As a citizen of the world, you know about the different kinds of tourism. Ecotourism. Adventure travel. Volun-tourism (where you volunteer while travelling). But caffeine tourism is the new kid in town. Yes, you can now plan a trip around the world’s favourite (legal) psychoactive drug. The Caffeine Trifecta, an Australian online store specialising in all things coffee, tea and chocolate, have rated the best countries in the world to get a caffeine hit – beautiful cafes and tea houses in each of these destinations are an added bonus.
While it’s believed coffee plants (coffea) originated in Ethiopia, the growing conditions in Brazil are so favourable that today one in every three cups of coffee comes from there. Brazil has been the world’s largest producer of coffee for the past 150 years; it is central to the Brazilian economy and culture. Tourists can visit plantations and sample local beans the way Brazilians do – black in a piping hot shot.
Image credit: Instagram.com/021rio
Portugal introduced coffee plants to Brazil by smuggling them out of French Guiana (where the crops were closely guarded). The story goes that a Portuguese sergeant seduced the wife of the governor, who gave him a bouquet containing the precious plants. That intense passion for coffee is alive and well in Portugal to this day, where cafes are ubiquitous and shots of espresso are accompanied by delicious Portuguese custard tarts.
Image credit: Instagram.com/marcopmsantos
If tea is more your style, China is widely believed to be its birthplace – for thousands of years it has held a special place in Chinese culture. Tea is served in formal ceremonies to show respect, offer apologies and show gratitude (for example, at weddings). It’s also used in traditional Chinese medicine, cooking, and as a casual drink.
Image credit: Instagram.com/tkhtommy
The vibrant Chinese island of Taiwan is home to a special variety of oolong tea called Dong Ding. Named after the mountain it grows on, Dong Ding translates to ‘frozen summit’ or ‘icy peak. The tea has a toasty, woody flavour and travelling up the mountain to taste the local brew is a popular tourist activity.
Image credit: Instagram.com/ethanhsu49
While there is some debate about exactly where tea originated, if you draw a circle around south west China, Tibet and Northern India it’s generally agreed that’s the spot. India today has a thriving tea industry; 30 per cent of tea on earth is consumed there and beautiful tea plantations in the north of the country are popular with tourists.
Image credit: Instagram.com/part.time_nomadz
With scores of kinds of tea to choose from, Japan is a wonderful place to explore a variety of brews – and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony is an absolute must. With origins in Zen Buddhism, tea ceremonies involve preparing green matcha tea according to strict choreography. The movements are designed to reflect the values of harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity. As a side note, modern Japan is also embracing coffee – they’re one of the world’s largest importers of coffee beans.
Image credit: Instagram.com/pash.c.png
Australia (specifically, Melbourne)
No list of stylish, caffeine-addicted holiday destinations would be complete without our very own Melbourne. The city is obsessed with drinking perfect barista-made brews in distinctive neighbourhood cafes – usually accompanied by a delicious brunch. Make yours a flat white if you really want to sip like a local.
Image credit: Instagram.com/yantastic