My Coffee Tour

Since I have an addiction to coffee and am always searching for great coffee/coffee shops, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on ‘Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour book.’ Once I got this amazing book and started reading it, I found that I’ve actually been to some of the coffee shops named in the book! I’ve read blog posts using ‘Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist: The 500 Best Places on the Planet’ like this one from Where Charlie Wanders, so I decided to do my own version using the Global Coffee Tour. 

COFFEE SHOPS I’VE VISITED

1.) INTELLIGENTSIA

Intelligentsia is one of my favorite Chicago coffee shops. With only 3 stores in SoCal, the closest one to me is in Pasadena, it’s hard for me to get to this shop as much as I’d like. Intelligentsia introduced the concept of Direct Coffee Trade practices to the coffee industry. They have also joined the refuse the straw movement and have removed all single-use plastic straws from their coffee bars. They believe in sustainable farming and have committed to paying above Fair Trade prices for outstanding coffee. They build relationships with their farmers and are able to help them develop a sustainable business model which enables Intelligentsia to bring you fantastic coffee you can’t get anywhere else.

What to get: An Iced mocha. 

Why I love it: The mocha isn’t overly sweet, the espresso is strong and well balanced-which makes for a perfect drink for those hot LA or Chicago summers.

Website

2.) GREENWELL COFFEE FARMS

I was incredibly excited to visit this coffee farm. It all started in 1850 when Henry Greenwell left England for Kona, Hawai’i. He and his wife spent forty years farming, ranching and producing Kona Coffee. Later Henry’s grandson and great-grandson took over. They have 85 acres, and they also manage and control another 60 acres of coffee for other landowners. Greenwell offers free guided tours every day from 8:30am-4pm. The tour itself is about 30 minutes long and takes you through the orchards, as well as the wet mill and drying platforms. It was a great tour that I really enjoyed and would highly recommend it if you find yourself on Hawai’i Island. 

Website

3.) BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE

Originating in Oakland, California, they now have 57 locations across the US and Japan with 3 more opening soon. Blue Bottle uses a small six-pound batch roaster, they only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster, so customers enjoy coffee at peak flavor. If that wasn’t good enough for you, they are committed to only using the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans. Their attention to these details shows in every coffee, iced coffee, or espresso-based drink that they sell. It’s just one of the many reasons why I love this company. 

What to get: New Orleans Float

Why I love it: This drink starts with Blue Bottle’s unique Iced Coffee, which is infused with chicory root, then finished with delicious creamy vanilla ice cream.

Website

4.) STUMPTOWN

Stumptown’s ‘Green Team’ doesn’t find their coffee the easy way, they go right to the source for the best coffee, which is the farm or washing station located in growing cities. They create long-lasting relationships with these farmers visiting them as often as possible. They source coffee from Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. There are hundreds of varieties of coffee trees, and Stumptown uses roughly a dozen. These are the four main varieties that they use: Bourbon, Villalobos, Ethiopian Heirloom and Gesha. Each variety produces a different flavor profile of bean, how Stumptown roasts those beans after processing will also contribute to the final cup of coffee that their consumers will drink.

What to get: an iced mocha

Why I love it: This expertly made mocha is perfect for a hot LA summer, let’s be honest fall is pretty warm too. The mocha is a little on the sweeter side, for my liking, but that robust Stumptown Espresso puts it in its place. The drink overall is relatively well-balanced and my go-to when I’m heading to a Stumptown cafe or any cafe for that matter. 

Website

5.) PHILZ COFFEE

Philz Coffee has forty-six locations across the US the majority of them are in California, they have three locations in Washington DC and one coming soon to Virginia. Philz isn’t your typical coffee shop, you won’t find any lattes, cappuccinos or espresso here. Instead, they have twenty different blends of coffee, each one expertly brewed one cup at a time. Philz also roasts their own coffee at their plant in Oakland, CA. They customize each blend with anywhere from two to seven different beans from around the world! They also offer single origin coffees and seasonal blends. It was a different experience for me, and I quite enjoyed it. The barista helped me pick a coffee and helped me customize it to my liking. I can’t wait to explore more of their coffee.

What to get: Iced Mocha Tesora and a Vegan Chocolate Doughnut

Why I love it: The perfect mix of dark chocolate with subtle hints of caramel. I went lightly sweetened and with cream. It was delicious! If I hadn’t seen the sign saying this doughnut was Vegan, I would have never known! It was one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had.

Website

TOP 10 COFFEE SHOPS I WANT TO VISIT:

1.) Root Coffee-Bangkok, Thailand

2.) L’alchimiste-Bordeaux, France

3.) Belleville Brûlerie-Paris, France

4.) Madal Espresso & Brew Bar- Budapest, Hungary

5.) Nuvola Lavazza- Turin, Italy

6.) Nømad Cøffee-Barcelona, Spain

7.) Hola Coffee- Madrid, Spain

8.) Brew Lab- Edinburgh, Scotland

9.) Climpson & Sons-London, England

10.) Wolfpack Coffee Roasters-Sydney, Australia 

There are way more than 10 coffee shops I want to visit that are mentioned in this book but the ones listed are my must visit. Have you been to any coffee shops mentioned in this post? Do you own LP’s Global Coffee Tour book? Let me know in the comments below!

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