Here’s the thing… We hate coffee snobs as much as the next guys, but we love coffee. To us, it’s more than a cup of bitter black liquid; it’s an experience. There are few things more therapeutic than some solitary reading with a cup of coffee and a good book. There’s nothing more refreshing than the steam rising off a cup of coffee, brewed over an early morning campfire in the mountains. There’s no faster way to kick-start us into gear for a busy day or some serious work than a cup of the strong stuff. More often than not, how we’re drinking the stuff is just as important as what we’re drinking. Here are 9 coffees you need to drink before you die:
Irish Coffee – The Buena Vista Cafe
San Francisco, California
Irish coffee from a San Francisco coffee shop (with a Spanish name, no less!)? What’s so special about it? Jack Koeppler, then-owner of Buena Vista, spent a painstaking amount of time and effort perfecting the perfect Irish coffee in 1952, which has since become what The Buena Vista is known for.
Coffee Soda – Coffee Supreme
Auckland, New Zealand
We’ll keep this one short and sweet. Coffee Supreme teamed up with their neighbors at Six Barrel Soda Co. to come up with a coffee soda syrup that mixes the best of both worlds. Add a tablespoon to sparkling water or milk, and prepare to taste something we’ve all dreamed about, but never thought could happen.
The Sant’Eustachio’s Gran Caffe – Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe
You can teach an Italian about many things. Algebra, rock and roll music, tandum bicycles—all things Italians probably don’t know from birth. A nose for good coffee, however, to Italians, is damn near genetics. The Sant’Eustachio Il Caffe, located in the heart of Rome, is one of the premiere coffee shops in the entire world. Its famous blend (so famous that it’s even available on Amazon) is an absolute masterpiece. The 100 percent Arabica beans are slowly roasted over wood and prepared in-house with great care, where they are ground and served up to customers all over the world. The Gran Caffe—just a large cup of the coffee—is perhaps one of the most exquisite coffee experiences in the world.
Sunrise Espresso – Truth Coffee
Cape Town, South Africa
Orange juice and espresso? We know what you’re thinking—blegh! Comprised of a double shot of the house-roasted espresso, pepped up with a shot of fresh-squeezed orange juice, it’s this shop’s staple, and Cape Town locals and tourists flock to Truth Coffee headquarters to get a taste. Don’t knock it ‘til ya try it!
Classic Black Coffee – Barista Parlor
An old auto garage converted to a sleek, modern, open-space coffee shop? Coffee crafted with care and tact, from beans roasted in-house and sourced from local coffee famers? Yes. YES. Couple all that with incredible traditional southern cuisine and all the down-home hospitality you can handle, and you have Barista Parlor. The award-winning brew here is that unlike any other because, from start to finish, it’s uniquely their own.
Kopi Luwak – Verlet Cafes & Thes
You didn’t think we’d write a list of the best coffee in the world and not include a cup of Kopi Luwak, did you? This extremely rare and exceptionally spendy brew is—we shit you not—made from the partially digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by a cat (the Asian palm civet, to be exact). We dare say a cup of the stuff is worth every penny, and from this century-old coffee shop in the heart of Paris, you’re assured the best of the best. If cat poop isn’t your thing, this shop is famous for carrying rare and iconic coffees from regions all over the world, including Burma, Indonesia, The Congo, Ethiopa, Australia, Hawaii, Colombia (duh), Nicaragua and a ton of others.
Latte – Drop Coffee Roasters
Listen… Normally, we wouldn’t really care about latte art. Hearts, trees, more hearts, a dragon—cool, bro. But the crew at Drop Coffee really turns coffee into visual masterpieces. Additionally, the coffee beans are sourced from ethical farmers in Volivia, Kenya, and Rwanda, and roasted in-house by people who understand that good coffee is an experience.
Iced Cappuccino – Omotesando Koffee
Omotesando Koffee is a Japanese specialty coffee staple, in one of the most popular (and for good reason) travel destinations in the entire world. There’s nothing like an iced cappuccino from Omotesando Koffee, which is located in a more off-the-beaten-path area of the country, between Omotesando and Gaienmae, in a residential home that was converted into a coffee shop.
Unfortunately, Omotesando Koffee closed a few months back, so you’ll have to wait and see if another location opens up.
Melange Viennese Coffee – Café Central
Chandeliers, marble pillars, cathedral ceilings and more apple strudel than you can shake a stick at, Central Café is—by far—the most ornate coffee shop on our list, and maybe in the entire world. But this isn’t a list about the best marble pillars in the world, it’s a list about coffee. And luckily, Café Central’s Melange, a Viennese specialty drink modeled after the popular cappuccino, is their signature drink, and tastes as good as their décor looks. Plus, it’s a great way to wash down some of the shop’s world-famous apple strudel.