Coffee, Tea or...
Many of us could not get through our day without a cup of our favorite coffee or tea. And much of the world is the same way.
Here are some great places to visit while satisfying your caffeine-loving cravings….
From Rome to the smallest Italian villages, Italians love their espresso, cappuccino and everything else coffee-related. Coffee drinking here is serious business—no paper “to-go” cups or drinking on the run—Italians enjoy their strong, dark coffee at leisure in a café, so be prepared to sit down or stand at a high counter. Add a little cream and sugar to your "cuppa" and enjoy the rich, robust flavors. And if you need a little local gossip or conversation, they serve that too.
What could be more delightful than sipping a cup of coffee and nibbling a decadent pastry while seated in a charming outdoor café in Paris? The carefree pace and friendly ambiance, combined with a beautiful day make this an outing to be savored.
Indulge in an Austrian coffee, accompanied by a slice of Sachertorte, followed up by a walk around the Ring, the boulevard that encircles the city center. This historic area is filled with open plazas, majestic churches, welcoming little shops, and blissful gardens.
Cuba has several coffee growing regions. Locally grown coffee beans are harvested, roasted, then ground and mixed with cane sugar. Discover a small café with lively Cuban music and settle in to embrace the surroundings—there is no finer way to pass an afternoon.
Turkish coffee houses are famous for their hardy coffees served in traditional copper pots. Locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy sweetened coffee served with light snacks or desserts (including the famous candy, Turkish Delight). Spend some time here and get a true sense of the rich history and culture of this beautiful country.
If tea is more your style…
High tea is still a prominent British tradition. Served in the late afternoon, a fortifying medley of teas, sandwiches, and sweets is truly an English experience. A true high tea ranges from simple and casual to formal and extravagant.
Tea is the heart of Japanese culture, and it's infused into everyday life. Tea shops sell every variety of tea and accoutrement imaginable, and friendly shopkeepers can explain the history, traditions, and rules that accompany this essential part of everyday life. For a memorable experience, attend a Japanese tea ceremony—where thousands of years of history and ritual provide visitors an experience unlike any other.
Chinese culture also embraces tea. Traditional tea houses feature a diverse menu of tea options, along with snacks and world-famous entertainment—everything from shadow plays to acrobatic performances and local folk-art shows.
Like their British neighbors across the channel, the Irish love tea—perhaps to help stay warm on those chilly, windswept days. Often taken in a pub alongside light snacks and live music, a good steaming cup of tea does help one get through a damp morning or rainy afternoon.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
For something quite different, try maté—the national drink of Argentina. Enjoyed by much of South America, this highly-caffeinated beverage is made from dried maté leaves ground into a powder. It's often served in a communal traditional gourd, shared by a group of friends, accompanied by local delicacies and great conversation.