Six of the best coffees around the world

Are you a coffee lover like me? It’s the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans that hits your nose first and then you take a sip of hot, sweet coffee. Ahhh, the day starts to feel better already. But perhaps for you it’s a tiny cup of strong, black expresso, ending the meal perfectly like a full stop at the end of a sentence. Or a frothy cappuccino to eat with a sweet pastry for breakfast like they do in Spain.

6 of the best coffees around the world

However you like it, a great cup of coffee is full of ritual as you watch a skilled barista operate those shiny machines that woosh and hiss, or the buzzy atmosphere of your favourite coffee shop where you meet your friends for a late morning weekend brunch or an afternoon coffee and cake.

Now I’m dreaming about all the coffees I’ve enjoyed on my travels, each coffee experience giving me a doorway into the culture of the place I visited. For more coffee inspiration, take a look at this Coffee infographic that will take you around the world in 31 coffees, but in the meantime let me share with you some of my favourite coffees around the world.

1. Copenhagen – the best coffee in the world?

If ever there was a place where they know how to elevate coffee to an art form it is Copenhagen and Coffee Collective sits among the best of the best.

Coffee Collective in Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Coffee Collective in Copenhagen

I visited their original coffee shop in Nørrebro a few years ago, a tiny place with just a few wooden tables outside and a stool inside to perch while your coffee is being expertly made. Their coffee beans are sold all around Copenhagen and they operate on a Direct Trade model, working with farmers in Brazil, Guatamala, Kenya and Panama to pay the best prices for the best quality coffee. If you visit this place you’ll probably be buying your coffee to take away (perhaps picking up a pastry from the Claus Meyer bakery across the road) but if you want to sit and enjoy your coffee in a foodie atmosphere, head for their stand in the Torvehallerne food market halls.

Coffee Cooperative in Copenhagen Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Coffee Cooperative in Copenhagen

Torvehallerne is one of my favourite places in Copenhagen, where you can get a fabulous but reasonably priced lunch or sip your coffee with a cake just like your Danish grandmother might have baked. The third branch of Coffee Collective is in Frederiksberg, where the beans are roasted and they do monthly tours and coffee tastings where you can learn how to make a perfect coffee. Definitely a place of pilgrimage for the coffee connoisseur.

Read More: Eat the Neighbourhood in Norrebro, Copenhagen

2. Coffee time is Fika time in Sweden

If you’ve visited Sweden I’m sure you’ll have come across the tradition of ‘fika’, or having a coffee break with friends. This is the occasion to settle down in a cosy cafe where the counters are laden with buns and pastries to relax over a good cup of coffee and a chat. When I visited Gothenburg I discovered that the picturesque old neighbourhood of Haga was the perfect fika spot, since its cobbled streets are lined with cafes, restaurants and artizan shops.

Buns at Cafe Kringlan in Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Buns at Cafe Kringlan in Haga, Gothenburg, Sweden

Cafe Husaren on the corner of the main street of Hada Nygatan is reputed to be the original source of the enormous cinamon buns which are a speciality of Gothenburg, although we squeezed into the pretty, traditional Cafe Kringlan with the gold bagel hanging outside. The local’s choice for fika in Gothenburg seems to be Da Matteo and they have several shops including the largest in Magasingaten where they bake the bread and pastries on the premises, so you get the aroma of freshly baked bread thrown in with your coffee.

Read More: Favourite coffee spots in Gothenburg for your coffee fix

3. Salzburg – for coffee and cakes

Perhaps you’ve gathered by now that I have something of a sweet tooth, so heaven for me is a great cup of coffee served in the afternoon with a slice of the local cake. Of course Austria makes a speciality of this Kaffee und Kuchen ritual and where better than Salzburg, the glorious homeland of Mozart and the Sound of Music to enjoy it?

Steinterrasse in Salzburg Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Steinterrasse in Salzburg

When it comes to cake to accompany your afternoon coffee, you’ll likely be wavering between the Apfelstrudel (soft bites of apple wrapped in crisp layers of pastry) and the Sacher Torte (rich, dense chocolate cake laced with apricot jam). The traditional choice would probably be to head for Hotel Sacher which overlooks the river but we enjoyed our kaffee und kuchen on the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Stein with a fabulous view of the fortress, which is highly recommended in good weather. 

Read more: Bratwurst and Sacher Torte – or what we ate in Salzburg

4. A chilled frappe on the beach in Greece

Coffee can be a cool drink in more ways than one, as I discovered on my annual trips to Greece to visit my sister who lives on the Greek Island of Zakynthos. Traditionally the Greeks drink their coffee like the Turks, strong and sweet in a tiny cup together with those ultra-sweet pastries that drip with syrup. This is what you’d serve to friends who come visiting in the afternoon.

