Top U.S. Coffee Houses 

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To celebrate national coffee day here are some of the best coffee houses across our nation.

Coffee culture is booming and with it more high quality coffee houses are opening. Each have there own style, coffee blends, unique menu items, and techniques.

There are many great coffee houses, however I chose to highlight a few that stand apart. These coffee houses are well known for uniqueness, quality, popularity, and dedication to the art of coffee.

Here are my top picks for Noteworthy Cafes in the U.S.:

Madcap Coffee (Grand Rapids, MI)

17160486-standardMadcap Coffee has won me over by offering tasting flights, use of latte art, and serving espresso in snifters.Madcap-Coffee-table-of-cups

However, what really set them apart most of all was implementing a zero waste policy; trading trash cans for bus bins and sorting all of their trash into compost and recyclables.

Heart Coffee (Portland, OR)

original-5983-1404617574-3Coffee drinks & gourmet baked goods offered in stylish, industrial-chic quarters. Taking an absolutely obsessive approach to excellence and quality in roasting and brewing, Heart Coffee is one of the best cafes in the U.S. Try the affogatto; espresso dolloped over homemade coconut ice cream.

1369 Coffee House (Boston, MA)

the-139-coffe-house-in-cambridge1369 serves up Espresso drinks alongside homemade soups, sandwiches, and freshly baked pastries. Locations in Inman Square (1369 Cambridge Street) & Central Square (757 Massachusetts Ave). download (5)

 

It is a top-notch coffee house that draws local creative types and features a gallery.

 

Everyman Espresso (New York, NY)

fromthegroundup_6_everymanespressointerior.jpgCoffee & espresso from direct-trade beans offered in a small, no-frills setting or to grab and go. Sam Lewontin was the champion of the 2015 Northeast Barista Competition. With his love for coffee and knack for mixology, he offers unique drinks at his SoHo coffee shop.

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Everymans Espresso is also known for having the best espresso shot in New York. If that wasn’t enough they also have unique offerings like almond milk as well as sheep and goat milk.

 

Seattle Coffee Works (Seattle, WA)

Seattle-Coffee-Scene-Seattle-Coffee-Works-12A modest coffeehouse with an espresso bar & a slow bar for comparing single-origin beans. Seattle Coffee Work is located at 107 Pike Street close to the Pike Place Market.

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They roast quality coffee, and boast direct relationships with farmers. Their impressive brew bar offers a “slow bar” utilizing Chemex, Hario pour-over,
Aeropress, and syphon brewing.

Peregrine Espresso (Washington, D.C.)

Peregrine-Espresso-800x533.jpgConsidered by coffee connoisseurs as the premier place to go for a cup of delicious, micro brewed coffee. Peregrine Espresso is owned by husband and wife team Ryan and Jill Jensen, and has a strong focus on great service, education, and sustainability.They have both coffee and tea option, cold press juices, bakery items, sodas, and Mexican chocolate.


Café Grumpy
 
(New York City, NY)

location_chelseaOffering sandwiches, homemade pastries and cookies, excellent coffee, and a No Laptop Policy; this independently owned and operated cafe, bakery, and roastery is

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a popular New York hangout.
Café Grumpy is also a Member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Panther Coffee (Miami, FL)

8023902019_280ec98f25_bThis coffeehouse first started as a cart on a bicycle serving cold brew at food truck roundups. Now with three locations, with more on the way owners Joel and Leticia Pollock have established themselves reputably in the coffee business. l-11

At Panther Coffee they roast their own beans, curated from small farms (such as Grupo las Cuchillas in Nicaragua.) The coffee shop also showcases information sheets about the growers; your cup’s story from plant to cup is entirely accessible.

 

The Coffee Fox (Savannah, GA)

IMG_5808A craft coffee house in historical downtown Savannah, Georgia featuring the pour-over coffee brew method as well as pastries, cheese boards, wine and beer.ls (1)

 

 

A quirky coffee house in a charming town, what could be better. Aside from the enchanting atmosphere the cafe also offers a fun and interesting menu with items such as a Mexican mocha, cold brew coffee, and a horchata latte.
This is a coffee house worth visiting.


