Being into speciality coffee is often great but when traveling it can often be a disappointing coffee experience. There are of course plenty of great places spread out in the UK, US and the Nordic countries as well as more and more in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Latin countries such as Spain, Italy and France are however a totally different story, the quality of coffee is often depressing. Execution can be pretty good when it comes to consistent quality of the coffee made but the problem is usually with the actual coffee beans used. If you are not a fan of coffee that is dark roast, almost burned and with some level of robusta mixed in then it will not be easy to find anything to your liking . Asia on the other hand can be a mixed cup, so before my trip to Bangkok I did some research. And it appears as if there is a budding coffee scene, so we made a small list of places worth visiting.
More on that will follow in separate posts (as well as reviews of coffee bars from all over the place) but here a bit on how I will in general approach coffee reviews. I will be giving ratings from zero to five with five being the best.
All my coffee bar/cafe ratings will rate the coffee quality as such, but it will be rating the quality on what I expect from a specialty coffee bar. So a rating of three is not at all bad so more think of it in the context that a place like Starbucks or somewhere where they serve Lavazza or Nespresso would be a zero but a place that serves a decent cup will be given a two. To clarify a bit for all of you who for example love Starbucks (yes I am aware that there are people out there who love it, in the same way some people think McDonalds have the best burgers, Taco Bell serves the best Mexican food and Moet makes the best champagne), the way I look at what coffee is similar to how I look at wine. The beans should usually be fairly light roast to bring out the specific flavors of that coffee and I usually prefer single origin or single lot coffees. While I realize this may not be for everyone, that is how I like my coffee.
I will also mention in case I tried any of the food and if so how it rates. There will also be rating of the ambience or feel of the place including the service. Some coffee bars are just not made to hangout but may serve excellent coffee while others may serve just decent coffee but can be perfect to spend time at.
The final rating is also how it rates vs the local competition eg a place that has five in coffee quality in for example NYC can have a a rating of three vs competition and in the same way a place that has for example a rating of two of coffee quality in Barcelona can have a five vs competition.