Cultured and caffeinated
First drunk in the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mocha in Yemen, coffee is one of the world’s most popular non-alcoholic drinks. Favoured for its rich, slightly bitter taste and caffeine content, it’s the morning drink of many to get them ready for the day ahead.
In many countries, going for a coffee serves as a socially significant event for conversation and catching up with friends. These days, the extensive range of coffee styles and preparation methods has led to a resurgence in global café culture.
So take advantage of the two Bank Holiday weekends coming up in May for an extended weekend or even a longer break – this is a lovely time to travel wherever you go.
The Flexicover Team considers some global café capitals for coffee aficionados!
Coffee lovers are spoilt for choice in the Austrian capital as it abounds with small cafés all around the city, most having a congenial atmosphere and an array of delicacies to go with this brew. The café habit is so ingrained in the Austrian lifestyle that in October 2011, Viennese Coffee House Culture was accepted by UNESCO on their register of Intangible Cultural Heritage! Vienna also hosted the World Barista Championships in 2012 and has seen a plethora of independent coffee shops sprucing up their menus with greatly enhanced quality of brews. Try a Wiener melange (like a cappuccino but with creamy milk foam) in a charming traditional coffee house and take time out to relax and reflect on life or visit Kaffee Alt Wien to enjoy the intimate charm of this old style café!
Seattle, United States of America
Seattle is known as a world centre for coffee roasting, being home to some of the best cafés and roasteries in America. In fact, it’s reckoned that folk here drink more than in any other American city! It’s home to both mega-chains like Starbucks and Tully’s as well as independent places like Espresso Vivace, credited with the development of latte art (images drawn in the foam atop the beverage). If you’re heading to the Pacific Northwest this year, stop in at any of the 14 branches of Caffe Ladro, with its lovely atmosphere and freshly baked goodies! The coffee beans are organic and fair trade - try the Medici, an orange mocha with a peeled orange rind infusing extra flavour at the bottom!
Whilst coffee has always been an integral part of this city nation, the coffee scene and obsession with latte art has run riot in recent times, particularly as modern espresso technology has been embraced. Check out Jewel Coffee which takes great pride in being kitted out with high-end gadgetry to serve up a great coffee. Enjoy exquisite cups of Chemex (a light, filtered brew) and the Gibraltar (a double-shot espresso with less milk) whilst delighting in single-origin beans from Brazil, Sumatra and Colombia. This is coffee engineering at its best!
The Romans simply adore coffee like no other and in particular, un caffe (espresso) – fast, strong and steaming hot. Coffee culture is raised to the status of an art here. The philosophy is very much ‘drink and go’ and you’ll often find Italians drinking five or more cups a day. If you’re visiting Rome this year, then do as the locals do and hang out in one of the numerous piazza cafés – just to watch the world go by. Try one of the oldest and most famous – Caffé Greco – known for its reputation of attracting poets (such as Keats and Shelley), artists and other intellectuals!
Wellington, New Zealand
The last few decades have seen a coffee revolution in New Zealand and they’ve become true connoisseurs of their favourite black beverage! It is argued that the ubiquitous flat white was perfected in Wellington and the zeal for it in the capital has reached almost religious levels, elevating it unofficially to the status of ‘national beverage’. Head to Caffe L’affare, New Zealand’s original café and coffee roaster - this institution has been brewing coffee since 1990. Visit for Sunday breakfast to enjoy the true atmosphere of this buzzing café - you can even get involved with a barista class!
Whichever coffee capital your travels take you to, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.
Safe coffee travels!