The Traveler’s Ultimate Guide to Coffee

Updated August 28, 2022.

What’s the first thing you Google when you start planning a trip? For me, it’s “Coffee Shops in _______!” I’d never say I have a refined coffee palatte (I need flavor, sweetness, and milk, cream, or half-and-half, please!), but I do love the ritual of coffee. And coffee is different wherever you go, right? So I decided during this quarantine time that we all need a boost and a little travel to get ourselves going in the morning. Here’s your list of coffees from around the world, and links* to get yours on Amazon!

Ready for a coffee break?

The Coffees

I couldn’t decide if I wanted these to be all about the origin of the coffees, types of coffee beverages, or how to make coffee beverages from around the world. I still can’t decide, so there’s a little bit of everything here for you, sorted by region, but in no particular order! Not all coffee-growing countries are mentioned (this is not a Master’s Thesis!), I simply chose three from some of the most popular coffee-growing regions for a variety.

North America


Coffee grows in the “Coffee Belt,” which is between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Much of North America is above that, but lucky for us, my favorite coffee grows in Hawaii! In fact, the island of Kauai is home to the largest coffee plantation in the United States, and they make the best coffee, in my humble opinion! Coffee grows on several Hawaiian islands, and in fact there are nearly 800 coffee farms across the Hawaiian islands! The volcanic soil and high elevations add flavor notes with low acidity.

Next time you’re feeling like a trip to the islands, check out a couple of these. Fun fact: All their K-cups come in low-plastic pods, which are better for the environment!

Flavored Varieties

Unflavored Varieties

Costa Rica

Coasta Rica also has volcanic soil and high elevations. You’ll also find that some of the best coffee in the world comes from here because it’s literally illegal for coffee growers to grow any coffee beans other than 100% Arabica coffee beans, which are the best in the world. Next time you want to taste what coffee “should” taste like, pick out a bag of Costa Rican coffee! Many plantations are family-owned and have always been organic, even before it was cool!


Mexican coffee is interesting because they add flavors into the roasting process instead of adding them after. Think Mexican cinnamon, hazelnut, and more flavor notes so ingrained into the product that it shines through every sip! You’ll find coffee farms in Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz, and Mexican coffee is known for its natural nutty or chocolaty overtones.

Try Something New: Hot Mexican Mocha

Want to kick your coffee experience up a notch? Try a hot and spicy Mexican Mocha! All you need is coffee, milk, and spicy Mexican hot cocoa mix, which usually consists of powdered cocoa, sugar, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

  1. Brew your regular coffee, or make it a bit stronger if you like.
  2. Put 1.5-2 Tablespoons of Mexican hot cocoa mix into your mug (more or less to taste).
  3. Pour enough coffee so your mug is half full.
  4. Fill it up the rest of the way with milk of your choice and stir!
  5. Add whipped cream on top for delight!

South America

Much of the northern portion of South America is in the coffee business. The climate is right, the mountainous terrain means growing happens at higher elevations, and in fact much of the coffee consumed in the world comes from South America!


Colombia has the ideal climate for growing coffee, which means it can grow some great coffee! Coffee growers in Colombia also hand-pick their beans, meaning you’ll be getting perfect coffee beans every time instead of the stray unripe or overripe bean roasted in with the rest.

Try Something New: Colombian Esponjado de Cafe (Colombian Coffee Mousse)

This little coffee mousse recipe looks absolutely delicious, and it just takes a few ingredients you should have on hand (water, heavy cream or milk, sugar, and egg whites), plus a few things you may not have just this minute but could get quickly (instant coffee, gelatine, and condensed milk). Get the whole recipe here!


Ecuador is so-named because the Equator runs right through it, putting it smack in the middle of the coffee belt! The coffee grown on the mainland tends to be grown in the Andes mountains, which means higher elevation and lower acidity. They also tend to have fruity notes like peach and apricot! But if you want a real treat, spring for the ultra-rare Galapagos coffee, mostly grown on the islands of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. Check out this article for more about the unique growing process in the Galapagos!

Thirsty for more? Check out my Ecuador Page!


Peru’s incredible Andes mountains (where Machu Piccu is located) make for wonderful high-altitude coffee farm conditions. Because they’re growing their coffee plants at such high altitudes, the flavors are mild and have low acidity. Because farmers there haven’t had ready access to non-organic growing means, the vast majority of their coffee has always been organic!


Africa is well-known for its coffee production, and with good reason. Much of Africa falls within the coffee belt, and there are high mountains in coffee-growing regions to create excellent coffee growing conditions.


Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee. In fact, they have the most different types of coffee in the world! It is grown at high altitudes, so the quality is high as well. Ethiopian coffee is sometimes served with sugar or milk, but can often be found served with salt or butter as well!

Try Something New: Coffee with Popcorn

Okay, so I’m totally just going by several articles I found online, but they all say the same thing: Ethiopian coffee is often served with popcorn! How fun is that? Give it a try next time you bust out your Ethiopian coffee! My favorite is kettle corn.


