanoi in October as part of my first solo backpacking trip, it was an assault on the senses. Hanoi’s old quarter is a labyrinth of crazy chaotic roads, motorbikes coming at you from all directions, women selling eels at the side of the road, little alleyways with mismatched shops and street side restaurants with people perched on low seats slurping bowls of pho.

I was captivated straight away and couldn’t stop walking around with a huge grin on my face, although the traffic did take a little getting used to. (I spent the first evening eating a bowl of cereal for dinner because I couldn’t cross the junction to get to the restaurants).

However the one place I found solace in the city chaos was in the coffee shops. Coffee in Vietnam is as big as tea in England and wow, the coffee was good. There are so many different ways to have coffee in Vietnam and I couldn’t wait to try them all. What’s best is that coffee in the country is so dangerously cheap, (Costing around 20,000 dong or 66p) so it wont even make a dent in your budget.

Heres my guide to how to order coffee in Vietnam

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Egg coffee at Cafe Pho Co, Hanoi

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Egg coffee (Ca Phe Trung)

I will always remember my first coffee in Hanoi. It was an egg coffee or (Ca Phe Trung) at Cafe Pho Co. I’d read about this cafe and its trademark coffee in my Lonely Planet guide and finding it was a real adventure. Located by the Hoan Kiem lake the entrance to this hidden gem is entered via a silk shop that I only found by putting its location into google maps.

At first I wasnt sure if I was in the right place and as I walked in to the shop I was almost run over by a man on a motorbike who came racing past me out of the door. Welcome to the craziness that is Vietnam! I  kept walking through a narrow corridor and then sure enough the shop opened up into a beautiful cafe courtyard with a winding stair case going up several floors. I wandered up to the top floor where I was met with breathtaking views of the lake and I attempted to order my first egg coffee, with my very limited Vietnamese.

If you love coffee then you have to try egg coffee in Vietnam. I had no idea what to expect but I absolutely loved it.  This drink is particularly popular in Northern Vietnam and the consistency of the drink is that of a wet meringue but it has a sweet yet deep coffee taste that makes it totally addictive.

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Traditonal ‘Phin’ coffee at breakfast

Hot Vietnamese coffee with sweetened condensed milk (Ca Phe Sua nong: Translates as Coffee, Milk, hot)

I first got addicted to condensed milk in drinks in Thailand where it is used to sweeten the ashy coloured Thai milk tea, but Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk is something else. This is the most common way to have coffee and I go served this numerous times in restaurants, hostels and cafes.

The coffee is filtered through a Phin (picture above) which is placed on top of a cup that already layer of condensed milk in it. When the coffee has filtered through, simply mix it with the milk. If you’re not keen on milk then you can ask for this black (ca phe den nong: This translates as coffee, black, hot). This will come sweetened. I tried ordering this without any sugar once (when I was trying to be healthy) but it’s just not nice. Vietnamese coffee isn’t like at home and the pure coffee is bitter and sour rather than smooth and sweet like an espresso.IMG_1476.jpg

Iced Vietnamese coffee (White: Ca Phe Sua Da) or (Black: Ca Phe Den Da)

Iced Vietnamese coffee is another really popular drink served in cafes. In fact one day I went to a little roadside cafe filled with locals and no menu and simply asked for coffee and this is what I got. This iced drink is served in a tall cup with the condensed milk already added, so it is lighter in colour. It usually comes with a free glass of iced tea (Something sold for next to nothing in most restaurants too).

If you don’t want milk then order it black (Ca Phe Den Da: Den being black and da iced). This comes with some sugar added, you can usually choose how much e.g medium sweet. Again I wouldn’t recommend having it without any sugar in, it just isn’t nice.

