Have you ever found yourself in a random city, craving a good cup of coffee that’s served in a well-designed place where neat people hang out? We’ve constantly stumbled into these situations, and we often end up with a cup of watered down brew in a paper cup from some random café.
Luckily for us, the search is over. One-hundred and fifty baristas and other java authorities from around the world did the footwork and highlighted best places in the Phaidon book, Where to Drink Coffee, by Liz Clayton and Avidon Ross.
“It was hard to know where to find a wonderful cup of coffee. It was difficult, sleuthing work, cobbled together by rumor, visual cues, and, if you had your feet on the ground already, word of mouth,” writes Clayton in the book.
Clayton and Ross spoke to 150 coffee experts, who discovered 600 spots in 50 countries that range from cafés to bakeries to restaurants to more unconventional places. Whether you like it black, cold brewed, topped with foam, or served with milk and two squirts of caramel syrup, these guys have you covered. Not only do they list the go-to spots, they also include recommendations, complete reviews, important information, and special maps, so you know exactly where to go and what to order.
The suggestions even go towards the unconventional; Klaus Thomsen points to Scandinavian Embassy (the shop, not the actual embassy) in Amsterdam for “the best filter coffee” and “the most innovative food pairing,” while Drew Johnson describes Habit Coffee in Victoria, Canada, as “a coffeehouse in the true sense. A hub for the community. Good music in a comfortable space that isn’t kitschy. And it isn’t distracted by navel gazing.”
There’s also glossary in the 348-page guide that teaches you all the coffee culture terms and history you need to know, like cortado (“an espresso-based drink made with textured milk or foam, a little smaller than a cappuccino and with a higher ratio of espresso to milk”) and flat white (“a style of coffee similar to the cappuccino … but first popularized in the Southern Hemisphere, particularly New Zealand and Australia.”)
Coffee enthusiasts will love this book. It will come in handy next time you’re in the search of that perfect cup of joe.
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