Cities With the Best Coffee Culture

Coffee shop in Rome, Italy.
Coffee shop in Rome, Italy. Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

If you love coffee, then it’s probably something you factor in when deciding where to travel. Coffee culture is so diverse and unique to every country, with most countries having a traditional coffee brewing technique and a third-wave or specialty coffee scene in the younger cities. If coffee tourism is something that interests you, you might have a hard time deciding where to start. Here are three of the best options.

Rome, Italy

As the virtual inventor of Western coffee culture, Italy and especially Rome is a quintessential item on this list. The best-known drinks in the Western world like espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato all originated right here. Italy’s coffee culture is particularly ritualistic, with coffee drunk either standing at the espresso bar or ordered from a table (no takeaway and only after a meal) and cappuccinos drunk only in the morning. The coffee in Italy is less caffeinated than in America and is meant to be enjoyed rather than chugged.

Hanoi, Vietnam

As a large exporter of coffee, Vietnam has its own coffee culture dating back before widespread globalization. Their traditional coffee is quite strong and very caffeinated, using robusta-variety beans rather than arabica. They have their own traditional iced coffee drink made with sweetened condensed milk, perfect for the country’s hot summer months. In addition, there is a vibrant new-wave coffee culture with many creative flavored drinks to try.

Portland, Oregon, USA

To many, Portland is known as Ground Zero for the “hipster” movement that birthed third-wave coffee. The city is brimming with small-batch roasteries and creative specialty shops, making it the perfect destination for someone who never wants to drink the same coffee in the same place twice.