Cafe Culture: Which Cities Serve the Most Expensive Coffee?

The modern world runs on caffeine, and some cities appreciate coffee so much that it becomes part of their community culture.  These five international cities have a strong cafe culture that frequently translates to pricey cups of Java.

Brooklyn, New York

Extraction Lab in Brooklyn recently made news by offering what is now the most-expensive cup of coffee in America.  At $18 a cup, the beverage comes from using high-end coffee beans brewed in a nearly $14,000 “Steampunk” machine.  This machine is said to combine all the elements of drip, French press, and espresso brewing to create an incredibly flavorful cup of coffee.  Coffee culture is part of the on-the-go vibe of NYC and the surrounding areas, so it’s not a surprise they boast the country’s most expensive cup of joe.

San Francisco, California

Before Extraction Lab stole the title, the most expensive cup of coffee came from Blue Bottle in San Francisco.  This $15 cup of coffee was made from Yemeni beans, the cost of which is driven up by the intensely dangerous and difficult process of getting in and out of the country.  San Francisco natives have discriminating palates.  Coffee lovers can find a wide range of roasters and cafes in the city.

Taipei, Taiwan

Coffee is a relatively new addition to Taiwanese culture, one that has strong traditions regarding tea.  While Western-style coffee has existed in Taiwan for 50+ years, it’s only been in the last ten years that coffee culture became mainstream.  Taipei has become one of the leading coffee cities in the world, boasting countless unique cafes all around the city.

Havana, Cuba

While Cubans are interested in the style and quality of their coffee, the social quality of coffee culture is even more important.  After nearly every meal, locals enjoy a small cup of cafe cubano, an espresso sweetened with sugar.  This drink is shared with friends in homes and cafes across the island country.  While coffee isn’t necessarily expensive in Cuba, you will need to pay for the trip to Cuba to enjoy it as Cuban coffee is still tricky to find in the US.

Rome, Italy

Even if you are completely uneducated in the world of coffee, one glance at the menu of your local Starbucks should clue you in to its strong Italian roots.  Small, outdoor cafes in the city center are the embodiment of coffee culture in Rome.  These cafes are places where friends can gather over cappuccino to chat, relax, and people watch.  The historic Caffe Greco, founded in 1760, is a wonderful cafe to visit.  Just prepare yourself to pay up to 15 Euros for a cup.

Have you ever tried a cup of the most expensive coffee?  Which will you be adding to your travel list?

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Cafe Culture: Which Cities Serve the Most Expensive Coffee?