Unusual Coffee Shops Around the World

801 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
When thinking of coffee shops in Los Angeles, Intelligentsia likely comes to mind. While they have the corners of creativity covered on opposite sides of town (Venice and Silverlake), Coffee Commissary, in the new 801 North complex on Fairfax Ave., fills the specialty coffee craving for those in the center. Well-trained baristas pour rotating roasts from Sightglass, Coava, and Victrola to ensure that every glass is packed with premium quality. Their iced and vanilla lattes are competing to be the best in town and word on the street is to ask for their Cubano for a cinnamon-flavored twist. They leave the stirring up to you, so your pour feels pure and your cup becomes an abstract piece of art as the dark espresso drips through the milk and ice. Their soundtracking skills are superb—playing Band of Horses Everything All The Time in full is an A+ in my book. The chalkboard-painted wall is a playful touch to their more modern industrial design and white Ikea-like shelves frame the wall with a purposefully placed display of random antiques. The atmosphere is clean, minimal, and fresh with patio and inside seating that encourages you to stick around and work or socialize while sipping on some of LA’s best.
26 Hanbury St, Shadwell, London E1 6QR, UK
The name Nude Espresso might suggest something more racy than you find when you enter this Brick Lane coffee shop. However, if a perfect cup of coffee does it for you, then your pulse may race anyway. And not from the caffeine. Nude takes the creation of a good cup of coffee very seriously so this is the kind of shop for true connoisseurs, not those simply in need of a fix. From the website, “Obtaining the finest coffee is a labour of love. We scour the World hand selecting only the fittest, ripest green beans [...]. We grade them by eye and sort them before putting them through their paces [...]. Only then can they be tasted, blended and packaged, creating the perfect ingredient for a sublime sensory experience.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Indeed, a cup of coffee at Nude lives up to the promise of being a sublime sensory experience. Nude really stands for stripping out anything unnecessary from the process of providing a truly excellent cup of coffee, and in simplicity that satisfies, Nude Espresso truly excels.
Oderberger Str. 35, 10435 Berlin, Germany
The baristas here know a trick or two about coffee and Bonanza Coffee Roasters is one of the names that always comes up when discussing Berlin‘s best coffee. An amazing and hard to find Synesso Cyncra espresso machine is the center of attention in this tightly packed cafe and sitting here almost feels like you’ve been invited to the back room of their coffee roastery as you enjoy your cup, sitting between stacks of bags filled with the finest raw coffee beans ready to be roasted.
8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
Over the past two centuries, the covered market at Borough, not far from London Bridge, has become one of the country’s most famous foodie spots. From Wednesday to Saturday each week hundreds of traders gather to sell homemade breads, hand-reared pork, artisan chocolate and all manner of ingredients—plus excellent coffee, fresh juices and organic wine. Plentiful samples add to the convivial vibe, and restaurants around the market’s edge provide additional sustenance for longer stops.
Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin, Germany
The Barn is a bucolic coffee bar in the Mitte district that boasts top-quality coffee (from Copenhagen‘s famed fair-trade Coffee Collective) and a local-food ethos, inspired largely by the owner’s formative years in rural Germany and his mother’s penchant for baking. Ornamented with rustic touches, like bales of hay, knotty wood benches and tables, and a large chalkboard menu, the cafe has cultivated a large bean since it opened two years ago and shows no signs of slowing. I’d make the trip to Berlin just for a cappuccino and a scone.
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