Barista Parlor
 
(Nashville, TN)

bbp31Nashville’s Barista Parlor does credit to the cities culture. It is housed in a former auto repair garage in Music City’s hip east side. The coffee house serves artisan espresso, as well as local seasonal cafe food.

 

Not only is the location hip with a cool industrial vibe, but they also offer unique drinks such as a bourbon vanilla latte.


Cafe Du Monde
 
(New Orleans, LA)

New-Orleans-Cafe-du-Monde-0414-1-lo-res - EditedCafé du Monde French for “Café of the World”, is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is best known for its world famous café au lait and its French-style beignets. The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market.


Ritual Coffee Roasters
 (San Francisco, CA)

0345b2414c34f54efdfcdc5acda86a83Ritual has been a pioneer in this delicious shift in coffee consciousness since they opened their doors on Valencia Street in 2005 and started what some call a coffee revolution in San Francisco.

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Ritual’s San Francisco cafes are also known as popular hangout and working spaces for tech workers in the city.

 

I am sure there are so many coffee houses that are absolutely wonderful and I wish I could give credit to them all. The venues listed here came up reputably in my research for high quality unique coffee houses.

Please share about a great coffee house you have visited. What set them apart?

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The Most Brewtiful Cafes II

lookbookThere were already so many stunning cafes in Part: I and yet
you will find in Part II that this world has many more incredibly
beautiful and interesting cafes.

Here is part II of The Most Brewtiful Cafes:

Bar Topolski (London)

Topolski gallery-bar-café-venue is a unique London space set in the railway arches near Waterloo Station, in the former studio of artist and illustrator Feliks Topolski RA (1907 – 1989).

Knoll Ridge Cafe (Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand)

Knoll Ridge Cafe is the highest cafe in New Zealand and has incredible views over the upper slopes. Serving a wide array of meals, including a fresh salad bar, hot dishes from around the world, café style snacks and espresso coffees.

Cafe Central (Vienna, Austria)

The café was opened in 1876, and in the late 19th century it became a key meeting place of the Viennese intellectual scene. Until 1938 the café was called the “Chess school” because of the presence of many chess players. The café occupies the ground floor of the former Bank and Stockmarket Building, today called the Palais Ferstel. Palais Ferstel was renovated in 1975 and again in 1986 after closing post WW2.

Dreamy Camera Cafe (Yangpyeong, South Korea)

This incredibly unique cafe stands out on the hills of Yangpyeong as a red, rectangular building in the exact form of a Rolleiflex.

Balzac’s (Toronto, Canada)

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters micro-roasts the finest selection of Arabica beans at their roastery and serves some of Canada’s best coffee at their Ontario cafés.

Callas Cafe (Budapest, Hungary)

The Art Deco style Callas Café & Restaurant has a prime location on Andrássy Avenue right next to the Budapest Opera House.  Budapest is a city of cafés. Its famed historic cafés can still evoke a reflection of the lustre of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s past…

Cafe Majestic (Porto, Portugal)

Belle Epoque-era cafe with ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. This gorgeous cafe is rich with luster and history. Click here for More on The Majestic
“The Majestic Café is a wonderful place, where muses, thinkers and artists can get together to live the best moments life has to offer: simply sharing communication through words and gestures,glances smiles and even a few tears sometimes.” ~ Gloria Montenegro (President of the Paris Academy of Coffeeology.)

Well there they are, some of the most beautiful and interesting cafes in the world. I hope you enjoyed viewing them as much as I have. 
Please share if you have visited any of these magnificent cafes.

Which ones would you want to visit?

The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry blossom season.

Cafe New York (Budapest, Hungary)

An ornate cafe/restaurant founded in 1894 with frescoes & chandeliers. A stunning cafe serving coffee, cake & Hungarian cuisine.

Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

This cafe was phenomenally designed by Heldane Martin. It features a steam-punk theme; adorned with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, old candlestick telephones, exposed copper pipes, as well as old extending mirrors and Victorian tap levers. They also pride themselves on roasting and brewing the best quality coffees.

D’espresso (New York, NY)

Decor designed by Nemaworkshop was inspired by nearby New York Public Library turned on it’s side. This unique design is the backdrop for coffee, sandwiches & gelati.

Confeitaria Colombo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Its huge stained glass, tiled, and mirrored interior features materials from France, Portugal, and Belgium. Serving an array of classic Brazilian and Iberian cuisine, delicious pastries, and of course a cup of tea or famous Brazilian coffee.

The world is full of beautiful Cafes, I wish I could visit them all!

Have you ever been to any of these? Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

Book Towns: Part I

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A Book Town is a trend that began in the 1960’s and refers to a town or village with a large number of used book or antiquarian book stores.
Along with their unique and plentiful bookstores they also host wonderful literary festivals

These book festivals attract book lovers and bibliophiles from all over the world. A number of towns are also members of the International Organisation of Book Towns.

Check out these first 6 awesome, yet quaint little book towns:

240-Montolieu-village-du-livre-Aude_focus_eventsMontolieu, France
Sometimes referred to as the “Village of Books.” Montolieu was the town that first introduced me to the concept of “Book Towns.” With a population of roughly only 747 people Montolieu contains fifteen bookshops, mostly specializing in second-hand and
16540322265_089531e1a8_zantiquarian books.
Every year the town offers many workshops such as: Used and antiquarian bookshops, Working craftspeople of books and art, The Arts and Crafts of the Book Museum, Bibliophilia stocks, Educational activities around the Book and its craft, and many more. These workshops attract approx. . 52 000 visitors each year.

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Hay-on-Wye
, Wales
The concept of book towns first came into being in the 1960s, when the fortunes of Hay-on-Wye, a small market town on the Welsh/English border, were transformed by the power of books. The opportunity to regenerate struggling villages and towns by opening up secondhand bookstores and welcoming literary events has since been embraced by many other locations around the world. The town of just under 2,000 also hosts an “honesty bookshop,” where you make your selection against a backdrop of some old ruins and leave your money in a box.

jimbocho1-300x270Jinbōchō, Tokyo
Known as Tokyo’s center of used-book stores and publishing houses, and as a popular antique and curio shopping area. In 1913, a large fire destroyed most of the area. In the wake of the fire, a university professor named Shigeo Iwanami opened a 10606993035_281805d4f6bookstore in Jinbōchō which eventually grew into today’s Iwanami Shoten publishing house. Over time, the area became popular with university students and intellectuals, and many small bookstores and cafes opened there.

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Hobart
, New York
Hobart is a historical village in Delaware County, New York, United States. This beautiful agricultural community has a population of approx. 441 (at the 2010 census.) The village has 5 bookstores, as well as 20 other book sellers within a 20 mile radius. In 1999 the town was a ghost town but by 2005 Don Dales (a local entrepreneur) and musician saved the town by establishing the first book town east of the Mississippi.
For a detailed story about this town’s amazing
329261_origjourney check out the article in this link:

 


800px-Urueña_vista2_louUrueña
, Spain
In the medieval town of Urueña, in Valladolid, you will find the first “Villa del Libro” in Spain. In the streets of this town you will find 12 bookshops selling old or out of print books, or wher e interesting activities take place: El Rincón Escrito, Alejandría Bookshop, “Wine Museum” Cellar Bookshop (specialising in science and fiction literature about wine), Alcuino Caligrafía (organises
26703331courses on calligraphy of other cultures, for all levels), El 7 Bookshop (specialising in the world of bullfighting), Samuel Bookshop, Alvacal, Boutique del Cuento, Almadí Bookshop, La Punta del Iceberg, Alcaraván Bookshop and the Artisan Book Binding Workshop of Urueña.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=167995

