Bean there, done that: Bespoke coffee destinations all caffeine addicts should check off their list

There's nothing quite like the sensational thrill of swigging back a cuppa scalding Joe first thing in the morning, afternoon, evening or night - or actually any time of the day really.

The kick and jolt that snaps your senses back into place as you savour the bitter aftertaste on your palate is truly a drug - particularly on the frostier days.

And there is nothing worse than having that anticipated experience dampened by a crappy coffee - especially when in foreign lands where the caffeinated hopes and exchange rates are high.

READ: Coffee and conservation: Mozambique tries both on a mountain 

Whether you've got a taste for robusta, arabica, crema or grind - one thing is for sure - you don't want to toast to a bad roast wherever you may journey around the world.

So, to avoid having your vacay stained by a coffee cup ring of regret, why not try one of these caffeinated country top picks from around the world that won't leave you feeling more bitter than your coffee:


Where better than to bask in the sweet sweet bitterness of good coffee than in the birthplace of coffee itself. Its origin tale goes as follows:

It's AD 850. Kaldi, a goat-herder in Abyssinia, now Ethiopia, is watching his goats prance around excitedly after eating the bright red berries of a nearby bush. Kaldi tries a few for himself, runs home to tell his wife who suggests he takes the miraculous berries to the monks.
The monks proclaim them the work of the devil and throw them into the fire, but soon change their minds after a tempting aroma fills the air. They rescue the crushed beans from the fire and pop them in some hot water. And just like that, the brew was born. 

If you find yourself brewing in the embrace of Ethiopia, don’t leave without stopping at one of the hundreds of hole in the wall coffee shops - where you can find locals making coffee in a traditional clay pot, called a jebena.

Don't be uncultured by pouring in milk and chug back the fresh coffee served black with sugar.

CHECK OUT: Coffee or pepper spray? Powder restrictions on flights spreading throughout the world 


If you're a super trooper coffee enthusiast, you're well-versed in the delicate art and notes of the Turks' coffee. The magic of the bean brew was introduced to Europe by Ethiopian traders way back in 1554 which led to coffee houses popping up in Constantinople - aka Istanbul as we now know and love it. 

There's a Turkish proverb that proclaims: "A cup of coffee will be remembered for 40 years".

The beans here are finely ground to a powder-like perfection. They are then boiled in a long-handled cezve pot and sugar is peppered in while it brews the dark, thick and rich liquid that is poured out like melted love into small espresso-sized cups.

This coffee is not meant to be thoughtlessly slugged back, but tentatively sipped and savoured in social company. You can even get your fortune read and uncovered from the remnant settled grounds at the base of your cup - rounding up a decadent and introspective coffee sesh. In fact, the Turkish coffee culture has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and it's no wonder why.

SEE THIS Quick guide to Turkey: Easy eVisa travel for South Africans 


From Istanbul to Venice, the roasted goodness had brewed its way into Italy in 1615. Some of the best coffee scenery of the region can be found housed in Europe's oldest surviving coffee house: Café Florian in Venice.

It might not be the most pocket-friendly coffee you'll find, but window-shopping the sumptuous interior is definitely worth a go. 

Some coffee habits you should heed to avoid potential disappointment or bewildered looks from locals include - cappuccinos are only drunk in the morning and when you order espressos, drink them at the bar. If you sit, you're looking to pay an extra euro or two. 

ICYMI: Quick Guide: The Mamma Mia of your Italy trip planning sorted! 


Good Morning, Vietnam. Start your day the right way with a steaming cup of local coffee. Trekking back to the 1700s, the Dutch had established coffee plantations in Indonesia which saw the filtering out of coffee to the rest of Asia.

These days Vietnam is a favourite among travellers and is the second largest coffee producer in the world! And while the French might have introduced coffee to the region the locals have put their own unique spin on it and have brewed their own coffee culture.

Like their introduction of ca phe (ice coffee) or variations of brews that include condensed milk, yogurt and even eggs (bullet coffee) - which is a relic from colonial days when fresh milk was a scarce supply.

