The oh-so-important topic of coffee. It's very interesting the variety of ways it's served throughout the world. From out of this world to barely tolerable, it's still worth trying wherever you go.
No matter what kind of coffee is possible, in most countries the default is going to be the ubiquitous Nescafe instant coffee packet (or other similar 3-in-1).
|About Their Coffee
|Don't expect to wake up and wander to your nearest coffee shop at 8am in some towns. Many places don't open until later and even then, you'll have to find a tourist restaurant that serves coffee. Then you'll be able to get anything from regular coffee to cafe lattes, but not to-go.
In towns like San Ignacio it's completely the opposite. The restaurants are open and serving coffee at around 6am since they know the tours start early.
Some guesthouses provide brewed coffee in the shared area.
|Surprisingly but not (since this was a French colony not long ago), Comoros serves good coffee. I was even visiting a backpacker hostel barely accessible by a dirt path and the host made me the most wonderful espresso in his metal percolator over a fire in his kitchen!
|Costa Rica is well known for it's coffee growing and the good news is ... they drink what they grow. Locals will brew coffee in a sock filter sort of a thing. Due to the high expat population, there's no shortage of packaged coffee at the supermarkets. The price ranges quite a bit though! From the fancy packaged Cafe Britt ($10 / 12 oz. to the less expensive but also smooth Cafe de Altura Montaña ($2 /9 oz.).
|There really needs to be a "tea" option here. That's what they drink and you will be offered it everywhere. Otherwise expect terrible instant coffee.
|This country is known for its organic high altitude coffee farms. You can buy beans throughout the country in varying qualities. Your best bet is to visit one of the farms directly but you will even find beans being processed in some tiny shops in the hills where they let their kids play in the beans on the floor (which will later be bagged for sale). Despite all of this, if you buy a coffee to drink somewhere, you will be served from an instant packet.
|Hot cup of java? Yep, Java is an island in Indonesia. The rich volcanic soil is ideal for growing coffee which has a different flavor on each island.. The typical Indonesian coffee you'll find at a roadside stand is Kopi Tubruk which is just fine grounds in a glass with boiling water over it and usually a good bit of sugar. It's not my favorite way to drink coffee but when in Rome.... And make sure to avoid the mud at the bottom! Sometimes there are delicious spiced versions with ginger or cinnamon.
Of course in Bali, modern coffee shops abound where you get get lattes and such.
And if you really want them, the instant packets are available in the shops and are also the variety that mimic the traditional local coffee with undissolved grounds - yum.
|As you might expect, Italy has incredible coffee. They are experts at it. The default is an espresso brewed in the metal percolator.
|Same as most countries where the default is instant coffee. You can ask for milk and you might get it.
|As you might guess, even though Zanzibar is known for its coffee that is grown there, you will be hard pressed to find local coffee served anywhere. I asked everywhere I went for real local coffee and got confused stares most of the time. Sometimes even if they said it was from Zanzibar, it was still instant. Nescafe it is!
|Yep, you're probably going to get some sort of instant coffee here and it will be black unless you ask for milk which they may or may not have and even then it might be powdered. They have recently started serving iced coffee milk which is more like Thai iced tea style with sweetened milk. Sweet, refreshing, and yummy. (ice cofi milk)
|Wow, the iced coffee will take the enamel off your teeth. It takes a bit of getting used to but it's now one of my favorite things! It's as rich as a good coffee ice cream. It's usually brewed to order in a cloth filter and served with sweetened condensed milk. Ca phe sua daa (rasiing your voice on the sua and daa as if they were a question)