Coffee... come to mama.
Before I was living and writing in Paris, I was nomadic, traveling the world in search of everything beautiful and tasty. So naturally, I spent a lot of time sipping coffee in cafés to rest my weary feet and refuel for the next leg of my journey. In this time, I've found five coffee establishments worthy of my love. And the awards go to...
The Best Coffee Of. My. Life. Award goes to Downes Grounds at the Waimea Farmers Market on The Big Island of Hawaii. The coffee was so fresh that it tasted... alive. It was the first time I dared not mess with perfection by adding cream or sugar. Do yourself a solid and order it online.
The Best Coffee/Atmosphere Combo Award goes to Sant Eustachio Café in Rome, Italy. This jet fuel has been growing hair on the chest of Romans for ages. The best part of this coffee, aside from the strength of the brew itself, is that it's served in the famous Sant Eustachio yellow mug in a piazza. And this piazza is in the shadow of the Pantheon. Could you feel more Italian? I think not.
The Strongest Coffee Ever Award goes to the home-brewed coffee of Poland. Imagine being invited to a Polish grandmother's house. She serves you coffee with the grounds brewing the coffee as they sink to the bottom of your mug. There are no filters for these bitter underdogs of Europe. Back when Poland was still being held by Russia's communist grip, they didn't have much in the way of appliances, namely coffee makers. So, ground coffee went straight into a glass of hot water. Once the grounds sank to the bottom, your coffee was ready. Horrified by seeing my grounds inside my glass, I reached for cream. And when I poured it in my coffee, the brew didn't change color. At. All.
The Most Eye-Popping Caffeine Award goes to the collective of cafés in Paris. Parisians refuel constantly throughout the day with thimbles of espresso laced with sugar. You can walk into any café, tabac shop, bar or restaurant and get a quick fix for a Euro. Whenever I hear a mass of car horns, I know it's a traffic jam created from someone parking their car IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET to run into a café for a quickie. Honorable Mention goes to La Maison Angelina in Paris that offers up hot chocolate so thick it almost stops your heart.
The Coffee that Tastes Like Home Award goes to Starbucks. Wherever I go in this big world, I know I can walk into a Starbucks and travel back to wherever I'd rather be. Because let's be honest, traveling is hard work and sometimes a girl needs a little gentrification of the neighborhood to get a decent chai tea latte. That green Starbucks sign is a beacon that leads me to someone who speaks English and can provide me with directions around town and to a non-scary restroom. Honorable Mention goes to Peet's Coffee & Tea, which has fantastic coffee but only has store locations in the USA.
Speaking of Starbucks, there is one around the corner from my apartment. I know I probably shouldn't, what with Paris being a café culture, but I think I will. Mmmm.... coffee.
|In Prague. This had to happen.|