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Iced coconut coffees at Hoi An Roastery, Hoi An
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Cafe Nola, Hanoi

Coconut Iced Coffee

Out of all of the towns in Vietnam, the enchanting riverside town of Hoi An is the coffee capital and one of the best drinks that I had there was a coconut Iced coffee. This fantastically decadent drink is made from a mix of coffee, thick coconut milk and condensed milk. It’s really more of a dessert than a drink and sitting out in the sun with one of these, well you can’t really beat that. The best places that I had these were at two local Hoi An coffee chains: Hoi An Roastery and Cocobox. All of their cafes are fantastic places to people watch with extensive menus serving everything from local coffee, tea to all the basics like Lattes and cappuccino

Espresso based coffee

Sometimes when you’re travelling for a while all you want is a normal coffee just like at home. There are plenty of places that you can satisfy your caffeine craving in Vietnam. If you’re after somewhere a little more culturally enriching than Starbucks then I recommend the Highlands coffee chain. This Vietnamese coffee chain has locations all over the country from Ho Chi Minh city to Hue and Hanoi. They have both the traditional Phin filter coffees and espresso based coffees such an Americanos, lattes and cappuccinos.

If you don’t have dairy then don’t worry as soya milk is very popular in Vietnam so it shouldn’t be an issue. I really loved this place because they give you a little phone that rings when your order is ready, it’s usually full of younger locals and they have great wi-fi. I sheltered in one of these cafes when I got caught in a typhoon in Hue.

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Goc Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City

So that’s it: Now you’re already to go to Vietnam and order some coffee for yourself. I hope this post has inspired you to dive straight into the country’s fantastic coffee culture. Vietnam is a country that runs on coffee, they produce it, they drink it and they value it and as fast paced, hectic and chaotic a country it might be, sitting in a cafe waiting for the coffee to filter through a phin, that’s when Vietnam slows down.

Why not step inside some of Vietnams best cafes and read my cafe reviews here.

 

 

Solo Travel In New York: What To Do In NYC

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A solo travel guide to New York City

Cities are often known as lonely places. Therefore, when I decided to go to New York spontaneously after my travels in Central America, I was worried about how I would find the city on my own. I’d been to New York with my family before which meant that it didn’t feel as daunting. However, after the low-key pace of life that I’d got used to in Costa Rica, I guessed it was going to be a bit of a culture shock.

I arrived in the city by overnight bus from Atlanta where I had been staying with my aunt. Sleepy but excited the bus pulled in at eight in the morning into a chaotic, distinctly New York part of downtown Manhattan. I grabbed my backpack and started walking.

The city won me over straight away. As I was on my own I noticed everything; smoke coming out of potholes, commuters running for subways, cafes opening, lost tourists and I realised I shouldn’t have worried about being in the city on my own: everyone in New York is busy writing their own story.

Here’s my guide of my favourite things to do on your own in New York City:

Scout Film Locations

There’s nothing better to do by yourself in New York than scout all the famous film locations. Whether you fancy taking a selfie outside the Friends building or posing for a snap outside Carrie’s House, there is an endless list of filming locations all over the city.

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Cheesecake at Juniors restaurant, 1515 Broadway, 45th St

New York Cheesecake

I’m not ashamed to say that the idea of sitting down and tucking into a slice of real New York Cheesecake was a huge driving force behind my decision to go to NYC. Being solo in NYC means that you’re entitled to eat as much cheesecake as humanly possible and what’s more, you don’t have to share it with anyone.

I went on a bit of a cheesecake pilgrimage and my tried and tested favourite was the original one at Juniors on Broadway. (I did reach that point where I felt like I couldn’t go on when I was about two-thirds through it but I’d left the best bit for last so I just had to push through).

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Inside New York Public Library

Spend some time reading in the New York Public Library

I have always wanted to bring a book and my journal and spend a couple of hours in the beautiful and iconic New York Public Library. (Speaking of film locations earlier, anyone who’s watched Sex and the City will know this from Carrie’s wedding scene). The library is free to enter and it’s just the ideal place to escape from the chaos of the city. As a book lover I could have probably spent my entire trip in here reading and writing. (Make sure to stop by Bryant Park after, just over the road, for a coffee).

Relax in Central Park

Central Park is the centre of the city and regardless of whether you’re visiting New York in summer or winter, it’s the ideal place to take yourself off to for a few hours. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in the warmer months then you don’t need to do much else than bring a picnic or grab a pretzel and enjoy the sun. If it’s a little cooler then just spend some time walking or rent a city bike around the park.  If you’re looking for a break then there are lots of museums on fifth avenue (east side of Central Park) such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (make sure to check out its roof garden) and the Guggenheim museum.

