All posts tagged: wanderlust

A Guide to Specialty Coffee in Tokyo and Kyoto

Most people don’t associate Japan with high quality coffee. Traditional coffee houses generally serve a filter variety of coffee, and Japan’s ubiquitous vending machines carry canned coffee, hot and cold. However, the specialty coffee scene is growing in popularity and quality. Starbucks and big chains still dominate streetscapes, but hidden down quiet lanes you’ll find the following cafes slinging quality espresso. Off the beaten tourist track, the search for the best brew is a great way to discover different neighbourhoods (and importantly stay caffeinated while at it). That’s the point of travel, right? TOKYO Fuglen 1 Chome-16-11 Tomigaya, 渋谷区 Tokyo 151-0063, Japan This cafe and bar is the sister outpost of Fuglen Oslo, and you can tell. If you’re wandering around Yoyogi Park and surrounds in Tokyo, and have a hankering for a smooth cappuccino inside what feels like the coziest Scandinavian cabin, then Fuglen is your place. Who doesn’t love coffee with a vintage modernist aesthetic? It’s open well after dark (till 2am Friday and Saturday) for late night cravings. Onibus Nakameguro Japan, 〒153-0051 …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Bocca

Many great businesses started in a garage. Amazon. Apple. Disney. Google. And Bocca. Menno & Tewis Simons first started roasting coffee in a garage in the Jordaan neighbourhood in 2001. And today they’ve come a long way. A kilometer to be exact. To their flagship store in Spiegelkwartier. It was a busy day in Amsterdam. The sun was out. And so were all the tourists. I needed a break. And was happy that I found myself near Bocca. The space is surprisingly big. For Amsterdam. For any European city. Well, for any city that’s been around since the 12th century. Finding a spot to sit, charge my iPhone and hop on the wifi was easy. Coffee was awesome. Service even more so. And, as you’ll see from my photographs, easily one of my favourite spaces in Amsterdam.

The 5 best flat whites in Buenos Aires (Palermo edition)

Buenos Aires was a late bloomer when it comes to specialty coffee shops. Like in every big city, coffee plays a big role in the porteños’ day to day life. There are coffee shops everywhere, and they range from very traditional cafés to the new wave of more alternative and cozy coffee spots. The flat white was recently introduced into the local coffee market by some very specific places, most of them new, opened in the last couple years. I honestly spend most of my afternoons looking for new places to try, and everytime I find one, I always get a flat white. I have a theory that if a place makes a nice flat white, then it’s good. If you’re a fan of the legendary flat white, like me, then you must go to these five places if you visit this culturally fascinating South American city. Ninina Bakery Perhaps the place that feels the most like New York City in the neighborhood of Palermo Soho. Actually, many of this new cafés find their home …

How I spent 48 hours in Amsterdam: Lot Sixty One

When I arrived at Lot Sixty One both the outside benches were occupied. By locals. Always a good sign. Two of them had dogs. An even better sign. I walked inside and perched myself at the bar. The heat outside inspired an iced coffee. Which tasted like friendship. It had me at hello. Which is how Claye introduced himself. He told me about the shop, the coffee and himself. I liked all three. And you will too.  

How about some coffee in New York?

“Welcome to New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do.” These words perfectly describe New York. Perfectly describe the coffee scene. Perfectly describe the people there. I have had the massive privilege of travelling to the amazing New York City twice in the past six months. I have experienced, seen and tasted so much awesomeness that it only seems fair that I share such experiences with you. If you are a coffee lover, love experiences and want to know where to get the best cup in the Big Apple, then this article is for you. I first want to preface this article by telling you what the coffee scene is like in this City. One word comes to mind: explosive. Absolutely explosive. I was in the city for over three weeks and every day I made it my mission to visit at least two to three stores a day. I wanted to meet baristas, I wanted them to make and tell me about their coffee and take some nice …

Here’s why your next holiday needs to be to Vietnam

Viet Nam, a diverse Southeast Asian country bordering Cambodia, Laos, and China, has a lot to offer to a curious traveler, with the sprawling Mekong River Delta and non-stop rhythm of Saigon in the South, relaxed rural pace of Hoi An in the country’s center, and the stunning landscapes surrounding the capital, Hanoi, in the North. Charting a course from the South to the North, let’s embark on an in-depth exploration of this fascinating country, with stops below serving as guideposts to your own journey. South Vietnam: The energy, youth, and future of Viet Nam is here, in Saigon (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City). So is the foreign investment, the startups, and the momentum. The city is on fire and does not stop; there are more motorbikes than people in this metropolitan of more than 8 million – cross the roads at your own risk! The city is divided into 24 districts. Most visitors stay in Districts 1 and 2, but a more authentic experience awaits outside of this overdeveloped, backpacker-friendly scene. Districts …

How I spent 48 hours in Edinburgh

After 2 caffeinated days in London it was time for the next half of our 5 year wedding anniversary celebration: Edinburgh. Virgin Trains took us along the scenic route. Free wifi came in handy for the parts that weren’t so scenic. Four hours later we arrived in one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. We Uber’d the 10 minutes to our hotel. Booking.com came through for us on this one. The welcome was warm. The check-in swift. The room luxurious. More about this hotel in another blog post. As was the case in London, and for the same reason, I only visited 4 speciality coffee shops in my 2 days in Edinburgh. Here’s how I spent my time… Brew Lab Fortitude Coffee Steampunk Coffee Roasters Filament Coffee My thoughts overall There’s a caption I normally add to my photos on my Instagram page when I run out of witty banter. “Coffee spaces are my favorite kind”. Edinburgh didn’t disappoint. Exposed brick. Herringbone floors. Friendly faces. Excellent coffee. My top tips For some …

How I spent 48 hours in London

When I first visited London I had just broken up with my girlfriend. I was heartbroken. Depressed. Miserable. Much like the weather. This time, however, I was there with my wife. The trip was part of our fifth wedding anniversary celebration. And it was perfect. Like her. As usual, I checked out Travelstart for the best price. And as usual, Ethiopian Airlines had the best price. I found the hotel at Booking.com. Although, this time I wish I used Airbnb. More about that crap hotel in another blog post. Anyway, back to how I did London. I did coffee. Are you surprised? I visited only 4 spots in 2 days. I’m a proponent of the “too much of a good thing is bad” theory. Although I forget that regularly with sushi. Or Haagan Dazs. Or Krispy Kreme. I digress. Here’s a little photo essay that’ll give you a taste of where I went. Kaffeine Monmouth Coffee Company, Covent Garden Monocole Café Prufrock Coffee Monmouth Coffee Company, Borough Market My thoughts overall I loved each shop. …

There’s a coffee culture brewing in Saigon. You just have to know where to find it.

The day I first set foot on a Saigon street by myself, without anyone demanding my attention, a cacophony of honking, scooters speeding by, and construction work greeted my morning. I took out from my pocket a newly bought reporter style notebook. In it is a list of cafés I curated myself from various blogs, writing down the ones that caught my interest – making sure I wrote each one’s idiosyncrasy. Most of them were within a two-kilometer radius from where I stayed so everything was a few minutes’ walk. Which café to visit all came down to an arbitrary decision. Never has the selection process of where to drink coffee been this interesting Being a tourist, I did not care to equip myself a local phone plan. That meant that my connectivity to the rest of the world and Google was kept within the walls of my apartment. Nevertheless, I had managed to load the route to the day’s choice café. After a few minutes’ saunter in the Saigon heat, I found that I …