8 of the world’s great coffee cities
(CNN) — Fifteenth-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.
“People are more and more interested in where the beans come from, and how they’re harvested and roasted,” says New Zealand barista champion Nick Clark of Wellington’s Flight Coffee.
“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.”
The world’s best coffee cities are those where the coffee isn’t just good — it’s great.
Aussies and Kiwis opened the city’s first espresso-focused coffee shops (such as Flat White and Kaffeine) a decade ago and they’ve been popping up across the city ever since.
“London still has a long way to go with café service, but in the past five years there’s been so much growth, which is a great thing to be part of,” says Estelle Bright, head barista at London’s Caravan.
Local order: Flat white or cappuccino.
“London is still in the grip of the flat white craze, but cappuccinos are similarly popular,” says Bright.
Top shops: East London boasts the highest concentration of quality coffee shops and cafes. Allpress,
“The coffee culture in Melbourne is just incredible,” says reigning World Barista Champion Pete Licata, from the United States.
Coffee is such an integral part of the Melbourne lifestyle that the city even hosts an annual coffee expo.
Local order: Piccolo latte.
While lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites remain popular, piccolo lattes (made with less milk so the espresso tastes stronger) are the drink du jour.
Top shops: “It’s nearly impossible to find a bad cup of coffee in Melbourne,” says Licata.
For real coffee purists, there’s Axil Coffeehouse Roasters in Hawthorn (322 Burwood Road), Auction
Scandinavians drink more coffee per head than anyone else.
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.
“Not too long ago, cafés in Reykjavík were more about the food,” says Kristin Thora, a barista at Icelandic institution Kaffitar and reigning National Cupping Champion.
“You’d have coffee and cake and didn’t mind how the coffee was as long as the cake was good.
“Then, about 25 years ago, people started to care about how their coffee was served.”
With Iceland’s lack of commercial coffee behemoths, smaller businesses have had a chance to flourish.
Now you can hardly walk a city block without passing a coffee shop.
Local order: Latte or cappuccino.
“Drip coffee is popular in the home, but Icelanders tend go to coffeehouses for espresso-based drinks,” says Thora.
Top shops: With seven coffee shops and a roaster to its name, Kaffitar is the closest thing Iceland has to a coffee chain. Stofan and Kaffismidja are hipster faves.
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