4 ways to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee

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Brewing methods for the traveler

Traveling to new places brings a new experience to coffee consumption. If you go to Italy and London the café experience will be substantially different than if you were to go to a café in Atlanta, Georgia. Yet, regardless of where you are in the world, there are a few brewing methods available for getting the coffee bean into your cup. Here are four ways to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee.

1. The French Press

Travelers that want to get their breakfast and coffee in their room before taking on the day, but do not want to use the instant mixes which are typically available, can opt for the French Press. By far, the French press is one of the best methods for capturing the robust flavors of the coffee. To use simply place your grinds (coarsely ground for the French Press) into the device. Add hot water and let it sit for 5 minutes. Place the top on the French press and slowly press down for that perfect cup of coffee. Typically, cafes do not use the French press method as it takes too long for customers. Most places do, however, allow for you to purchase the mug for your own purposes.

2. Coffee Brewing Mug

If you do not mind the instantaneous coffee and just want to have some Joe on the go, then a coffee brewing mug is an option. Created with the basic functionality of the Keurig coffee maker but a great deal smaller, the coffee brewing mug allows for the individual to brew a pod on the go. As you would expect with an instant coffee, it is pod based. To use put the pod into the coffee mug, press the button once for a light brew and twice for a strong brew and enjoy.

In terms of an authentic cup of coffee, this is not the method in which to obtain such. This method is mainly attractive to those which need a quick fix of caffeine to see them through the morning until they can get to their real café and get a cup.

3. Expresso machine

Perhaps one of the most universal methods for brewing coffee is the expresso machine. Available for both the commercial café and the personal size for the traveler or the home owner, the expresso machine takes coffee and turns it into an art form. For travelers who are visiting the UK or other European countries, the expresso machine is the standard for creating coffee beverages. And where there are a few variations the basic concept of the machine is the same. Fine ground coffee is added to a dedicated holder. This holder is attached to the machine. A wand is usually located on the device to allow for the steaming of milk. Depending on the type of machine, when engaged the machine brews either a single or double shot size of coffee ideal for lattés, mochas, and other coffee concoctions.

4. Chemex

Chemex is a bit different from other coffee makers. It is more scientific. The Chemex requires a special filter which needs to be watered down before you start. Use about 20 ounces of fresh coffee and grind the beads on medium coarse grind. Once ground you need to add boiling water from the center and apply the water in circles around the grinds. The brew will slowly drip down. You will want to avoid too much water as this will cause a dirty flavor to the coffee.

This method of brewing is a bit more labor intensive and requires attention to what is going on. However, reviews of the Chemex state that it produces one of the best cups of coffee in terms of not losing its flavor or acidity.

Brewing Considerations

Keep in mind when you are traveling that each culture has its own preferred method of roasting and grinding their coffee. To ensure that you get the best cup of coffee see where the coffee beans are acquired from. If local, ask what method is commonly used by that region. If you have a specific method of brewing that you prefer, buy the beans whole and grind them yourself for your specific device.

Personally, I enjoy a quick cup of coffee in the morning in the comforts of my room, but when I get out and start enjoying the travel spots and the towns that I visit, I want to get the coffee as everyone else does. It helps me to feel more in tune with the area that I am visiting and the culture. Be sure that you know the terminology for the drinks and the sizes. They are not universal. Yes, the words are universal, but the creation is a bit different from place to place.

Best cafes in London

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As the cultural center of the United Kingdom, there is no better place in the country to find excellent cafes with highly-skilled baristas behind the counter.

You can best appreciate the best cafes in London if you stick around to see the city for longer than a week, which is what most travelers end up doing.

If you are looking into staying long term, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of vacation rentals in London that are good value for money, and with the short-term plunge in the pound due to the concerns around Brexit, you stand to save even more.

With that out of the way, let’s discuss the some of the best cafes in London that are worth your time…

1) Attendant

Certainly one of the more unique cafes that you’ll find in London, Attendant is a cafe that is housed in what used to be a former public restroom.

It’s not as grotty as it sounds, as this space dates back from the Victorian era, and as such, it has many of the fixtures that date back from that period of time.