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Culture espresso, 72 W,  38th St, New York

Grab a coffee

Going for coffee is the ultimate solo activity and New York has no shortage of quirky independent cafes to spend your cash in.  There are plenty in midtown Manhattan such as Culture espresso (where these fantastic cookies pictured above are made) however my favourite area is Greenwich village. It’s quieter and more residential then midtown and going for coffee feels like you’re living your own version of a Friends episode. I’m in my element cafe hopping and blogging, plus its the best way to actually mix with the real New Yorkers.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge 

For the best views of Manhattan’s skyline, you have to walk the Brooklyn bridge. Personally, I love a walk (because it means you can eat more) and the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the best. It’s free to walk across and be sure to explore Brooklyn once you reach the other side. Just be sure to pack a camera and good walking shoes!

Late night shopping: Broadway and Times Square

I wish shops at home in Brighton were open as late as they are in cities like New York as you don’t have to waste your days in the shops and particularly for solo travellers, you don’t have to spend your evenings sat in a bar by yourself. Most shops in Broadway and Times Square are open until late so explore the city by day and then get your shopping done after dinner. Be sure to stop by Macy’s!

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Broadway at night

Walk along the High Line

Walking along one of New Yorks newest attractions, the High Line park is one of the best ways to spend a few hours. This elevated park is located on an abandoned railway, running from Hudson Yards to Chelsea and is decorated with greenery and modern art, all with fantastic views of the city below. It’s also completely free to visit.

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Grab food in the deli buffets

I sometimes find the idea of eating in proper restaurants a little daunting when I travel solo but that’s not something I had to worry about in New York thanks to the delis. New York delicatessens are mini markets offering buffets of hot and cold foods and I literally lived off these in the city.  They work by filling up a box with whatever you want and then paying by weight (So watch the heavy veg). Not only are the deli’s cheaper than a sit-down meal but you can choose your portion size and they generally have loads of healthy vegan and vegetarian options. Most deli’s that have buffets also offer seating meaning that there the best option for eating if you’re on your own.

I hope this post has given you some ideas of things to do on your own in New York. It may not be the kind of place that springs to mind when you think ‘solo travel‘ but I had a fantastic few days exploring the city before I headed home and as much as I can’t wait to go back with my friends and family, it was nice not to have to share the city (or my cheesecake) with anyone else.

Have you bean? Why coffee lovers should travel to these 15 countries

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From Guatemala to South Africa.  A unique travel guide for the worlds best coffee cultures and coffees (and where to get them)

I spend a lot of time in cafes when I travel around the world.  It’s not just the caffeine buzz that I’m hooked on.

Any coffee lover will know that its more than just a drink. Coffee a way to socialize, slow down and gather you’re own thoughts. No matter where you go in the world and how different it is from home, a cafe is always a cafe, and that’s a comforting thought.

Whether you’re in a busy city, or a remote village, coffee symbolises togetherness all over the world,  and so many cultures would grind to a halt without it.

One of the aspects that is so appealing about travel is immersing yourself in the local culture and I think you’re more likely to find that in a country’s coffee shop, rather than it’s museums.

There’s a world of unique and unusual coffees out there so, if you love nothing more than watch the world go by over a cup of coffee, then pick a country and whisk yourself off to it, espresso.

 

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Vietnam

Vietnamese food gets a lot of praise, but one thing you hear less about is its fantastic variety of coffees.  Its coffee shops vary drastically from place to place, from traditional street side cafes in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to a thriving cosmopolitan coffee scene in Ho Chi Minh City.

You have to try the traditional Vietnamese filter coffee, served with sweet condensed milk, and the weirdly wonderful meringue like egg coffee in Hanoi is one for the bucket-list.  Any coffee fanatics will love the beautiful city of Hoi An, with more Instagram worthy cafes, (and streets),than you could possibly fit in.

Be sure to visit: Cafe Pho Co in Hanoi, with a hidden entrance through a silk shop that’s famous for its egg coffee, and Hoi An Roastery in Hoi An for its coconut milk coffees.

