In honor of National Coffee Day on September 29th, Virtuoso’s editorial team shares why we love coffee, close to home and around the world.

But First…Coffee

“Posting up at a little café in a new town and watching the world go by is one of my all-time favorite sports. From the jostling commuter cortado hour in Madrid’s many – and often nameless – bars to the leisurely sit-down midmorning fika (complete with cardamom buns) in Stockholm to an almost-too-preciously prepared perfect cup of third-wave independently roasted coffee in Portland, coffee time is my happy time.”
Marika Cain, managing editor 

“My first stop, invariably, when returning to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is Caffe Kilim. Even though I’ve lived away from the city for 20-plus years, I’m still addicted to the shop’s Turkish coffee and Dancing Goats blend. Sipping either in the cozy, denlike setting, decorated with handwoven rugs and colorful kilim pillows, always feels like home.”
Joel Centano, senior editor 

caffe kilim
Caffe Kilim in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo: Joel Centano)

“I’m a coffee-aholic and I can drink it all day, but the first cup in the morning has to be a great one. When traveling, I research the best shops close to my hotel. My preference is single origin, meaning that the origin of the beans is from a place, not a blend. In Austin, I love Cuvée Coffee, where I fueled up before running a 10K race.”
Melanie Fowler, art director 

“There’s nothing better than a perfectly done latte with a little cinnamon steamed in – that’s my go-to drink year-round. If you’re into alternative milks, I suggest hemp or oat milk for lattes. Oatly is my favorite brand right now – those Swedes know what they’re doing. Oat milk steams really well, tastes great with espresso (no bitter aftertaste), and is more environmentally friendly to produce than others (I’m looking at you, almond milk!).
Rebecca Ratterman, assistant editor 

“Give me your best coffee, please” is my standing requestwhen I’m traveling. First, because I can’t imagine being slightly jet-lagged and diving into a new city without some caffeine (thanks for the pick-me-ups, Landmark in Bergen, Norway, and Allpress in Auckland, New Zealand); and second, finding a great local coffee shop is my favorite way to feel like a local and part of a community, something I value when I’m traveling solo, which happens a lot. When I studied creative writing in Paris, I sat for hours at corner cafés, writing, reading, and falling in love with the idea of running away, finally really learning French (not just “restaurant French”), and finishing my novel. It’s still a dream in progress.”
Amy Cassell, associate editor 

“I still dream about the iced coffee – prepared in a cocktail shaker – at the Hotel de Russie in Rome. It’s a brilliant way to cool down after a day of sightseeing in Rome.

I drink exclusively iced coffee until that first hint of fall in NYC. Yesterday, I got my first hot cortado on a rainy, cool New York day. I love little coffee shops in Brooklyn like Café Martin in Park Slope or EspressoMe in Brooklyn Heights. When I’m feeling indulgent, I head to Almondine in DUMBO for coffee and one of their chocolate croissants or raisin danishes (the line out the door on weekend mornings speaks for itself) – to me, it’s the only place in New York that smells like a real European bakery.
Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor 

Rainy Brooklyn days made better by coffee at EspressoMe. (Photo: Annie Fitzsimmons)

“Although touristy, Café Du Monde is a must when visiting New Orleans for the first time. I order the café au lait (coffee, chicory, and hot milk) with fresh, fluffy beignets – the combo is an answered prayer after a long night in the French Quarter.”
Veronica Rosalez, graphic designer 

“I’m not much of a coffee drinker – I’m a tea gal, hot in the morning and iced all day long – but when I’m at Miami International Airport I always stop by La Carreta, a Cuban restaurant outpost in Terminal D. I order a cortadito (espresso with milk) or café con leche (a stranger in line recommended that a sprinkle of salt enhances the flavor), best accompanied by a flaky, messy guava pastry (ask for it warm).”
Elaine Srnka, vice president, Virtuoso Content