Frappuccino on Ionian beach, Zakynthos, Greece Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Frappuccino on Ionian beach, Zakynthos, Greece

But the trendy thing to drink in summer is a chilled Frappé – where an expresso is poured over ice with creamy milk to make a coffee that’s sipped through a straw from a long glass. When you’re lying on your sunbed or sitting in a trendy Greek beach bar, be sure to order a “Freddo” coffee, which comes in different Italian styles such as a Freddo cappuccino, Freddo Expresso or a Freddoccino (iced mocha coffee with chocolate). 

Read More: Sunday morning Greek coffee and Glika in Zakynthos

5. Ruddesheimer coffee in Germany – coffee with a creamy kick

If you fancy your coffee with something a little stronger, we found the perfect alternative coffee on our Rhine River Cruise stop at the pretty town of Rudesheim. Wandering down the cobbled street of the Drosselgasse with its wine shops and taverns we stopped at Rudesheimer Schloss to try the local speciality of Rudesheimer coffee.

Rudesheimer coffee Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Rudesheimer coffee

This coffee spiked with brandy is the German equivalent of Irish Coffee and started in the 1920s when the Alspach brandy company invented a brandy chocolate so that ladies could enjoy a secret tipple, at a time when it was considered unseemly for women to drink in public. One good thing lead to another and in the 1950s the Rudesheimer coffee was born, a warming mixture of sweet coffee with a good helping of Asbach brandy, topped with sweet, whipped vanilla cream and sprinkled with grated chocolate. These days the Rudesheimer coffee is served in all the local coffee shops and you can bring back small bottles of the Alspach brandy if you want to try it at home.

Read More: How to make a Rudesheimer coffee – video

6. A hot chocolate alternative to coffee in Gothenburg

If you’re not a coffee drinker, you’ll be pleased to know that in Gothenburg we found an excellent alternative at Cafe Kanold that specialises in velvety hot chocolate. Staying cosy from the chilly wind and weather, we sat on the cushioned banquette with pretty floral cushions and enjoyed a warming hot chocolate – served with chili flakes on top for an extra kick.

Cafe Kanold in Gothenburg, Sweden Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Cafe Kanold in Gothenburg, Sweden

While there is also a counter of hand-made Kanold chocolates in the cafe, you’ll want to visit the main Kanold chocolate shop close by on Södra Larmgatan at the end of Viktoriapassagen. It’s a cross between an old fashioned candy store and a boutique chocolatier where you can buy the Kanold speciality, a soft chocolate truffle centre topped with sea salt, which has now become known as the “Gothenburg Truffle”. Of course if you insist of coffee at Cafe Kanold, I’m sure they serve that too!

Read More: Chocolate with sea salt – a taste of West Sweden

Check out this Coffee Infographic

If you want to fuel your coffee fascination even more, take a look at this Coffee infographic from  Cheapflights that will take you around the world in 31 coffees. Here are a few cool coffee facts that I discovered;

  • In Italy you only drink milky coffee in the morning and NEVER after a meal – the cappuccino in the afternoon is only for tourists!
  • Breakfast in Spain normally consists of a cup of coffee with a sweet pastry or churros
  • In Senegal coffee is served with cloves and guinea pepper
  • In 2001 Brazil issued a coffee scented postage stamp
  • Seatle has 10 times more coffee store per head than the rest of the USA
Around the world in 31 Coffees Photo: Cheapflights.com

Around the world in 31 Coffees – infographic from Cheapflights

Now, please excuse me as I’m off to find the perfect coffee to have with my weekend brunch in Bristol

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6 of the best coffees around the world

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

This article is written in association with Cheapflights

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Summer and winter – Filzmoos in Austria has something for everyone

In this article, guest author Claire Palmer shares with us her family’s favourite holiday choice of Filzmoos, Austria, the perfect destination for summer walking or winter skiing, your choice for a gentle or full-on family activity holiday!

The traditional mountain village of Filzmoos has been a much-loved destination for my family in both winter and summer since we first discovered it when my 19 year old son was a 19 month old! Building and development is strictly controlled so it has retained its alpine chocolate-box charm with no high-rise buildings to mar the breath-taking views of the Bischofsmutze (Bishop’s Mitre) peak and the Dachstein glacier range. There is no shortage of things to keep our two teenage boys occupied and the village has kept pace with their requirements as they have grown.