redu1Redu, Belgium
In the beautiful Ardennes region of Belgium, Redu is a lovely little village with a population of 500. Local villager Noel Anselot returned from a trip to Hay-on-Wye In 1979, and was so inspired that he decided to regenerate his own tiny village by attracting booksellers. He wrote to many book-dealers across the region, inviting them to set up shop in some of the original village buildings (such as barns, houses, and sheds) to keep the look of the village intact. The project was a success. Now 17 4584770426_5ef869f57fbookshops specializing in secondhand books and comics are based in the village. Redu holds a number of book-related exhibitions and events every year, including a book night when the bookshops stay open all night long. The town was officially declared a book town in 1984 after holding its first book festival.

I cannot get over how beautiful these towns are.
It would be a dream to visit any one of them. However, I think I need to save up so I can plan an around the book world in 80 days trip!

Have you been to any of these book towns? Which would you love to visit?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow evening! Now Available: Pt: II

Top International Cafés

coffee-house-largeI have shared with you the noteworthy coffee shops at the top of my list in the U.S.: Top U.S. Coffee Houses and now I will share those I found all over the world. Although there are far more than I could possible include, I hope justice is done.


Here are my Top picks for Noteworthy Cafés internationally:

Cielito Querido Café (Mexico City, Mexico)

A unique place rich with the warmth and flavor of Latin history.
Full of color and aroma to tempt the senses.  

Coffee Collective (Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Coffee Collective is a micro roastery that drives to provide their customers with an exceptional coffee experience and to give better living conditions to coffee farmers.

Rosetta Roastery (Cape Town, South Africa)

Another South African jewel passionate about coffees that are unique and full of character, as much so as the people that are drawn to drink them.

Kaffeine (London, England)

Contemporary cafe with coffee tasting and brewing classes, turning out cakes, sandwiches and soups. The owner Colin Harmon is a 4-time
Irish Barista Champion, and has worked hard to establish his
world renown coffee bar.

Addison & Steele (Perth, Australia)

The name honors two 18th century Oxford scholars who brought together like-minded intellectuals in London’s first coffee shops to debate the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment. This bright and airy space on the corner of Fitzgerald and Wasley Streets in North Perth is sleek and inviting. There is plenty of space for eager caffeine addicts  

Mind the Cup (Athens, Greece)

Run by a World Barista Champion their motto focuses on moving forward steadily, concentrating on what you do, and always trying
to improve. It has served them well in establishing this charming
award-winning coffee house.

Kronotrop (Istanbul, Turkey)

Kronotrop is the first micro-roaster in Istanbul, with beans imported from all around the world, and branches in Cihangir, Maslak, and Sultanahmet. It is widely regarded as one of the first specialty coffee bar and roastery in all of Turkey.

Snickarbacken 7 ( Stockholm, Sweden)

Chic and spacious Snickerbacken 7 is located in the heart of Stockholm, in a building from the late 1800’s that used to be stables. Tucked away in a beautiful building with high ceilings and vintage charm this concept shop is also an art gallery.

L’oisiveThé (Paris, France)

Thé et Tricot. Paris’ original knit café owned by Aimée in Paris, France. This darling little café doubles as a knitting haven. The functionality of this adorable shop gives it a quaint pairing of beauty and comfort.

The Coffee Academics (Hong Kong, China)

The Coffee Academïcs Studio features professional espresso equipment and myriads of coffee accessories. With a commercial bar and a loft-like interior, they boast the most stylish coffee training centre in Hong Kong. With unique offerings such as lattes sweetened with organic raw agave nectar and spiced with ground black pepper.

All of these Cafés have there own persona unique touch and passion, and I have been happy to learn about them. I am sure their are many other worthy candidates, and I hope to discover them. 

“I remember that – you know, I didn’t receive a formal education. I was educated in the Montevideo cafe, in the cafes of Montevideo. There, I received my first lessons in the art of telling stories, storytelling.” ~ Eduardo Galeano

Tell me about your favorite café, what makes them special?