15,720 km so far.
As I sit here enjoying some of the best coffee I have had on my travels, I am thinking back on all the great experiences we have had thanks to my coffee addiction.
Whether it was getting off the train in Helsingborg, Sweden just to visit Koppi, searching out the elusive Uncle Bean in Beijing, checking in with Burrito the dog at Sumerian in Shanghai to see what outfit the day would bring, or sitting on the incredible wooden chairs at Sinh To in a tiny village in Vietnam sipping on the thick, grainy blackness that is Vietnamese coffee, my taste for the black bean has led us on some great mini-adventures within the big adventure that is this bike trip.
The Top Five
Nothing beats the people and pets at Sumerian. Except their coffee.
Their cookies and bagels are worth writing home about too. I guess this is why it is my top pick. Nothing says customer service like offering to specially roast some beans for me on our last day in Shanghai.
Since we were there they have opened a small craft beer bar next door, called Dogtown.
Not only is F.R.E.A.K. freshest in my mind, but also it is the freshest coffee I have enjoyed. Their “From the Cherry to the Cup” ethos means they know everything about the coffee they are serving you, and if you are unsatisfied with your cup of coffee, they encourage you to ask them to make it again. If you still aren’t happy they insist you don’t pay. They are that confident you’ll be happy. I can’t imagine having to take advantage if their refund policy: this is damn fine coffee.
We only managed one visit to Drop, on our way out of Stockholm, but they were incredibly friendly, offered me a sampling of a guest roast, and sold me some of their personal stash of beans because they’d run out of stock. The smell of Drop Coffee brewing on our camp stove by the Sweden’s loveliest lakes each morning was a great way to start each day.
A small roaster we almost didn’t visit because it was too close to our apartment, Kiez Rösterei was far and away the best coffee I found in Berlin. Their small batch roasts are complex, attentively roasted, and the atmosphere is welcoming, without being pretentiously over-hip.
I enjoyed my first properly roasted Cuban beans here, and met a coffee grower from El Savador who was there to sell his beans. It helps that I enjoyed all of this in the company of my equally coffee-obsessed friend, Jesse.
Hopping off the train in Helsingborg on the advice of fellow coffee nerd, and friend, Sverre, we rode through the cobbled streets until we found this cool little roaster in a beautiful old Swedish town.
Definitely worth getting off the train for and I’m already contemplating making a little trip out there when I’m back in Malmö this fall.
Karma, Kraków, Poland | Lumen, Budapest, Hungary | Feel Good Cafe, Phnom Penh, Cambodia | Da Matteo Roastery, Göteborg, Sweden | Cafetino, Ljubljana, Slovenia | Johan & Nyström, Stockholm, Sweden | RAW Coffee, Kuala Lumpur
To read more about the coffee we have enjoyed, see all our blog posts relating to speciality coffee. ♥