Known for its espressos and flat whites, it also has a very reasonable prices, with the cheapest option for coffee from £2.

You can even turn up for breakfast and lunch, but even though this place has a unique atmosphere, seating is assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so be patient if there isn’t a table available when you first arrive.

2) Espresso Room

A tiny spot that doesn’t accommodate too many customers, the Espresso Room isn’t a place to linger with a laptop and get work done, but to focus solely on the joys of drinking a high-quality blend of espresso.

Lunch is also available here, but with only a few simple options such as soups and sandwiches. On a rare day when the weather cooperates in London, sitting here and watching the world go by is the perfect accompaniment to your cup of coffee and your food.

3) Department of Coffee & Social Affairs

A popular cafe with the office crowd during the work week, this fine coffee spot quiets down on weekends.

As a result, you have a clear choice of whether you prefer bustle or a calm atmosphere. Whichever you choose, one thing that is constant is the quality of the coffee, as there are a range of blends that you can choose from, and the baristas that work behind the bar tend to be quite skilled at latte art if that is your thing.

4) Curators Coffee Studio

If you are looking for a coffee shop where the owners and the baristas live, eat, and breathe the art of coffee brewing, visiting the Curators Coffee Studio will provide an experience that will live up to your expectations.

Although there isn’t much room to sit down in this tiny space, as they focus on the takeaway market, it still does not diminish the quality of the product they produce on a daily basis.

By the way: don’t even think of adding milk to their creations, lest you get a disapproving look from the poor folks that painstakingly put together your drink.

Top cultural attractions on the island of Bali

Photo by CC user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas on wikipedia.org

If you are planning a trip to Southeast Asia later this year, there is no better destination than Indonesia in which to base yourself. Boasting more than 18,000 islands, a variety of cultures, and a food scene that is the envy of the region, travelers that end up coming here rarely go away without being completely enthralled by what they experience here.

Throughout Indonesia, there are a wide variety of historical sites and cultural highlights that make multi-destination tour of this country a very good idea for the traveler that has the sufficient time for such a trip.

If you are staying in Bali exclusively though, there are enough cultural attractions situated here that it will make your holiday in this part of Indonesia enriching enough on its own.

Tanah Lot

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If Bali is known for one thing, it’s the many intricate temples that are situated across its territory. One of its most picturesque can be found along the southern coast of Bali.

Tanah Lot is one of several directional temples that purportedly ward away evil from the island. Spectacular to photograph due to the crashing of waves on its shores, it can also be accessed during low tide.

Try to come near sunset, as the cliff top restaurants directly across from Tanah Lot are a great place to have a sundowner beer as the sultry sun sinks into the horizon.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

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Another photogenic temple that you shouldn’t miss while on Bali is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan. Located in the central highlands more than 3,500 feet above sea level, the climate up here is refreshing, so be sure to bring a sweater before setting out on a tour to this landmark.

Its importance is underlined by the fact that it graces the back of the 50,000 rupiah bill, and whether the weather is misty or brilliantly sunny, the beauty of its pagoda sitting before a lake surrounded by flowers will be one that will lodge itself in your travel memory bank for the rest of your life.

Agung Rai Museum of Art

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When you find yourself in Ubud, make time to see the Agung Rai Museum of Art. Consisting of the private collection that was started by the man that gave his name to this institution, you will not only find Balinese works here, but plenty of sculptures and paintings from elsewhere in Asia and Europe.

Make time to stroll through the exterior garden as well, as it stands out in a place that already has so many amazing examples of greenery cultivated in an artistic manner.

Balinese cooking classes

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Finally, some think that the best kind of art out there is the type that you can eat when you have finished creating it.

If you are of the same mind, don’t just content yourself to dine on the food that other chefs make for you in Bali, but also learn how to make these meals for yourself.

To that end, there are plenty of cooking schools that will teach you how to make Babi Guling and other Balinese specialties in tourism hotspots such as Kuta and Ubud.

If you staying at Citadines Kuta Beach Bali for example, be sure to ask the front desk about the best schools that will help you take home some serious Balinese cooking skills.