Did you know that the world consumes close to 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day? What better way to celebrate International Coffee Day than a roundup of the best coffee shops from travel bloggers, either places they’ve stumbled upon whilst travelling or their favourite local coffee spots.
International Coffee Day is on the 1st of October. From the 29th of September there will be more than 70 events in 35 countries around the world celebrating International Coffee Day.
Make sure you don’t forget to use #InternationalCoffeeDay when you upload those amazing coffee cups or spots on the 1st of October.
Here are our picks of the Best Coffee Shops Around the World…
1. Black Lab in London, UK
I discovered this fantastic coffee shop when I was living in Clapham and have been in love with their coffee ever since. The owner even convinced me to move to oat milk over soya milk, trust me it’s so much better!
It’s not your usual coffee place where you pick a latte or cappuccino. You start with choosing what blend you want, followed by milk choice, oat, almond or milk, then lastly volume 6 oz, 8 oz or 10 oz.
The blends change regularly so you always have something new to try occasionally making the decision harder. Stuck on choice? The staff are helpful, friendly and knowledgeable.
If the coffee doesn’t win you over then their counter full of delicious looking sandwiches and cakes should.
2. Freedom Cafe in Durban, South Africa
Our favourite coffee spot in Durban, South Africa is a very quirky little café ‘called The Freedom Café’. The Freedom Cafe’s part of a boutique Hotel in the centre of the city but what makes it so unique is it a converted shipping container painted fire red with an added glass room and finished off with very trendy decor. This quirky little spot oodles with character and makes the best cappuccino that you can enjoy in their magical garden with your pooch.
3. Mazarine Café in San Francisco, USA
I am not a huge coffee drinker, but if I have to get my cup of Joe, I stop by Mazarine Cafe to get my caffeine fix. Mazarine cafe is located on San Francisco’s busy Market street and is a cute french cafe with minimalistic decor, great coffee selection (espresso, drips and cold brew) and lip smacking delicious food such as avocado toast and ginger molasses cookie. Their coffee is ethically sourced from all over the world, including South America and India and like most cafes in San Francisco, you can get your beverage lactose free by requesting almond or soy milk. Mazarin’s restroom has a super funky decor made of book covers plastered all over the walls. I love visiting this tiny quiet spot when I am in down town San Francisco for a hot drink and something to eat. They also have a small outdoor patch with bright yellow tables and chairs that are perfect to soak in the San Francisco sun or visit with your dog.
4. Lab Roasters in Tarrytown in New York, USA
Okay, so if I had to pick just one coffee shop to frequent for the rest of my life, it would be Coffee Lab Roasters in Tarrytown, New York. Where is Tarrytown you may wonder? Well, it is just next door to a little town called Sleepy Hallow that you may have heard of (Headless Horseman anyone?). And they serve the best coffee that I have ever had in my life.
I mean sure, the staff are passionate about what they do and create foam cats and elephants in you cappuccino but the real star here is the coffee. Here, they serve espresso that is bold, rich, and vibrant in flavour but that also doesn’t overpower you with bitterness. Just a truly divine coffee experience that is enhanced by both the local artwork that adorns the walls and the local artists who routinely have musical gigs here; a truly fun and flavourful experience for anyone in the area.
5. Café Sucre in Panama City, Panama
My search for Panama’s famous geisha coffee led my husband and I to Café Sucre, a vibrant coffee shop in Panama City’s Casco Viejo neighbourhood. Café Sucre had everything I love in a coffee shop: it was lively and upbeat, packed with both locals and visitors, and staffed with baristas whose genuine enthusiasm for great coffee and service made us feel at home.