You can watch the careful art of crafting the perfect Vietnamese cup in awe - as the coffee does its gentle drip through into the cup through the use of the local drip filter called a phin. The dripping process takes around five to 10 minutes before you get to enjoy it with a plop of condensed milk - adding that creamy decadence to the beverage. 

WATCH: This bridge in Vietnam is held up by 'the hands of gods' 

Alternatively, stave off the summer heat and humidity by dropping some ice into the blend for a refreshing ice coffee experience.

Don't feel put off at the  thought of ca phe trung - aka egg coffee. It tastes like a Vietnamese version of the beloved dessert tiramisu. The egg yolk is whipped along with the condensed milk before being added to dark coffee - creating a surprisingly pleasant flavoursome adventure for your tastebuds.

Be sure to swing by the aptly dubbed 'coffee street' in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City and ask for the sinh to ca phe sapoche - which is a coffee smoothie blended with sapodilla (a local tropical fruit).

ARE YOU Heading to Vietnam? Here are 5 Quick things you need to know 


Coffee was introduced to South America in 1718 by the Dutch. These days, South America is known as the coffee centre of the world.

"South and central America have a really sophisticated, broad coffee industry," says Phaedon Gourtsoyannis, owner of, South Africa’s leading speciality coffee retailer.

Gourtsoyannis goes onto say that while Brazil and Columbia are the two biggest volume producers, tons of other countries in the region produce speciality grade coffees enjoyed globally.

Some of these other countries include:

  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • Nicaragua
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Panama 

Panama, in particular, is a small-volume-producing country, but it produces some of the top speciality coffee of the known world.

SEE The 10 best experiences you didn’t know you needed to have in The Americas 


Scandinavians are in fact the world's biggest coffee drinkers in terms of volume per capita. 

Finland, Sweden, and Norway and Denmark to some extent, boast a strong coffee culture and reputation for enjoying and championing the speciality coffee cause.

You'll also find some of the most famous coffee roasting brands in the world here, such as Kaffa and Solberg & Hansen in Norway, and Blekinge Kafferosteri in Sweden. 

ALSO WATCH: Island hopping in Stockholm


Since the Dutch practically shipped the magic beans to be sowed across the global land, it is only fair to swing by this destination on your next caffeinated escape.

You'll find the morning brew done in a large glass pot with the use of a filter meant to serve the entire village - okay, maybe not the entire village, but as many people as possible throughout the morn.

You'll definitely be able to walk from cafe to cafe as you traipse about the scenic Dutch streets and soak in the stunning architecture and views while you soak up caffeine. Remember though, coffee shops sell a different kind of magical herb in the Netherlands.

CHECK OUT THIS Quick Guide Netherlands: Going Dutch for your next Euro trip 

United States of America

Is there anything quite as notorious as a New York bagel, pretzel or doughnut and coffee pairing? Whether you bite off more than you can chew or go Dunkin' a bit further, you're likely to see coffee houses speckled all over the streets in the US.

Whether it's the popularised culture of choosing complicated beverages with your name slapped on it at Starbucks, or immersing yourself in the rich coffee culture of Seattle, there is an undeniable strengthened love for thy divine bean.

You can be sure to find a range of coffee styles and brews to suit whatever mood your taste buds are salivating for - whether it's a simple straight black coffee or a custom decaf triple Venti frappe with skim / soy / almond milk topped with whip, coconut shavings, the blood of Thor and sprinkles.

BE SURE TO WATCH: Americans play 'spot the country' and fail to find SA - and America! 

Where to get your coffee fix in SA:

If you're looking for a quickie caffeine fix to set you right, you might want to try out one of these local brews:




Whether it’s known for its coffee production or coffee culture, there isn’t a better place to enjoy the ultimate (legal) fix than in one of these coffee destination musts!

Find Your Escape by searching and comparing flight prices here. You can also sign-up for the Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel ideas and deals directly to your mobile.  

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