Kenyan coffee is popular with the “single origin” coffee elitist crowd, which probably means it actually is really good coffee! They say it has a savory-sweet element that sets it apart from the rest, and they carry flavor notes from berries to citrus fruits. Kenya grows coffee on both small family-owned farms and large plantations, so there’s never a shortage!


You’ll find coffee plantations on Uganda’s Mount Elgon, one of the country’s highest mountains, and near Sipi Falls. Ugandan coffees are usually on the lighter side, with notes of chocolate (sign me up!). Robusta coffee is said to have started here as well!


Southeast Asia is well known for its coffee, and with good reason: the region is very much agricultural. They grow everything from rice to rubber to coffee, and everything in between!


Ever heard coffee called “Java?” This is why! Java is an island in Indonesia, and guess what: they grow coffee! Indonesian coffees have the benefit of volcanic soil and high altitudes that give coffee low acidity with spice, floral, and chocolatey notes! Also, if you’ve ever wanted to try the Kopi Luwak coffee made with partially digested coffee cherries? It comes from Indonesia as well! Try it out and see what you think… is it really the best in the world?

New Guinea

New Guinea sounded like a sure thing for the Dutch and German people who tried to grow coffee there in the early 20th century, but it just wasn’t working out. They weren’t ready to give up, though, so they tried a different type of bean from the Jamaican Blue Mountains, and it worked! Coffee production started to take off in New Guinea in the 1930s. Coffees from here tend to have notes of fruit, flowers, and spices like cinnamon!


While Brazil leads the world in Arabica coffee bean production, Vietnam leads in Robusta! Some people think robusta doesn’t taste as good as Arabica, but it’s all about preference. Robusta has a higher caffeine content, so there’s definitely a plus for those who really need an efficient boost in the morning! Vietnamese coffees are traditionally brewed with the “pour over” drip method (more on that below), and they often offer notes of fruit, scotch, and vanilla!

Try Something New: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

If you’ve never had iced Vietnamese coffee before, I’m about to rock your world in a very big way. Get ready! All you need is coffee, ice, and sweetened condensed milk.

  1. Brew your preferred coffee, perhaps stronger than usual knowing you’ll be adding the Eagle brand milk.
  2. Put coffee in the refrigerator until it is chilled. I often put brewed and unused coffee in a mason jar and let it sit in the refrigerator until the next morning.
  3. Place a few cubes of ice in a glass (I prefer less ice, but use your judgement).
  4. Fill the glass 2/3-3/4 with col. coffee.
  5. Fill the rest of the way with sweetened condensed milk, stir, and serve.

The Equipment

You can have the best coffee in the world, but if you can’t brew it, you’re just out of luck. Here are all the coffee making options for you from automated to manual!

Coffee Pot

I love the smell of coffee in the morning. My mom would make the most fantastic flavors of coffee in the mornings, and the smell always reminds me of home. Even when I lived solo I enjoyed my full-size coffee pot for when I had friends over… or when I just wanted a pot to myself on a rainy day! And look how pretty. This one also comes in red!

Coffee Grinder

Ever order a bag of coffee and then when it arrives you realize it’s whole beans? Nothing worse, right?! Well, you can certainly just ask them to grind it at the store or grind it yourself in the coffee grinder in many coffee aisles, but you could also do it easily in your own home.


You can’t go wrong with the original Keurig coffee maker. My mom got one for me when I lived solo because I was too cheap to buy one for myself, and I loved it! This one is too cute, and it comes in pink, turquoise, gray and black! You favorite coffee doesn’t come in a K-cup? Concerned about the waste most K-cups generate? No worries! Get a reusable K-cup and fill it with your favorite ground coffee!

2-in-1 Full-size Coffee Pot and Single-serve Coffee Maker

This is the coffee maker my husband Steve and I have, and it’s nice! We like that I can have my one cup of flavored delicious coffee, which he says is wasted on him, and he can have 8 cups of his unflavored coffee. We got silver because this color was out of stock. And you can see why. It’s beautiful!

French Press

I am admittedly not a coffee connoisseur. I’m kind of a cheap coffee date, in fact! But those who use a French press and can taste the difference claim that it is “life changing.” While I’m not sure that’s exactly true for everyone’s life, you might like it! The method is to put the coffee grounds in the bottom, pour hot water over the grounds to allow them to steep, put the lid on while steeping, and push the lid’s plunger down before serving. Check out this handy article with more about French press coffee.

Pour Over

This is a newcomer to the mainstream coffee world, at least as far as I know. The first time I saw one of these was sometime last year. You literally pour the water over coffee grounds in a filter above your cup, and it drips down into your favorite mug. This article is helpful for pour-over beginners!

Milk Frother

Like a little foam in your life? Want to make pro lattes at home? Get yourself a milk frother! How fun is that? I’m definitely a latte kinda girl, and I love the texture of foamy, frothy milk with my coffee.

Where is your favorite coffee from, what flavor is it, and what do you use to brew it? Comment below to let us all know! And for more food and beverage info from around the world, check out my World Foods Page!

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