While the menu offers all of the coffee drinks you may expect to find at a great coffeehouse, the geisha coffee was truly memorable. Geisha coffee is recognized as the most expensive coffee in the world; because it is grown at a higher altitude than most other coffee beans, a single pound can sell for more than 50 USD! Our barista prepared the coffee right at our table while we watched; he poured hot water over the grinds and let it steep for close to five minutes before serving us. The wait was worth it; geisha coffee is deliciously light and floral, and we were happy to take our time to enjoy it as baristas stopped by our table to check on us and chat with us about our travels. When our cups were empty and it was time to leave, we felt like we were saying goodbye to great friends. When my travels take me through Panama City, Café Sucre will always be my first stop!
6. El Cariñito Cafe in Medellin, Columbia
Sourcing good coffee is top of my priority list when arriving in a new city. Good coffee, free wifi and cheap beer (usually in that order). While I love South America for many, many reasons, I can’t claim to have forgiven it for disappointing us on the coffee front on sooooo many occasions. Luckily, little gems like El Cariñito Cafe in Medellin exist, for a much-needed caffeine fix.
Nestled in a quiet street of Medellin, close to the popular area of El Poblado, El Cariñito is quirky and cool. With giant, neon-lit signage adorning its walls and furniture made out of vintage suitcases, it is hipster heaven. This place isn’t just all style though, it packs a seriously good coffee punch.
Medellin can be oppressively hot during the summer months, so our go-to was the Coffee Frappucino to help cool down. Really good frappucinos are hard to find, sometimes too sweet or too watery. El Cariñito got it bang-on; cold, creamy and coffee-y with a liberal dollop of chocolate sauce for a bit of sweetness. A total refresher, under the hot Medellin sun. All served in a recycled jam jar, obvs.
7. Mirabelle Bakery in Copenhagen, Denmark
I don’t drink a lot of coffee, but there is something so delicious about a good iced coffee in the summertime that I find hard to resist! During my first trip to Copenhagen in June, I discovered a coffee shop called Mirabelle Bakery (through Instagram – which is always a great way to find pretty, yummy spots to eat!) and fell in love with the atmosphere and their iced coffee. Their chocolate croissants were also to die for! They have a gorgeous organic café serving, brunch, lunch and dinner attached to their coffee window, which looks out onto a bustling little street in the artsy Inner Nørrebro neighbourhood. I got two iced coffees (I would’ve gotten a third, but didn’t want to give myself a heart attack from all the espresso!) and just sat and enjoyed taking it all in. The service was friendly and cheerful, the coffee and croissant perfection. I could’ve stayed there all day. I highly recommend checking Mirabelle out next time you’re in Copenhagen!
8. Bluebirds’ Nest, Hanoi, Vietnam
It can be a difficult task to find a really relaxing cafe but this place has it down to a tee. Tucked down a little alleyway and nestled between houses, it is filled with cushions and books and accompanied by some chilled music. There is a lovely roof terrace filled with plants which is great for evenings/ cooler days. They have a great selection of coffees, smoothies and food. My favourite is their delicious passionfruit smoothie. It is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, read and take a break from the chaotic Hanoi streets. I went there every week when I lived in Hanoi, and I’m always searching for another quiet oasis that can compare with it.
9. Vietanmese Egg Coffee
Vietnam is really famous for their coffee. The number of experiments that each café performs on their coffee is sometimes mindboggling. One of the most epic coffees that I have tasted was the Egg coffee. This particular coffee is a specialty of Hanoi but I only got to taste it once we reached Cat Ba island. The Vietnamese egg coffee is an acquired taste. At first I thought that they used the white of the egg to give it the flavor. It was only later that I learnt that the Vietnamese use the yolk of the egg. They whisk it with sugar before adding it to coffee mix.
Yup! The description makes many people squirm but I have to say that it was one of the best coffees I have ever tasted. I tried searching for it in the rest of Vietnam but was sadly disappointed. If I had to describe the taste of the coffee I would say that it tastes a lot like a warm tiramisu. The coffee really needs to be had as a desert. I loved it! I’m so glad that I got a chance to try it and I keep recommending it to everyone who heads over to Vietnam.
Where is your favourite coffee spot?