Every day is International Coffee Day as far as I’m concerned, but the official day of the bean was yesterday.
For coffee lovers, it’s a holy day that celebrates the stuff that makes mornings happen.
Speaking of holy coffee, did you know that it was once known as ‘Satan’s drink’?
In fact, it was an open-minded Pope who decided that it was no longer the drink of the devil and fit for Christian consumption, which is how coffee became so big in the Western world.
The world’s best coffee comes from all over the world. The origins of coffee are global, of course: 15th-century Arabs were the first to cultivate coffee and a Frenchman was behind the 1843 debut of the world’s first commercial espresso machine.
There have been a few leaps forward since then, and we don’t mean the advent of the Frappuccino.
“People are more and more interested in where the beans come from, and how they’re harvested and roasted,” says New Zealand coffee producer Nick Clark of Flight Coffee Unlimited. “There are so many variables involved in producing a great cup of coffee these days, and the industry has had to evolve to meet growing consumer expectations.”
As for where you can find the best coffee in the world – read on:
Wellington, New Zealand
A flat white is basically a latte with less milk. It was also invented in Sydney and perfected in Wellington, New Zealand.
“Wellington-ites really know their coffee, and there is a very high standard being served around the city,” says Clark. “Wellington is also a small city. There’s a lot of interaction between consumers and professionals, which helps our industry to improve and grow.”
They also describe coffee as a “religion”. Anyone else spotting a trend here?
They love coffee so much in Melbourne that they even host an annual coffee expo.
While lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites remain popular, piccolo lattes (made with less milk so the espresso tastes stronger) are the drink du jour.
Apparently, it’s nearly impossible to find a bad cup of coffee there.
Vietnam is one of the biggest producers of coffee beans in the world.
When Vietnam was a colony of France, the French established coffee plantations across the country in the late 19th century, and, if you’re in the capital, Hanoi, you don’t have to go far for a fantastic cup.
You won’t find a flat white or an Americano there, though. Instead, if you don’t have the standard black coffee or coffee with condensed milk, then get ready for egg coffee which is a local favourite (and something I would never drink).
After the Dutch, Scandinavians have the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world.
While Finns drink the most among Scandinavians, Icelanders are also coffee-crazy. One generation ago, coffee and cake was a standard afternoon break, but people focused more on the quality of the cake than the coffee. That’s changed dramatically; now you can hardly walk a city block without passing a coffee shop.
Smaller businesses do very well in this region.
Coffee is an essential part of Italian culture.
But believe it or not, it’s not always that easy to find a decent espresso in Italy, with critics whispering that Italians have been resistant to adopt modern barista techniques.
For the best coffee that Italy has to offer, all roads lead to Rome.
Despite the fact that coffee was probably born in Africa (15th century Ethiopia), Nigeria has taken a while to get into coffee culture.
That’s changing in recent years, and statistics predict that Nigerians will drink 23% more coffee in 2020 than this year. And a coffee culture is, well, percolating, there, so get ahead of the trend by visiting — and tasting a local cup.
As for South Africa, it doesn’t get better than Importers Coffee.
Importers Coffee imports top quality coffees from the world’s leading equatorial coffee-growing regions, and they use the same coffee-brewing methods that have made them such a firm favourite over the years.
If you’re in the ‘burbs, swing by their famous shop in Newlands. Out and about in town? Grab a cup at Café du Cap (113 Loop Street).
You can also make Importers part of your early morning routine by stocking up on their pods and beans to use at home.
In short, if you can’t make it to some of these far-flung destinations, Importers brings the best in the world to you.
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