The mountain village of Filzmoos, Austria

The mountain village of Filzmoos, Austria

Uncrowded slopes meet the needs of any ski enthusiast

The whole family learnt to ski (snowboard in my younger son’s case) in Filzmoos, including my father who learnt at the ripe old age of 74 and still holidays with us 19 years later, an inspiration to us all! All the instructors in the excellent ski schools speak very good English. Filzmoos is only known to one UK tour operator which means the slopes are uncrowded and the lift queues short, even in the school holidays. We love that the gentle nursery slopes are right in the middle of the village and the more challenging runs finish in the middle of the village so, if some of us have been on the “red” runs and others opted for a leisurely cruise on the wide, well-groomed “blue” pistes, we can all easily meet up in one of the many restaurants and cafes for a warming hot chocolate (Gluhwein for me, please).

Skiing for all the family in Filzmoos, Austria

Skiing for all the family in Filzmoos, Austria

Speaking of restaurants, the typical Austrian mountain food is delicious and filling. My sons never tire of the local specialty dessert – Germknodel – a yeast dumpling filled with plum jam and served with vanilla custard. When they were younger it was a whole meal in itself, now it follows a huge Tiroler Grostl, a sizzling cast iron pan of diced potatoes, bacon and eggs fried with herbs.

Activities abound in any season

At Christmas our “must-do” outing is a sleigh ride up to the Oberhofalm and Unterhofalm for the “Advent Idyll” walk around the frozen lake featuring fire pits, candle-lit decorative scenes and huts selling spiced Gluhwein. Watch out for the trick-playing Perchten, horned beasts from folklore dating back to pagan times.

Campfire around the lake at Filzmoos, Austria

Campfire around the lake at Filzmoos, Austria

On Christmas Eve Father Christmas arrives in the village square by sleigh and he and his angel-helpers give out sweets and sparklers to the children. Gluhwein is, as always, on offer for the adults!

Father Christmas comes to Filzmoos

Father Christmas comes to Filzmoos

Our favourite summer outing is also up to the Oberhofalm and Unterhofalm inns but this time by hiring electric-assisted mountain bikes to ride through the woods, arriving in time for lunch outside on the terrace under the sun umbrellas, gazing at eagles circling in the bright blue sky and the majestic snow-capped peak of the Bischofsmutze, now so much closer.

The electric bike will take you up to Unterhofalm

The electric bike will take you up to Unterhofalm

On the way up our refreshment stop is a trough with a spout that gushes pure mountain spring water straight from the ground at an amazing 5 degrees C. Bliss! These electric bikes are amazing machines! The fittest in the party can pedal just as on a normal bike and I can choose how much assistance to have from the battery power, enabling me to go up slopes I could only dream about otherwise!

Inside the Oberhofalm

Inside the Oberhofalm

Discover local flora and fauna

Once up at the mountain inns there are numerous marked walking paths across the high alpine pastures and around the small lake. In fact Filzmoos has 200km of marked walking trails and I love to see the wild mountain flowers in spring and summer. I’ve found gentian, carlina and many others that I can’t identify but no edelweiss yet, sadly.

Filzmoos has 200km of marked walking trails

Filzmoos has 200km of marked walking trails

Another favourite walk of ours is the Marmot trail where we take the Wanderbus high up into the mountains where one can see marmots (although the only ones we’ve seen so far are on postcards!) then walk back down to the village, admiring the incredible alpine scenery and views at every turn.

Take the Wanderbus up the mountain with stunning views at every turn

Take the Wanderbus up the mountain with stunning views at every turn

Plenty to do for the adventure seeker

For something a little more adrenalin-fuelling for our teenagers, we take the Wanderbus to the neighbouring village of Ramsau where there is a summer toboggan run. Riding the toboggan down on spiralling metal rails that loop out on stilts over the valley is certainly exhilarating, as is going up the mountain on the chairlift and hiring a mountain scooter to ride back down. A completely new experience for all of us! Ramsau also has a bathing lake, archery, hang-gliding or a long cable car ride up to the Dachstein glacier for skiing or to visit the ice caves. A walk out on the Dachstein Sky Walk, a platform overhanging the valley 250 metres straight below, gives a spectacular panorama but I prefer to look out not down!

Teenagers and speed lovers enjoy the Ramsau toboggan run

Teenagers and speed lovers enjoy the Ramsau toboggan run

Despite only having 1,450 inhabitants, Filzmoos village has everything we have ever needed and so we relish not having to use a car and therefore not having to worry about how much of the refreshing “golden nectar” we have drunk!

