Caffeine Moments: A Coffee Travelog

Recently, I realized that some of my most memorable moments have centered around coffee (coffee, that is, in one of its many forms…i.e. black, w/cream, espresso, cappuccino, latte, and even instant). Coffee in AustriaIt’s been more than thirty years, but I can still imagine the smooth, rich, creamy flavor of the cups of coffee with cream  I enjoyed while studying abroad in Austria. To this day, Austrian coffee remains the gold standard by which I judge all other cups of coffee.

Hofbrauhaus in MunchIn that same study abroad period, I visited Germany and am proud to recall ordering coffee (not beer) at the Hofbräuhaus in Münch. (I also remember dancing on tables and a few other decisions that had little to do with coffee.)

espresso makerPerhaps one of my fondest memories occurred while traveling from Naples to Rome, when a young and (obviously) handsome Italian boy produced an espresso maker from his backpack and proceeded to make me a steaming cup of espresso right there on the train. (I was so impressed that he carried an espresso maker in his backpack!)

Colosseum1The pinnacle of my coffee experience was in Rome where, if memory serves, after touring the Colosseum I was delighted to find an espresso stand tucked away in one of its antiquated nooks. I don’t remember the taste of the espresso, but the view of the Colosseum while holding a demitasse full of espresso will be forever seared in my memory.

McDonalds-Restaurants-Around-the-World35My next adventure with coffee occurred approximately a decade later while visiting Sydney, Australia. This was in the years before cappuccino  had became a regular item on every McDonald’s menu. So, I was surprised, intrigued—and considering my dislike of fast food in general—appalled to see cappuccinos and lattes on the McDonald’s menu in the heart of Sydney.  I will admit, however, despite the unappealing smell of coffee and fries, I ordered one. (My first and last McDonald’s cappuccino.)

DSC01864Another coffee experience, and one I’m not terribly proud of, involved a frozen latte which I purchased from a Starbucks located right in the center of the Forbidden City in Beijing. I know, I know…it is the height of commercialism to put a Starbucks in the Forbidden City, but if you only knew how much I was sweating and how HUGE the Forbidden City is and how difficult it is to get a good cup of coffee in China…I really did enjoy that frozen latte. (If makes you feel  better, I believe Starbucks is now “forbidden” in the Forbidden City.)


Asian palm civet

Then there was that single cup of Kopi Luwak coffee my husband and I shared while on vacation in Big Sur California. Why one cup, you ask? Well, because Kopi Luwak coffee is supposedly the world’s best coffee, but more important, it costs $50 a cup!  According to Wikipedia: Kopi luwak or civet coffee, refers to the beans of coffee berries once they have been eaten and digested by the Asian palm civet.”   Yep, we drank coffee made from beans pooped out of an Asian Palm Civet (a creature that looks something between a cat and a monkey). I have to admit, it was wonderful!

My final coffee moment (though surely not my last coffee experience in this lifetime) is the memory I’ll take with me from my current trip to Thailand, where on a rafting trip in Khao Lak, my husband and I enjoyed a steaming cup of instant coffee served in a bamboo mug. What’s more, I have a video to remind me of it. Cheers!


4 thoughts on “Caffeine Moments: A Coffee Travelog

  1. Holistic Wayfarer says:

    Cool. =) I love how you retrace your footsteps around the diff coffee spots in the world. Let me know if you’d like to participate in the Race Around the World, share your stories from my platform. I’d be happy to promote your blog.



    • Lorijo Metz says:

      That was a long time ago, but I believe he used something like a portable bunsen burner to heat the espresso pot. (Which would probably be highly illegal if used on a train today!;)


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