Coffee Vacations - Day, Week or Weekend

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For me, a cup of coffee can be one of the main attractions in a vacation. Each place I visit I look for the nuances in how they prefer their coffee, some with lighter roasts or others darker. You might assume that a branded name such as Starbucks would always be the same, but this isn't always the case. It is exciting to try the little shops wherever you are; sometimes I am surprised pleasantly, and other times I am just shocked that they even think it is drinkable. Regardless, I love the adventure. Since summer, the season of travel, is upon us, here are a few adventures for you to try.

Daytrip

Lux Coffeebar in Phoenix (4404 North Central Ave, 602-266-6469)

Have you ever had latte art on your drink as it was presented to you? It is the crowning touch on top of a latte that was well thought out from roasting to finish. Daniel Wayne has won over a thousand dollars in Coffee Fest latte art competitions for Lux Coffeebar. A little shop with a great atmosphere and great coffee, I definitely recommend it on your next trip to Phoenix.

Zoka Coffee - Latte Art
Zoka Coffee - Latte Art

Coffee Fest Latte Art Champions

Gimme CoffeeIthacaNY
Caffe ArtigianoVancouver B.C.Canada
Zoka CoffeeSeattleWA
Lux Coffee BarPhoenixAZ
Ritual CoffeeSan FransiscoCA
Alterra CoffeeMilwaukeeWI
Lava JavaRidgefieldWA
Albina PressPortlandOR

For other parts of the country, here are winners of the 2007 U.S. Barista Championship:

  1. Heather Perry, Coffee Klatch Roasting, San Dimas, Calif.
  2. Pete Licata, PT's Coffee Company, Overland Park, Kan.
  3. Matthew Riddle, Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago Ill.
  4. Chris Deferio, Carriage House Cafe, Ithaca, NY
  5. Kyle Glanville, Intelligentsia Coffee, Los Angeles, Calif.
  6. Peter Middlecamp, Black Sheep Coffee, South Saint Paul, Minn.

Weekend Getaway

Seattle, WA, the birthplace of modern coffee in America. At the famous Pike Place Market you will find the original Starbucks location that opened its doors in 1971. Caffe Umbria should also be a coffee stop in your Seattle trip (6020 Airport Way S., 866-990-5300). Its roots begin back in Italy in the 1940's when Ornello Bizzarri built a roastery in Perugia, Italy. Now in the 3rd generation, Emanuele Bizzarri continues on the family tradition of excellent coffee. If you go in the fall, do not miss the Coffee Fest Seattle show at the Washington Convention Center on November 9-11, 2007. There will be hundreds of exhibitors with items to see, touch, smell, and taste. Seattle is a coffee lover's paradise!

Adventure for a Week or Two

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Hawaii is the sole U.S. producer of commercially grown coffee. There are over 600 coffee farms in Kona. The Kona Historical Society is a great visit with much fascinating coffee information and a living museum of a 1900's coffee plantation. Also, the Hawaii Coffee Association's annual trade show is July 19-21, 2007. It has coffee breaks throughout the conference that provide an opportunity to taste different Hawaii coffees, view the trade show exhibits and talk with other industry members. Mmmm. That is a vacation!

Published: May 2007, Last Modified: July 2011