There's everything you need in the village centre at Filzmoos, Austria

There’s everything you need in the village centre at Filzmoos, Austria

As well as indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a bowling alley and tennis court, there is a well-stocked supermarket, butcher and delicatessen, a wonderful bakery with coffee shop, pharmacy, doctor’s surgery, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, bowling alley and, most importantly, numerous restaurants and cafes serving scrumptious coffee and specialty cakes such as Viennese Sachertorte or apple strudel and cream. After 18 years of holidaying there we have still not run out of things to do and there are many excursions we have still not taken.

You can rent Claire's apartment in Flizmoos, Austria

You can rent Claire’s apartment in Flizmoos, Austria

Two years ago we realised our dream of buying a one-bedroomed apartment in the village, within five minutes walk of ski slopes and restaurants. This sleeps up to 5 and is available for hire. Please email Claire Palmer at [email protected] for more information.

14380197632_4dfeab4859_qAuthor Bio: Many thanks for this article to Claire Palmer, who has loved to travel ever since she was a child touring Europe by caravan for the summer (her parents were teachers) and spending part of her childhood in New Zealand. Since having her own children she has travelled extensively as a family both in Europe and back to New Zealand. She loves Austria and, since realising a long-held dream of buying a property there, is taking German lessons in preparation for spending much more time there when her sons have left school.

For more Austrian adventures:

May Day at The White Horse Inn on Lake Wolfgang, Austria
Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg
Riding the steam train – on the Schafburgbahn at St Wolfgang

This article  is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey

Let the sights of Europe come to you on a River Cruise

Each year millions of visitors flock to Europe to experience its beauty and culture. Planes, trains and automobiles may be the traditional methods of reaching famous locations but can be stressful and tiring. River cruise tours in Europe offer an opportunity to relax in comfort and luxury, while the continent’s greatest sights and experiences are brought to you. From Amsterdam, cruises set sail for Germany – treating passengers to luxury cabins, stylish restaurants and spacious sun decks.

Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night Photo: in_focus on Flickr

Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night

The Rhine, Main and Danube river cruise stops first in Cologne, where the twin spires of the city’s Gothic cathedral dominate a scenic skyline. In the afternoon, guided walking tours take passengers out into the city and around its most interesting and historic locations. The city is host to a wealth of eye-catching architecture, including medieval churches and the Colonius tower – the tallest structure in the city.

The leisurely trip through Germany includes stops at the historic Koblenz and the sleepy, idyllic town of Miltenberg. Passing onto the Danube, the towers of Nuremburg’s 11th century castle rise into view and the cruise stops for guided tours of the city’s old town and popular market districts. Once regarded as the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire, there’s a lot to see and do in Nuremburg, including cultural attractions like Museum of Modern Art and the Justice Palace. Don’t forget to find time to sample some of the city’s famous Nurnberger Bratwurst!

A view of Miltenberg from your river cruise Photo: Steve Masiello on Flickr

A view of Miltenberg from your river cruise

Passing into Austria, the next stop is Passau from where you might like to take a coach trip to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and home to spectacular Alpine views and cosy mountain settlements. Further into Austria, stops include a Benedictine abbey and Durnstein, one of Austria’s finest wine producing villages. After a stay in the stylish Vienna, it’s on to Slovakia and the capital, Bratislava, in the Carpathian mountains.

A view of Salzburg, Austria Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

A view of Salzburg, Austria

Bratislava is a melting pot of central European culture – dating back 2000 years to early Celtic civilisation. Rich royal heritage is all over the city – in elaborate baroque palaces and the imposing Bratislava Castle. There’s a modern side to Bratislava and you’ll see striking, innovative buildings, like the diamond-shaped Kamzik Tower and the inverted-pyramid of the Slovak radio headquarters, scattered across the skyline.

View of the Chain bridge in Budapest Photo:Heatheronhertravels.com

View of the Chain bridge in Budapest

Ending in Budapest, the river cruise chance to experience some of Europe’s most famous destinations at a pace which lets you savour their beauty free from the stress and complications of the airport and the motorway!

This article was brought to you by Titan Travel,  where you can book your River Cruise holiday and discover the sights of Europe in luxury and comfort.

More good things to explore in Europe

Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg
Passion, Music and drama in Oberammergau
The latest dirndl fashions from Bavaria in Munich

Photo credits: Cologne Cathedral and the river Rhine at night by in__focus , Miltenberg by Steve Masiello

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

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