A good day starts with a good cup of coffee, don’t you agree? Imagine waking up in a strange country and being served the local specialty with a fine aroma, distinctive taste, and one-of-a-kind “kick”. Let us count down the top six destinations that are worth flying to if you looove coffee like we do!
By: Irvin Hanni
1. Ipoh, Malaysia
When something is presented as the official drink for Malaysia at the World Expo, you know it has to be good! The coffee is prepared by slowly roasting the beans with palm margarine and without sugar, thus giving it a lighter shade. Ipoh White Coffee is best served hot and with evaporated milk for added taste. Ask the locals and they would surely know about Ipoh white coffee as the drink can be found at any kopitiam (coffee shop) nationwide. But nothing beats having the original one at its birthplace Ipoh, a charming laid-back city that is just a little over two hours away from Kuala Lumpur by car or train.
GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kuala Lumpur from various destinations.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
Enjoying coffee in Hanoi is a casual affair. Especially in the Old Quarter, the shophouses from the French colonial period are lined with humble coffee shops with little tables and stools. Order your cà phê sữa đá (iced coffee with milk) and the waiter will bring a stainless steel Vietnamese coffee press with ground coffee beans, condensed milk, and hot water for you to prepare your own. Just pour the coffee and hot water into the coffee press and let it drip into the cup. Once the coffee is ready, stir in the condensed milk and pour into a glass of ice. Whilst waiting for the coffee to be ready, soak in the sights of locals going about their daily lives. A visit to Hanoi wouldn’t be complete without the Vietnamese drip coffee experience.
3. South India
Kaapi, the traditional filter coffee in India, is more popular in the southern part of the country, where it is customary to serve it to guests. Kaapi is prepared by using a metal utensil consisting of two cylinder compartments. Ground coffee is put in the top compartment, and hot water is added slowly. The Kaapi decoction is then poured into a metal tumbler, and hot milk and sugar are added in, which results in a frothy, aromatic cup of coffee.
4. Melbourne, Australia
If there is one thing that defines Melbourne, it’s got to be the coffee culture. If you know the difference between macchiato, piccolo latte, and ristretto, and can correctly explain what ‘third wave coffee’ is, then Melbourne is definitely the place for you. True coffee connoisseurs might also be delighted to learn that large international coffee chains are hard to find around here, so you know that any cafe you visit will have its own identity and charm. Still can’t get enough of coffee? Join one of the many coffee tours like Coffee Cultural Trek or Cafe Culture Tour.
5. The Middle East
If you are visiting Jeddah or other Middle Eastern cities, don’t miss out on a cup of qahwah (coffee). Coffee culture around this region dates back to thousands of years ago, and even those who don’t drink coffee would’ve heard of Arabica beans. Considered as the Adam and Eve of coffee beans, Arabica beans are known all over the world for their sweet taste and flowery aroma. Qahwah is normally served with dates. Also not to be missed is Turkish Coffee, which is a method of preparing coffee name by using a special metal pot called an ibrik and a heat source. Fun fact: the grounds that are left in the pot are commonly turned over into the saucer and people use them for fortune telling.
6. Anywhere in Thailand
It’s been a hot day of sightseeing in Thailand and now you need something to cool down. What do you order? A cool glass of oleng! Also known as Thai Iced Coffee, it is traditionally prepared keeping espresso overnight in a refrigerator. When it’s ready to be served, condensed milk is added and the mix is poured into a glass of crushed ice. You can order the drink from upscale restaurants or from a stall by the roadside. Wherever you get it from, the result is a refreshing jolt of caffeine with a heavenly taste.
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