Coffee is what I like to call a universal beverage. The pleasure you experience upon waking up to the smell of coffee is the same, wherever in the world you may be.
In many countries coffee has evolved into more than just a morning beverage, it has become both a craft and a culture. Restaurants spend years creating a signature brew, and countless sidewalk cafes thrive and survive, on coffee alone.
Going out for coffee also includes a lot of people-watching and animated conversations. Brilliant ideas have been borne of a cup of coffee. Friendships have been made and alliances formed over a steaming brew. Some people actually seek out the best coffee houses and include them in their itineraries when traveling.
If you love traveling, what’s better than combining coffee and travel? The city of Prague even hosts an annual coffee festival. Prague Coffee Festival
Here are five suggestions as to where, in Europe, to go for a cup of coffee.
5 Best Destinations in Europe for Coffee
Destination, Rome, Italy
In 2014, Italy was ranked 12th among countries that consume the most kilograms of coffee. Thus, it is not surprising that the words cappuccino, espresso, and latte were coined in this coffee drinkers’ paradise.
Italians prefer their coffee bold, and when in Rome, you will not see the locals rushing about as they hold their hot cups of latte. Here, coffee is meant to be enjoyed in a quick shot standing at the counter. Of course, a latte or a cappuccino will take longer to drink but in general, the locals do not linger over their morning cafe’.
Immerse yourself in the coffee-loving atmosphere of Rome at any number of cafes in the historical center. It’s next to impossible to get a bad coffee in Rome. At the popular cafe near the Pantheon, do as the Romans do at Sant’ Eustachio Cafe. Check out the website and you’ll see what I mean about standing up while taking your coffee. If you want to be among a younger crowd, choose one of the trendy cafes that line Piazza Madonna dei Monti.
Best coffee in Vienna, Austria
Vienna is one of Europe’s more conservative destinations and is one of the smaller capital cities on the continent. However, its small size is more than compensated by its rich coffee culture. Its grand palaces are complemented by small coffee houses that offer some of the best coffees in the world.
Several of these coffee houses have been around for a century already, making them tourist destinations of themselves. Cafe Central, Demel, and Griensteindl are just some of the grand old coffee houses that have always been go-to places for locals and tourists alike. Newer establishments such as Alt Wien Kaffee are starting to carve their place in Viennese coffee history.
Coffee in Paris, France
According to 2007 figures, each person in France consumes approximately 5.4 kilograms of coffee. That may seem a lot but to the average Parisian, it is natural. The French treat their coffee like they treat their lovers – languidly and lovingly.
There is no rush to consume a cup here, or should I say a bowl? Breakfast coffee in Paris is often served in a bowl to accommodate the dipping of delicate croissants. If you want to not only drink your coffee but also take some time to learn the proper roasting and preparation of the beans, visit La Caféothèque de Paris. If you have more fashionable tastes, walk across the Gardens Tuilleries toward Angelina Café, which was frequented by Coco Chanel.
Cafe con leche, Barcelona, Spain
Spaniards fall in 21st place as the highest coffee consumers in the world. Spain offers varying strengths of brewed goodness, the most popular ones being Café Solo, which is actually a single shot of espresso, and the Café con Leche, which is a weaker blend with milk that locals enjoy in the morning.
Barcelona offers secluded coffee shops in the more quiet areas of the city, such as in passageways and neighborhoods not located near the main roads. This enables you to appreciate your cup of coffee without any distractions from busy streets or noisy crowds.
Visit the neighborhoods of El Raval and Gracia for some of the best coffee shops. If you love pastries with your coffee, visit Caelum and sample the brews and baked treats. If you want to mix with a young crowd, Café Salambó is the place to be.
No trip to Europe would be complete without having an authentic coffee experience. Whether you want to have an afternoon pick-me-up or simply have a day to spend relaxing, take a seat at one of Europe’s coffee houses.
Given all these beautiful destinations in Europe alone, it is no wonder that travelers would find that a whole itinerary can be made with the sole focus on coffee!