Sure, you need that caffeine fix to start your day. But how far would your love of coffee take you? Consider these spectacular coffee regions around the world for your next vacation — and you'll be guaranteed a perfect cup every time... with plenty of adventure on the side.
Italy is a special spot if you love coffee. Obviously, in this location known for the espresso and the cappuccino — it's delicious. But It's also very affordable — and there's a reason for that. It's a crucial part of socializing in Italy! There are approximately 150,000 bars, and a lot of these are intimate cafes. "The varieties for coffee in Italy are never-ending. In Milan, ask for a Tazzotta, which is an espresso with a creamy milk foam offered in a big and thick cup and some cacao on top. It gives you the sense of indulgence. In Bologna, the best coffee for the summer is the Estivo at Canton de Fiori in the central Via Indipendenza," says Elena Bisio, C.E.O. and co-founder at Foody. In Veneto there are also two great and historical family producers: Goppion Family in Padova and Dersut Family in Treviso.
There are a bunch of reasons why Nicaragua is a great place to visit if you love coffee, but the obvious would have to be because Nicaragua produces some amazing coffee beans, on par with the best in the world. “Many countries were actually purchasing Nicaraguan coffee and passing it off as their own," says Daniel Paguaga, the owner of Miami coffee roaster Relentless Roasters. "It isn't until now that the world is starting to realize just how amazing the coffee is down there!"
Visit coffee plantations and local markets or hike up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa — visiting this country is unforgettable as is the bright, vibrant, and sometimes berry-like flavor of the local coffee. "For coffee lovers, there are few places in the world that rival the quality and ubiquity of coffee farming," says Patrick Ziemnik, travel expert and Rustic Pathways Tanzania country director. Even better, he says, is visiting a fair trade coffee farm. "There we really get to see how coffee comes to be, from the very beginning of the process, to the growth of the perfect bean, all the way through to the cups we drink at the end. To be that close to the production of something most of us drink on a daily basis, and which industry supplies jobs for many of the people we come to know in our time in Tanzania, is a rare treat for those curious and adventurous enough to get there."
You are probably already familiar with the Kona coffee of Hawaii: It’s probably one of the most famous coffees in the world, but its cousin bean, Kauai Coffee, deserves your attention as well. “When I think of Hawaiian beverages, my first thought is mai tais, but the coffee on the island of Kauai has a cult following all its own, thanks to the 4 million coffee trees on the 3,000-acre Kauai Coffee plantation,” says Travelzoo senior editor Gabe Saglie. "The volcanic soil, the tropical rain, the trade winds — they all leave their mark on the quality of the beans at what is the largest coffee farm in the U.S. Kauai Coffee offers free guided walking tours, which show how your favorite morning beverage is grown, harvested and roasted, and include tastings of several estate coffees."
5. El Salvador
If you are fascinated by coffee culture (and not just the art of drinking copious amounts!), in El Salvador you can learn about the process from plant to cup: the proper methods of growing coffee beans, harvesting, sorting, drying, roasting, and the delicate process the fruit (that is right, a coffee bean is considered a fruit) goes through before it can be brewed into the iconic beverage that helps kick start your morning. "One of the most popular coffee plantations to visit is El Carmen Estate. Coffee production in El Salvador has fueled the Salvadoran economy and shaped its history for more than a century," says Robert Einhorn, North American representative for El Salvador Tourism.
For starters, because Colombia has so many different microclimates, there is coffee production all year round compared to other countries where there are just one or two harvests. This allows visitors to coffee farms to always see the process no matter the season. "The Colombian countryside is an amazing landscape filled with lots of colors, bio diversity, and best off all, amazingly happy people," says Steven Sutton, C.E.O. of Colombian coffee company Devocion. "All of this said, like most beautiful, untouched locations around the world, many of the natural coffee farms throughout Colombia are very hard to get to and require a bit of adventure and dedication.”
Jamaican’s world-renowned Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world; the majority of it is exported to Japan. Known for its mild flavor and lack of bitterness, only coffee that grows at least 2,000 feet above sea level and in the Blue Mountain range is called 100 percent Blue Mountain Coffee. In this hilly, rugged terrain, the climate is cool with lots of rain and the soil is rich — considered the perfect condition for farming coffee.
8. Costa Rica
Coffee took root in Costa Rica near the end of the 1700s, and continues to be important to the country's economy. For example, set on a 30-acre coffee plantation, Costa Rica Marriott San Jose is a colonial hacienda that has incorporated the coffee bean into its cultural programming. It features an on-site coffee curator that hosts latte design classes and instructs how to best harvest coffee at home. “The [Costa Rican] culture revolves around each cup, and there is a large movement taking place there to grow organic coffee, so there are these small mom and pop coffee growers churning out delicious beans," says Adventure Girl's Stefanie Michaels.
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