 

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Italy

What could be nicer than sitting outside on an Italian summers day with a cup of coffee, a pastry and the warmth of the sun on your face?

The Italians are real coffee lovers and without it the country would grind to a halt.

When you order a coffee in Italy it will come as come as a short, strong espresso. Despite being invented there, its only acceptable to order a cappuccino before 11 in the morning as Italians believe that milky coffees are too heavy to have after lunch.We rushed on a lazy morning in Florence to get these coffees ( pictured above.)

Be sure to visit: Ditta Artigianele, Florence, for its modern coffees and superb brunch

 

Finland

As a whole, the Scandinavian countries drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world and the top coffee consuming country is Finland. It’s estimated that the Finnish drink around ten cups of coffee a day, that’s enough to help burn off all of the cakes they eat with it.

In fact coffee and cake is so important that they even have their own word for it. Kakkukakvi is a Finnish concept that literally translates to ‘coffee and cake’, so it shows you how integral it is to their lifestyle.

The most unusual Finnish coffee is Kaffeost. This strange drink is made by putting chunks of cheese into a cup and pouring coffee on top of it. You eat the cheese at the end with a spoon. Not sure if its everyone’s cup of tea though.

 

Be sure to visit: Good life Coffee, Helsinki, for excellent no-nonsense coffee and laid back vibe.

Greece

The Greeks love of coffee is so strong that you’re just as likely to see groups of teens sipping coffee at a rooftop bar, as you are a cocktail.

You’ll see plenty of locals sat outside drinking thick greek coffee while playing games of Tavli, (Greek Backgammon), but its the cappuccino and Espresso Freddo’s that are the real stars of the show. These popular iced coffees are usually served fantastically sweet, and the silky topping of the Cappuccino Freddo is somewhere between cream and milk, but I’ve never quite sussed out what it is.

Be sure to visit: Athens 360 rooftop bar for fantastic coffees, cocktails and views across to the Acropolis

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Guatemala

It makes sense that one of the main coffee exporters is a must visit destination for coffee addicts. Of course, the city of Antigua’s stunning multicoloured buildings and fun-loving Spanish culture are reason enough to visit this `Central American country, but drinking an espresso in the very country it was grown is one for the bucket list.

Be sure to visit: Fernando’s Kaffee in Antigua for its celebration of locally grown coffee and chocolate.

 Japan

Japan has some of the cutest coffees around so you’ve got to give them a shot.  Coffee in the country is all about the aesthetics. Expect to find cute latte art on your coffee and quirky snacks on the side when you order a drink in a cafe.

Japan also puts a new meaning to the concept of coffee to go and there are loads of canned coffee brands that can be easily picked up from vending machines and shops.

Be sure to visit: The Moomin Anti- Loneliness Cafe in Tokyo. This quirky little cafe solves the problem of having no one to go out with by placing solo diners opposite a giant moomin toy. Coffee dates have never been more fun.

Australia

Not only did they invent the Flat White, Australia revolutionised the way we drink coffee in the UK, from greasy spoon cafes into the artisan cafes of today. On my bucket list is Melbourne, known for its massive coffee culture and brunch spots.

If you’re visiting the country then be sure to look for a Bulletproof Coffee. (That’s coffee with butter in it and it’s supposed to be delicious).

Be sure to visit: Melbourne’s Brother Baba Budan cafe for its quirky decor with chairs on the ceiling and excellent coffee


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Denmark

Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world and you only need to witness the sociable atmosphere in  one of  Copenhagen’s bustling cafes to see why.

The Danish have a concept called Hygge which is all about cosines, socializing and celebrating the simple things, and hibernating indoors with coffee and friends is integral to this.

If you’re visiting Copenhagen then be sure to check out the Vesterbro neighbourhood for the best independent cafes and brunch spots, and it would be criminal not to seek out an Apple Danish when you’re there.

Check out my city guide for more tips:  36 hours in Copenhagen 

Be sure to visit: Paludan Bog & cafe, half bookshop, half bustling cafe in Copenhagen’s city centre

 

Belgium

We all know Belgium is famous for its chocolate, but what about its coffee culture?  Belgium ranks highly on the world coffee consuming country, coming in closely after the Scandinavian countries.

