The 8 Best Coffee Cities Around the World

For those who love it, coffee isn’t just nice jolt of caffeine -- it's a necessary day-starter. Coffee culture is deeply related to café culture, but the two are actually entirely different entities that operate separately. There are cities like Paris that are world-renowned for their beautiful café culture, but that actually serve sub par, bitter coffee. (We know some people really love their French roast, though.) On the other hand, there are cities that revolve around their java, serving up only the best brew to an eager and educated caffeine clientele -- but their late-night cafe scene may be just okay. Today at least, we're interested in the places that are thriving and innovating in the third wave of coffee culture, and we've found out just what you need to know. In short, if you're ever in these eight cities, run in the opposite direction of every international coffee chain you see, because the locals have the perfect brew down pat.

Melbourne, Australia

Photo by rmc2412, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by rmc2412, Flickr Creative Commons

Many people don’t think of Australia as a coffee capital of the world, but Melbourne is just that. Lined with tiny lanes and open-air cafés, this Australian city has a coffee culture that runs deep, and to say that Melbourne baristas take pride in their work is putting it lightly. Latte art is serious art in Melbourne, and the coffee craze isn’t just a hipster fad; it’s actually deeply rooted in Melbourne’s history. Italian immigrants brought their cultural heritage, including the now beloved espresso drinks, down under in the mid 20th century. Locals opt for menu options such as flat whites, long blacks, and classic cappuccinos.

Our Hotel Pick: Art Series- The Blackman

The Blackman is a sophisticated property with a strong focus on art. The rooms are modern and spacious, and equipped with kitchenettes, art books and magazines, and balconies. There is a gym and restaurant on-site and bicycles are available for rent.

Seattle, Washington

The original Starbucks is still located in Pike Place Market in Seattle and it attracts coffee lovers daily. As you know, Starbucks is now a behemoth organization, with around 10,000 locations open around the world. But Starbucks isn’t Seattle’s only claim to coffee fame; it started the coffee revolution as a whole. The Emerald City now has the highest concentration of coffee houses in the country -- 2.5 for every 1,000 citizens to be precise; many are alternative, indie holes in the wall. And, hey: Based on the dreary weather that’s characteristic of the Pacific Northwest, it’s understandable why Seattleites are always eager to get their hands on some top-notch coffee goodness.

Our Hotel Pick: Hyatt at Olive 8

This property is eco-friendly from top to bottom and boasts sleek and upscale rooms with water and city views. It has a fantastic location in Downtown Seattle and a stunning destination spa and fitness facility. 

Rome, Italy

Photo by David Morrison, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by David Morrison, Flickr Creative Commons

Drinking coffee in Rome is as habitual as drinking water; it’s just a normal part of everyone’s day. And as the birthplace of drinks like Cappuccinos and Café Lattes, this Italian capital rightfully deserves a spot on any coffee list. If you’re in Rome and looking to drink coffee like the locals, you must remember to only drink your frothy espresso drinks in the morning, and never after a meal. Italians prefer to drink plain espresso during the afternoon and evenings because of the belief that milk disrupts digestion and should not be drunk on a full stomach. So as the saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do...and drink espresso in the afternoon. 

Our Hotel Pick: Albergo Del Senato

This property has a standout location facing the Pantheon in downtown Rome. There is a beautiful rooftop terrace with sweeping views and the rooms have upscale bathrooms equipped with towel warmers. All rooms have small flat-screen TVs and some boast great city views.

Oslo, Norway

Photo by Luana De Albuquerque, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Luana De Albuquerque, Flickr Creative Commons

When you think coffee, your mind may immediately travel to somewhere like Italy, but actually Scandinavians drink the most coffee in the world per capita. Norway only falls behind Finland in annual coffee consumption per person, and as a result you can expect a really charming café and coffee scene when traveling to Oslo. Norwegians tend to drink their coffee black, and the roasting process is particularly light, which results in coffee with an almost fruity flavor and aroma. Norwegians are known to have their coffee at breakfast, before lunch, and after lunch, and then again before and after dinner. And as if that wasn't fabulous enough, if you’re a sweet tooth, you’ll love coffee culture in Norway even more because there are always cakes and cookies involved.

