Skinny latte, espresso, extra shot Americano, decaf soy milk flat white – whether it gets you going in the morning or keeps you awake during the day, a good coffee is one of life’s simple pleasures. Here’s the Listopedia Bucket List for the best places around the world to get your caffeine buzz on.
Paying it forward: Caffe Mexico, Naples, Italy
For a city that runs on espresso, it’s no surprise the locals place a lot of importance on their daily fix. In fact, if the caffè sospeso concept is anything to go by, people believe it’s a basic human right. The suspended coffee idea started in Naples and has since spread across the world. The premise is simple – you order your coffee but pay for two, meaning someone in need can claim the coffee you bought earlier. Visit locals’ favourite and advocates of this generous scheme, Caffe Mexico on Piazza Dante.
Culture and caffeine: Snickarbacken 7, Stockholm, Sweden
Fancy a side of art with your morning coffee? Head to this all-in-one café, exhibition space and concept store situated down an unassuming alley in the uber-hip Swedish capital. While the stylish white-tiled coffee counter fights for space amid the homeware, antiques and regularly changing exhibitions, a long wooden table encourages fashionable coffee fans to linger over lunch.
Attention to detail: Blue Bottle Coffee, New York, USA
What started as a farmers’ market stand in California is now a small chain of boutique coffee stores stretching from San Francisco to Brooklyn. Much of the kit resembles a school science experiment, and the level of precision observed by the baristas is nothing short of breathtaking – the team meticulously weigh out coffee, carefully heat the water to the exact temperature and start the stopwatch to ensure the correct brewing times are maintained. Having banned plastic utensils, Blue Bottle Coffee champions Japanese glassware as the perfect vessels for brewing their insanely good coffee, which is packed and sold in compostable bags.
Vintage chic: The Vintage Emporium, London, UK
Home to modern art galleries, fashion-forward boutiques and up-to-the-minute music venues, Brick Lane is undoubtedly one of London’s top hipster haunts. But if you fancy a break from 21st-century pleasures, spend an afternoon at The Vintage Emporium – a Victorian-style tea room that shares its space with a treasure trove of clothes, furniture and ornaments from yesteryear.
Sheer opulence: Cafe Confeitaria Colombo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
With enormous jacaranda-framed mirrors from Belgium, stained glass from France and colourful tiles from Portugal, Confeitaria Colombo has been paying homage to the grand art nouveau cafes of Europe since the early 1900s. The food and drink offering however, is distinctly Brazilian – order a cup of strong coffee and feast on the popular deep-fried pastry-based street food salgados.
Strangers’ Reunion: Singapore
Receiving a flat white finished off with a milky swirl is nothing new, but the growing latte art movement takes coffee creativity to a whole new level. Three-times Singapore barista champion Ryan Tan is leading the way in Asia, and has returned from this year’s World Latte Art Championship with a host of new ideas – check them out at his Strangers’ Reunion cafe, which has recently expanded to premises next door on Kampong Bahru Road and will soon be serving dinner.
Coffee with legs: Cafe Bombay, Santiago, Chile
Like it or loathe it, the cafe con piernas scene continues to thrive in the Chilean capital. Literally meaning ‘coffee with legs’, these cafes play host to a male-dominated clientele who enjoy having their wake-up espresso delivered by scantily clad women. It’s part of the country’s culture and, if you want to experience it for yourself, Cafe Bombay (Calle Teatinos 273) is the best place to, erm, take in the view.
Get an education: Market Lane Coffee, Melbourne, Australia
Fancy yourself an expert home-brewer? Learn the art of preparing barista-quality pour over, Aeropress and plunger coffee with the Market Lane Coffee team, who hold classes at their Prahran Market and Queen Victoria Market stores. Alternatively, take part in a hands-on roasting class and attend one of the regular cupping sessions, where blind-tastings, aroma assessments and plenty of slurping and spitting will hone your coffee palate in no time.
Sub-zero sipping: Chillout Cafe, Dubai
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the desert. Not only is Chillout Cafe the first ice lounge in the Middle East, it is the first ice lounge in the world to serve hot beverages. So wrap your fur-lined gloves around a cup of joe and warm up from the inside out. Pull up an ice chair, admire the ice sculptures and get to grips with the -6ºC temperatures.
Feline fix: Nekorobi Cafe, Tokyo, Japan
Would you like some Sugar with your coffee? And no, we don’t mean the sweetener. We are of course referring to the Sugar the cat, who is according to Nekorobi’s website the boss of the felines at this cat-themed coffee house. The house rules are simple, order your coffee and find a spot among the 13 resident cats to enjoy it. Toys encourage human-cat interaction and you can take as many pictures of your new-found friend as you please. Apparently it’s some people’s idea of a purr-fect pastime. We think it was to be seen to be believed.