6 Destinations for Coffee Lovers

FogStock / thinkstock.com

FogStock / thinkstock.com

You’ve heard of wine, beer, and even chocolate tours, but how about something for the java fans out there? There’s just something about a fresh cup of coffee that rouses the deepest sleepers, perks up ardent morning-loathers, and brings friends together like nothing else. Whether you’re a cultivated connoisseur or a java newbie, these 6 bean-oriented destinations are guaranteed to get your excitement percolating.

Kenya
Peruse the labels at any speciality coffee shop and you’re bound to spot at least a few choice beans from this East African coffee-producing powerhouse. In order to get a truly memorable experience, consider booking a coffee tour or safari which are offered by several companies and promise to give your caffeine journey a little structure as well as an educational component. Options range from casual visits to in-depth sessions suited for serious connoisseurs, all are wonderful and very much worthwhile.

Nicaragua
Thanks to spectacular eco-lodges, Nicaragua is the best place for coffee aficionados to get up close and person to their beloved beans, both pre and post harvest. Coffee farms like Selva Negra give tourists the chance to fully immerse themselves in the stunning landscape and spend some time becoming one with nature. Educational tours give visitors the chance to learn the ins and outs of coffee production and should your trip happen to fall between November and February, you can participate in the coffee picking. Talk about a fresh cup of joe!

Italy
One of the first things that visitors notice about Italian coffee culture is that it’s nothing like what you experience in North America. Coffee isn’t a drive-thru latte on your way to work, rather it’s carefully crafted part of daily life full of ritual and tradition. Take some time before your trip to brush up on local customs, it’s nice to know that cappuccinos are only for mornings whereas espresso is best suited for lunch and late afternoon.

Kona, Hawaii
The Kona district of Hawaii is so keen on coffee that they have an annual festival dedicated to it. True java lovers should absolutely make an effort to be there for the event that takes place in November aka prime coffee season. When not attending coffee picking contests, feel free to spend some time chatting with local producers or better yet, make plans to take a tour of one of the nearby farms. Once you’ve seen all there is to see, sit back with a cup of the incredible brew and take in Miss Kona Coffee, a pageant that you won’t find anywhere else.

Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s best known coffee export may be a certain green siren but true coffee buffs know that this coastal city has a lot more to offer in the ways of caffeine culture. Citizens of Seattle are serious about coffee which means that the countless local cafes really have to keep on top of their game if they want to stay in business. The result of this constant competition is really, really good coffee and baristas who are serious about their art. You won’t have to look far to find a good cup as there are cafes attached to just about everything including laundromats, music venues, and independent book shops.

Havana, Cuba
Coffee is an integral part of Cuban culture and any self-respecting appreciator of fine brews will want to make Havana part of their global tour, no questions asked. Experiencing Café Cubano (espresso mixed with sugar while it brews) is one of life’s simplest pleasures, as is a cup of Cafe con Leche, made with sweetened condensed milk please. While you sip, consider the fact that the history of Cuban coffee can be traced back to one single plant, which is pretty amazing when you think about it.

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