Coffee tourism – it’s a thing.
Flat whites are in, lattes are out. Spending $5 on a new album is absurd, but spending $5 a day on coffee is just essential. People adore coffee in extreme ways, and with robust competition, even the smallest of local shops are being forced to up their game. In any business, the best way to corner the market is to go to the source. Whether you’ve got a bustling coffee shop or just love to travel and see the world’s most stunning places, these destinations are worth a visit based on sheer beauty and culture alone – and if you’re a coffee fan, you’ll never find a better cup.
Colombia isn’t just famous for Narcos and Pablo Escobar. It’s a stunningly beautiful country, which also happens to be one of the best coffee producing locations in the world and is safer now than ever. Known as the Coffee Triangle – Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío offer visitors access to coffee plantations with tours of the fields and samples of the wonderful coffee. Once you’ve sampled Colombia’s finest, you can take in incredible views in the Valle Cocora, relax in the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal or enjoy the city of Salento, which offers stunning mountain views, top notch food and high quality boutique hotels. The coffee triangle is roughly a 4.5 hours drive from Medellin, and guides are strongly suggested.
It’s the Southern Indian states that dominate the coffee production, but in particular the region of Karnataka. One of the most beautiful areas to visit is Coorg, which you can reach fairly easily with a remarkably beautiful 4 hour drive from Bengaluru International Airport. Here, they grow some of the world’s best mild coffee as it’s grown in the shade rather than scorching sun, making it a truly unique, delicious and smooth bean. If your a fan of tennis, be sure to try Rohan Bopanna’s own coffee blend from his estate, called Flying Squirrel. It’s probably worth the trip even if you don’t like tennis!
Brazil is always a good place to visit, and adding these coffee regions into your next relaxing trip by the beach is only an added bonus. Head to Sul de Minas and Cerrado de Minas, which are about a 4-5 hour drive from Sao Paulo or Rio for some top quality coffee and gorgeous scenery. We’d highly recommend getting a guide to take you through the regions so that you can learn about the rich history while sampling fresh, smooth coffee from local coffee farms. A guide can take you off the beaten path without having to worry, where you can buy enough coffee to last you a lifetime.
Vietnamese coffee has been on the up in recent years, and is now famous worldwide – and not just because the condensed milk makes it heavenly. The Central Highlands are where most of Vietnam’s widely exported coffee is grown, but for an area you’ll never forget, Da Lat, is simply beautiful and worthy of a trip. Here you can visit local coffee farms, learn everything you need to know about the processes which makes it so unique and sample endless varieties. Coffee side trip or not, you definitely can’t leave Vietnam without trying their famous iced coffee, also known as cà phê dá.
Indonesia may have you thinking infinity pools and dazzling beaches, with islands like Bali taking the headlines – but the vast country also produces some of the world’s most outstanding coffee. Java is slang for coffee with good reason! Large estates on the Eastern end of Java are world famous for their wet hulled coffee, with rich, bold, strong body. If you’re looking for a coffee trek, Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi offer incredible home grown coffee and the scenery and character will certainly not disappoint either. Next time you’re in Bali, look for a coffee tour.
Ethiopia has a deep history in coffee production and is actually where Arabica coffee originates. The best known growing regions are Harar, Sidamo, Limu and Ghimbi, which are trademarked varieties of the Arabica bean, with extraordinarily unique and individual tastes. If you’re trekking through Ethiopia you should also make time to visit Bonga, a small, unspoiled town full of coffee trees, wild honey and beautiful scenery; as well as Yirgacheffe, a village in Sidamo set 1,900 meters above sea level. This is the top spot for premium coffees and equally impressive views. The easiest way to reach most areas is by flying into Addis Ababa airport and booking a tour guide. A great guide will not only help navigate the country but will have relationships with various coffee plantations to ensure the best experience.
From beaches to jungles and a bustling yoga retreat scene, Costa Rica is a lovely place to holiday. But if you’re a fan of coffee it takes things to a whole new level. Wherever you’re staying, chances are you won’t be too far from some outstanding, freshly fire roasted coffee. There are quite a few dominant coffee regions, including Valle Central and Tres Ríos, which are both easy to reach from the main international gateway, San José Airport. If you’ve got the time – it’s worth exploring Valle Occidental, Turrialba, Tarrazu, Brunca, Orosi and Guanacaste for very different looks at the coffee process. With different climates and terrains at every turn, each region produces distinct coffee, with unique characteristics. There are many easy to book coffee tours, making it one of the most accessible coffee side trop countries.