Our Hotel Pick: Comfort Hotel Grand Central

This historic property has a unique design and it attached to Oslo’s main train station. There is colorful artwork all over the hotel, including in the rooms, and there are modern amenities throughout. There is a 24-hour fitness center as well.

Vienna, Austria

Photo by Rene, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Rene, Flickr Creative Commons

Coffee in Vienna is a classy affair. Viennese coffee houses are beautiful and grand, often referred to as the country’s public living rooms. When stopping in one of these fabulous establishments, one cannot simply order a cup of coffee but rather must sift through the lengthy options of crafted java drinks. To order a cappuccino, for example, you ask for a “Melange,” which is a combination of frothed milk and steamed coffee -- it's a Viennese classic. The coffee houses in Vienna also serve delicious cakes, cookies, and pastries, making them places to take your time and indulge, rather than to just grabbing the caffeine and running.

Our Hotel Pick: The Guesthouse Vienna

This property has an excellent location in the heart of the city and boasts modern rooms with wine and minibars. The restaurant serves fare that's popular with the locals and the brasserie and bakery bakes its own pastries and roasts its own coffee.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Photo by TOTORORO.RORO, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by TOTORORO.RORO, Flickr Creative Commons

Coffee culture exploded in Vancouver during the early 1970s because of the city's close proximity to Seattle, which made early shipments of Starbucks coffee affordable. Since that time, coffee culture has continued to take off in this Canadian city and there is a big emphasis on independently owned cafes. Today, Vancouverites routinely look beyond large chains like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s, choosing to opt for well-crafted microbrews instead. So if you're into riding the third wave of coffee culture, Vancouver has you covered in terms of original, fair trade, and organic coffee that's ethically sourced and tastes amazing. 

Our Hotel Pick: L'Hermitage Hotel

The L’Hermitage Hotel boasts a great location in downtown Vancouver, and is in walking distance of many restaurants and shops. Rooms have modern amenities and the property has a heated saltwater lap pool and elegant breakfast lounge.

Manila, Phillippines

Photo by Toffee Albeus, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Toffee Albeus, Flickr Creative Commons

Manila is actually known for its abundance of international coffee chains, but these days, third wave is beginning to dominate. Manila is a city that has has accepted the challenge of bringing the coffee consumption experience to the next level, and any caffeine connoisseur that visits the city is sure to take notice. Specialty coffee shops are popping up all over the city, many of which are locally owned and focused on the individuality and creativity of their coffee beverages. These java shops are serving up specialty grade, handcrafted espresso, and with a particularly large focus on latte art, your cup of Joe will be picture perfect and Instagram ready!

Our Hotel Pick: The Bayleaf

The Bayleaf boasts modern, stylish rooms and a convenient location close to numerous attractions. There is a rooftop with live music, drinks, and panoramic views, and a top-floor restaurant serving up international cuisine. There is also a free breakfast buffet.

Taipei, Taiwan

Photo by Faye Gonzalez, Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Faye Gonzalez, Flickr Creative Commons

Many may think of Taipei as a tea destination because of its rich Chinese heritage, but this thriving city is actually a mecca for coffee drinkers. Coffee culture is deeply embedded in Taiwan's history, as the Dutch brought the magic beans over when they colonized the area in the mid 1600s. Today there are now around 2,000 coffee houses in the city and they're where you can find most of Taipei's young people spending their time -- rather than at bars. The shops separate themselves by having their own unique themes, such as the Barbie Cafe in downtown Taipei which is, of course, Barbie themed and decked out entirely in pink. No matter what espresso kick you're into, Taipei and its funky cafes have it perfected -- trust us.

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