5 Unique Coffee Experiences Around the World
In some parts of the world, coffee is an essential part of their culture. For them, it takes more than a delicious cup of coffee to qualify as a good coffee experience and no, we’re not referring to those posh coffeehouses with fancy cups and unusual décor.
Here we list down five of our favorite unique coffee experiences around the world that aren’t “hipster cafes”.
1. Indonesia – Munduk coffee plantation
Specialty coffee has become extremely popular in Bali, resulting in a veritable explosion of coffee houses all over the island.
Many of them can be found in Munduk, a beautiful village in northern Bali. Munduk is known for three things: incredible sunset views, gorgeous hiking trails, and coffee plantations. At these coffee plantations, you can pay a small price to sample all the coffee they have to offer, with a small premium added for the most expensive coffee of all – Luwak coffee.
This unique coffee is made using the excretion of Asian palm civets, giving it a more robust and fuller flavor. Coupled with its ridiculous price (up to up to US$3,000 per kilo!), Luwak coffee is an acquired taste not for the faint of heart.
Nonetheless, the Munduk plantation offers one of the most delightful coffee experiences you’ll find in the region.
2. Colombia – Tinto
Not every coffee experience is about exquisite taste, because some of the best coffee in the world are the simplest ones. In Colombia, you’ll find there’s a clear distinction between an average cup of tinto and the premium gourmet coffee found in cafés.
Tinto roughly translates to “inky water” and its preparation style, or lack thereof. This streetside coffee is usually thicker and more concentrated, made with commodity-quality beans and sold in very small cups. This makes it the perfect pick-me-up drink in the morning when you’re out exploring Columbia. Plus, with street vendors selling it a stone’s throw apart from each other, you’re never far from another delicious cup!
3. Southern India – Kaapi
Kaapi can be found in many roadside coffee stalls. What makes it unique is the way it’s prepared and enjoyed. The drink is served in a metal tumbler along with a “dabarah” – a deep saucer where you pour the coffee back and forth until it reaches your preferred drinking temperature. Drinking from the cup is optional.
This sinfully sweet concoction is usually served with lots of sugar, just the way South Indians like it. So if you’re not too fond of sugar, you’ll want to request your server to leave it out of your kaapi.
4. Italy – Al banco
In Italy, it’s common for locals to have their coffee al banco – standing at the bar with coffee cups in their hands while chatting with friends. You’ll also notice that the coffee is usually had at the cafés themselves, so you can imagine how noisy it can get!
Many Italians also practice ‘caffe sospeso’ (suspended coffee). A customer would pay for two cups of coffee but have only one, leaving the other for a total stranger to enjoy it for free! Their love for coffee is so great that they wouldn’t mind sharing another cup of coffee with the next person. Sadly, this tradition is slowly fading away, but don’t be surprised if your cup of coffee has been paid for during your next visit.
5. Vietnam – More than just drip coffee
Coffee is considered to be a core part of Vietnam’s culture, so much that entire streets have become go-to spots for coffee. One of the best places to experience Vietnam’s unique coffee flavors is in Trieu Viet Vuong street in Hanoi. Here you’ll find coffee shops in historical buildings, and many coffee lovers sitting on the walkway with their fix.
While in Hanoi, remember to check out Vietnamese egg coffee (Cà Phê Trứng). This unique coffee was first popularized in the 1940s, when milk was scarce and yolks were used as a convenient replacement. It’s a hot cup of Vietnamese black coffee whipped with egg yolk and condensed milk to make a rich concoction. Scrumptious!
Have a unique cup of coffee experience to share? Let us know in the comments!