Brussels is packed full of quirky and independent coffee shops serving all the blends of coffees, milks and syrups that you could ever want.

Probably the best thing about Belgium’s coffee though is the food that goes with it. Not only does the country make some of the best chocolates in the world, it has some of the most tempting breads, pastries and desserts.

Be sure to try a Mattetaart- a rich cheesecake filling enclosed within puff pastry, Beignets- small fluffy donuts dusted with icing sugar, gorgeous little cookies in the shape of hands in Antwerpn, and of course the infamous Belgian waffles.

Be sure to visit: Kaffabar, Brussels, for its superb coffee, brunch and pastries

 

Indonesia

The 18,000 beautiful islands of Indonesia are the perfect destination for coffee lovers and hedonists. Take a look at any Instagram photo of exquisite latte art, alongside a colourful smoothie bowl and I almost guarantee that photo was taken in Bali.

This island is really leading the way in the coffee scene at the moment and really, what better way is there to spend the day than alternating between Bali’s many cafes and beaches?

Be sure to visit: Bali bowls for its healthy brunch, coffee and juice options

 

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Cuba

There’s something romantic and nostalgic about how Cuba paused in time, and that goes for its coffee culture as well as its cars. A cafe Cubana is the country’s traditional drink and is made with whipped sugar and coffee, giving the drink a sweet and foamy top layer.

One of my favourite experiences in the country was driving along the quiet road from Havana to Trinidad and making a stop at a little roadside cafe, full of locals and joining the long queue for a coffee. It’s nice to think that as Cuba opens to tourism and start to change, that coffee will always be a certainty.

Be sure to visit: Café El Escorial, Havana, for an authentic Cuban Coffee shop with coffee roasted on site.

 South Africa

The coffee business is booming in South Africa at the moment. The country is home to Black Insomnia Coffee, officially the worlds strongest coffee, and its cafes have been ranked some of the best in the world.

In the past a coffee in South Africa meant an instant one. However a love of coffee has been brewing and in recent years the industry has boomed. Now if you take a visit to Capetown you’ll find it bursting with coffee shops and eateries.

Be sure to visit: Truth Coffee, Cape Town, previously voted the worlds best coffee shop for its quirky decor and hand roasted coffee.

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 UK

I had to put the UK on my coffee list. We’re a country known largely for our love affair with tea, but in recent years our love of coffee has steadily grown too.

We haven’t invented any remarkably different coffee drinks but what we have done is learnt from the best.

If you’re visiting London then head out of the city centre to find the best coffee shops. Camden, Shoreditch and Brixton have plenty of quirky cafes to choose from. Other UK cities such as Manchester, Bristol and Brighton also have thriving cafe scenes.

Be sure to visit: If you’re around Covent Garden in London then be sure to check out Neals Yard Courtyard. This little area is well hidden and has a bunch of good cafes, offering a little sanctuary in the heart of the busy city.

 

Portugal

Portugal often gets forgotten about when it comes to food and drink, compared to its Mediterranean neighbours but it’s high up there as a foodie destination. With its cobblestone streets, spectacular architecture and quaint trams, Lisbon is the ideal place to grab a cup of coffee.

The drink of choice is an espresso, that’s um Bica in Lisbon, (or um Combolinho in Porto).  You can also order coffees with milk like a latte, um Galao, but like in Italy it tends to be frowned upon to order these after lunch.

Of course no coffee in Portugal is complete with a Pateis de Nata, thats custard tart to you and me.

Be sure to visit: The best place to get custard tarts are at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem. This established pattiserie sells thousands of tarts each day and always has a queue out of the door, but a Portuguese tart warm out of the oven is something worth waiting for.

 

Mexico 

Everything in Mexico is vibrant and exciting, and that goes for its coffee culture too. Cafe de Olla is the country’s traditional beverage and is made up of coffee, cinnamon, sugar and orange peel

Traditionally these ingrediants are heated together in a clay pot, which contributes to the coffee’s unique flavour.

Be sure to visit: Cafe Passmar in Mexico city for its authentic coffee

 

Do you know any other great countries that coffee lovers should visit? Share your comments below.