Brew a cup, order a Venti, or pop a K-cup in the Keurig because it’s international coffee day!
If you read my story about my trip to a Colombian coffee farm, you already know that I’m the only person you know that doesn’t drink coffee. That being said, I love everything else about the caffeinated craving in a cup aside from drinking it, in particular, the coffee shop. The smell, people all sitting around socializing quietly with friends or working remotely like me. It’s my version of going to a cubicle but with delicious treats and a warmer atmosphere. I usually try and find a spot to work while I’m away and the first place I seek out is a quiet, quaint coffee shop where I can be inspired, meet locals and get my work done so I can go enjoy the city. Here are just a few of my favorites!
1. Aku Gallery and Cafe, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Follow the ants that decorate the stairwell up to the second floor and you’ll come upon a city hideaway. There is only a small sign on an otherwise nondescript building so this serene coffee house and gallery can get easily lost in the shuffle. A quiet place with friendly, soft spoken service and wonderful unique coffees along with free wifi and local artwork for sale, you can easily escape the hustle and bustle of KL by walking up a short flight of steps.
2. Coffee and Meal, Nai Yang Beach Thailand
This is a special place on the beach where we had come to know the owners the first year we visited so by the second year we quickly were the “American regulars”. The menu is lovingly prepared and the owner was trained by a friend of ours who had a famous coffee shop in Chiang Mai so it was destined to be a favorite while in the area. They recently acquired beach front space so not only can you order your morning latte, you can also rent a beach chair and enjoy your cappuccino and the view.
3. Chino Cafe Gallery, Phuket Thailand
Chino Cafe is a calm oasis in the middle of China town in the old section of Phuket. The artwork is stunning and is featured on the cool, concrete walls. In the warm Thai weather an iced coffee is in order to gear up for the cultural walk through the streets of Phuket Town, one of my favorite cities. The cafe sells souvenirs made of eco-friendly materials which coincides with their natural aesthetic.
4. SPOON, Edinburgh, Scotland
This spot is easy to miss when masked by all of the other restaurants, pubs and cafes on the royal mile, especially because it surreptitiously resides on the upper level of the building, overlooking the tourists below. The cafe has a funky sense of style with vintage decor, the feel of a second hand store you can have lunch in. Ladies make sure you check out the WC, the wall paper is a hysterical decoupage of vintage Tampax advertisements. Well made drinks, snacks and a chill vibe I felt like a local enjoying a lunch, jotting down notes in my journal and occasionally gazing out the window watching life below.
5. China House, Georgetown Penang Malaysia
Word on the street was the China House had insanely delicious desserts and I had a craving for a well made sweet so I sought it out and boy did this place deliver. Creatively decorated rooms flowing into rooms spilling into outdoor space, you can get lost in this place as well as find your own personal nook for the afternoon to enjoy a snack and stick your nose in a good book. And if you thought doing desserts right was their only selling point, you are mistaken. Wonderful dinner dishes, cocktails and a cooperative art space, China House is a triple threat.
6. A Wired Monk, Halifax, Nova Scotia
A small chain of Canadian coffee shops, A Wired Monk had humble beginnings as a one location family operation, and I can appreciate anything with good roots. Featuring organic coffee and a bistro menu it is a great location in town to sit enjoy a cup and get some work done. Did I mention they are a duel purpose space and you can meet your friends here after work for a happy hour drink? Wired Monk caters not only to coffee connoisseurs but wine lovers as well.
7. Charlie’s Portobello Road Cafe, London England
Ok, so technically this is a Cafe and not a “coffee shop” per se, but after antiquing and finding gems at the stalls of Portobello Road this is the spot to have a proper english breakfast, a cuppa something hot and a good chat with friends about all of the deals you just scored on your souvenir purchases. It’s in Notting Hill so for all of you romcom fans be sure to hunt down the book store from the Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant flick.
Where’s your favorite place to go to perk up or unwind?