Whether you travel a lot for work, have recently embarked on an extended holiday after not vacationing for several years or are travelling to cross one city or country off your travel bucket list, it doesn’t matter if you’re a coffee lover. As someone who enjoys their daily cuppa joe, you’ll likely be reaching for your morning java long before breakfast.
But the thing with travelling is that it can be a tad challenging to find a good brew. And let’s face it, hotel coffee is mostly bad. While there are a few hotels that may cater to coffee lovers, these hotels are not found everywhere. They tend to be pricey, too.
Bad coffee tastes watered down and has zero character and soul. Worse still, you could end up using unhygienic coffeemakers that haven’t been cleaned for the past few months. And what happens if you get bad coffee? It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and can upset you for the rest of that day – that is, if you never find a good coffee place for the duration of your stay.
Good coffee, on the other hand, relaxes and energises at the same time. It smells good and feels good as it travels from your lips down to your throat. But how do you find good authentic coffee experiences when travelling?
Tips to enjoy good coffee wherever you go
If you’re in a place you don’t really know and quickly realise that you’re lodged in a hotel with awful coffee, you might end up feeling frustrated and desperate.
As a coffee lover, you know how a good, satisfying brew can set you up for the day. But when you travel, you don’t have access to your French press, gooseneck kettle or favourite neighbourhood coffee shop. It can be a bizarre experience, at the very least, to not know where you can enjoy a good cup of coffee. Should you just put up with bad hotel coffee, then?
Or would you be desperate enough to go to a local McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks – just to have a familiar taste of something even if you’re not a fan?
Some travellers bring along their own coffee, hand grinder and travel kettle. But these are more extreme solutions because it is possible to find good coffee in most places. You just need to know where. But how do you find out?
1. Read coffee guides or blogs
Checking out local coffee guides or blogs referring to the place you’re visiting is a good place to start. This is something you could do prior to travelling. If you’re already in your host country, town or city, but there’s good internet, it’s never too late to start searching.
Look for sources that actually describe which cafés they mention in detail, like the coffee they serve, recommend, their experience of the place and even the pricing. Better yet, they should have a photo or two of the café aside from the address.
2. Do a map search
Again, this depends on whether you have good connectivity where you are. You can simply type in the keywords in the search bar – something like ‘best coffee in _______’ ending with the name of the town or city you are in. Doing this should bring up a couple of results.
You will then need to check out the results you’re interested in. Most small or single cafés tend to not have their own websites, so see if their social media profiles are accessible, as well as reviews. From there, you can probably make your selection. If you’ve found a great cafe, consider looking it up on ‘brewstr’ and leave a review; if you can’t find it, hit the ‘Add a Cafe’ link
3. Ask the locals
Okay, you might need a translation app or use a bit of sign language if the locals don’t speak English. But if you find a way to speak to the locals about coffee, that’s a huge plus. Why? Who else would know where the best of anything is other than the locals? That includes knowing the best local coffee places in the area.
You can also take this one step ahead by visiting the first local coffee shop you find. If you’re lucky, they should serve good coffee. But make the most of your time there and check with the barista. Ask about other great cafés in the area or for their recommendations. You will find that they’re usually quite happy to share this information.
4. Use a coffee-finding app
The next best thing and most convenient way of getting local coffee information is by using a coffee-finding app. Is there such a thing? Of course! This kind of app is designed to help travellers and coffee lovers desperately searching for a quality brew in a strange neighbourhood.
All you need to do is download a coffee finder like brewstr, and it should be able to generate results based on your input. Aside from directing you to the best local coffee shops based on local and traveller input, you can also use the app for finding coffee roasters, supplies and more.
Enjoy the best coffee when you’re there
When you do find a good coffee place, make the most of your time there.
If you find bags of coffee beans on sale, check out the labels and read the information there. Usually, the best coffee shops provide more than just information on the kind of roast and origin. They’ll give you a glimpse of the work that went behind the beans and perhaps even provide tips on how to enjoy the best brew using those beans.
Chat with the locals and talk to the baristas if they’re not too busy. Ask for coffees they recommend and watch how they prepare your coffee. If you have a budget and will be going home soon enough to enjoy those coffee beans, why not get a bag or two?
Find good coffee near you
Coffee drinking should be an adventure, and you don’t need to be travelling all the time to discover new places to enjoy good coffee.
With an app like brewstr, you can turn your coffee obsession into a delightful hobby that’ll take you places – whether you’re in the same town, city or country, or somewhere far from home.
Try it and find good coffee near you with brewstr.