Coffee and travel - these two words may seem unrelated but when coupled together represent the biggest joys of my life. For a coffee lover who loves to travel, I look forward to savoring coffee at local cafes in the area. Irrespective of whether the city is known for its coffee, the idea of sampling the most basic beverage that charges the wandering mind is something worth exploring. And this desire does not translate into trying it out at wide spread chains located all over the country. It does not include expensive cafes known for its high priced menu. The thought is to check out some humble cafes to sample what the area has to offer.
Blame it on my coffee loving genes or accept it as a well-crafted excuse to try it wherever I go, I believe coffee represents the local vibe of the place to a certain extent. It is not the only factor to judge a city, but surely one of the many aspects that stands for the area. Coffee cannot represent the place from A-Z, but it certainly points to some letters of the series. While blending my love for coffee with an exciting passion for travel, I am able to reach to the core of the place. Call it my way of touching the new land, this beverage does bridge the gap in some manner. With coffee as my first buddy in an unknown city, it poses as an excellent ice-breaker.
Start with the first cup of coffee in the city and I undoubtedly feel much safer, friendlier, familiar and happier in the new place. It opens up the route to explore all the wonders that the city has to offer. Hence without any doubt, it pumps up excitement for the journey ahead. Along with the long list of ‘must-visit’ spots in the city, I also chalk down ‘must-try’ cafes to ensure a fulfilled trip. Be it going out of my way to sample these famous coffees or trying out whatever appears on the path, the experience turns into something memorable. To say I include ‘coffee-sampling’ as one of the to-do tasks in the new city will not be an understatement because it is certainly an important activity during my trip.
With this thought in mind, let me share some of the amazing coffees sampled at some of the amazing cities around the country. This list may seem too small to be actually called a list. But at least penning them down will make me realize that there are so many places left unexplored. It will prompt me to make travel plans, while I hop from one city to the other, with a coffee mug in hand.
1. New York City, New York
For a multi-cultural city with a happening vibe all through the year, New York City does not sleep indeed. It has so much to offer for every kind of tourist. From museums to typical tourist attractions, historical architecture to unique cuisines, zoos to parks, and museums to shopping centers, the city has lots to do, see and explore. I fell in love with its vibe at the very instant I landed here, increasing my excitement to tick off the items from the list. Just watching the skyline across the mighty Hudson River makes you spellbound. With this mesmerizing essence all through the trip, I was glad to satisfy my coffee craving taste buds too. It started with an amazing cappuccino at the Aroma espresso bar followed by some more.
Brooklyn roasting company gave me company all through the trip. With many locations around the city, this humble coffee introduced me to the local vibe. Strong, simple, yet powerful, the taste offered good preview of the place. It represents a simple café with good spread of latte, cappuccino, Americano or plain black coffee as you please. I enjoyed its unique blend of simplicity with a powerful effect, making it ideal to represent this famous city around the globe.
2. Portland, Oregon
Neighboring the coffee-famous state of Washington, Oregon is no less when it comes to this powerful beverage. Portland ranks one of the best cities with variety of cafes to its credit. Our first introduction to its famous coffee began right at the airport where we savored an excellent cappuccino at Portland roasting company. With its lingering happiness at the start of the trip, I was assured of a wonderful time ahead. As we explored the streets and downtown of the city, I couldn’t stop myself from pointing excitedly at every café along the way. And though I would have loved to sample coffee at each one of them, I had to limit myself to a decent number. Home base to the well-known Stumptown coffee roasters, Portland city welcomes one to sample its signature coffee. Stumptown varieties are full- bodied with an excellent blend of charm, strength, pride and love. It represents the city flawlessly that is adored for its landscape, simplicity and natural beauty.
3. Chicago, Illinois
This windy city has a beautiful landscape that is worth exploring. With tall skyscrapers, picturesque river front, magical Michigan Lake and a vibrant downtown, we enjoyed every bit of our trip. And since the city gave me access to some of the best coffees in the area, I cannot stop myself from penning down long sentences full of praises. Chicago is known for its rich collection of coffee. From small local cafes in the neighborhood to classy up-scale ones, there are many options for coffee lovers. Café Jumping bean and Bridgeport coffee company welcomed us to the local vibes with fresh taste of a fresh brew.
4. San Francisco Bay Area, California
Though our 60 miles short trip to SF rarely counts as a journey, it is fun to explore some of the best coffees in this picturesque city. Since our close proximity grants us easy access, we end up sampling something new quite often. While dear husband is big fan of their famous Blue bottle cappuccinos, I prefer other local varieties. Philz coffee has won my heart with their unique mint coffee. Another interesting spot ‘the Interval at Long Now’ offers excellent cappuccinos coupled with rich collection of books. Artis café at the neighboring city of Berkeley showered the perfect mix of modern look and humble nature of this lively place. From Chromatic coffee at San Jose to Fins coffee, Verve roasters and Coffeetopia at Santacruz, the SF and surrounding areas have limitless options. Thanks to such wide variety close to home, I can patiently wait before embarking on a trip, yet again.
Besides these cities, I enjoyed the bitter-sweet beverage at Dallas, Denver, Buffalo and Washington DC. While there are many more spots left to be explored, I can hardly wait to pair my love for coffee with the equally strong love for traveling.
Do you share the same affection for coffee or look forward to some other local variety? Do you enjoy exploring places around the globe or find happiness in your neighborhood?
Find your fix and enjoy the path for life is best lived when explored to the fullest....