As if I don't already have enough useless things in my bedroom already, I began collecting coffee to-go cups the summer of 2017. I collect coffee cups because each has a different memory and mood attached, I collect them as a documentation of my travels. Over the past year, I have collected 32 cups total from 23 different cafes from 7 different countries. Without further ado, let's take a look at my collection!
1 & 2. Elaine's Deli
I had a layover in Frankfurt, Germany when I traveled to Iceland earlier this year. As an avid cafe hopper, I made sure I squeezed out some time to visit local cafes. I found Elaine's Deli near my hotel, they sell mostly pastries and sandwiches. I got the avocado toast (it was unfortunately really dry), however the latte was good and the barista and server were very friendly!
3. Elephant grounds
Elephant Grounds is one of my favorite cafes in Hong Kong. There are a total of 5 different locations throughout the city and the one I visited was the Star Street store. Besides their coffee, I highly recommend their avocado toast with poached egg. I also love the fact that they got an outdoor patio and huge windows all around the shop, vitamin D here I come!
4. Baristart Coffee
A hole-in-the-wall kind of place in Central Sapporo. My family and I visit Hokkaido quite often and this place serves one of the best coffees in Sapporo. There are only 4 seats inside the shop, making it more like a grab-and-go shop. Since Hokkaido is well known for its dairy products, Baristart offers three different kinds of milk for you to choose from which I thought was quite unique. They also offer seasonal limited milk from time to time.
5. Shozo coffee
I love love love elephants, so when I passed by this cute spot the first time when I was on the way to Blue Bottle (yes there's also a Blue Bottle right next to Shozo), I knew I had to stop and grab a coffee here. I mean, there's no such thing as having too much coffee, am I right? This tiny cafe is located right at the side entrance of common 246, which is an open-air playground of food and beverage stalls in Minami-Aoyama. Shozo offers a several different pour-over coffee options and some small pastries such as scones and biscuits.
6. The Antipodean
Continue on the animal cup aesthetics, here's a cup with an Australian kangaroo! The Antipodean is hands down my favorite brunch spot in Taipei. I've done a couple of articles on the cafe and have also raved about it on my Instagram multiple times, which you've probably known already. Read about how amazing their brunch plate is here.
7. Hands & Heart
I visited 4 different cafes during my 3-day trip to Bangkok last year. Hands & Heart was my favorite for its minimalist decor, stylish use of frames, and lots of white marble. I mean, who doesn't love a clean aesthetic? Besides coffee, herbal tea options are also available if you feel like switching things up.
8. Alfred Tea Room
The iconic pretty-in-pink LA staple Alfred Tea Room has made its way to Tokyo. I've visited their store on Melrose in LA once, but with the Tokyo stores, they have developed a new concept that is dedicated to the art of fine tea. The Tokyo store is literally what dreams are made of. Full of millennial blush pink and every corner will make you go ohhh and ahhh. As the name entails, teas are served here. The menu has around 30 different types of artisanal tea from matcha, oolong, to chai teas, you name it, they have it. Last but not least, you can also add boba to your tea!
9, 10 & 11. Joe & The Juice
If you're not familiar with the Danish franchise Joe & The Juice, it is pretty much like a Starbucks + Jamba Juice, a combination of juice bar and coffee shop. You can easily find J &J in major cities (please come to Taipei). It falls on the more expensive side but it's totally worth the money. I've visited one in Hong Kong & one in Reykjavik, Iceland, where both stores give off a very cozy yet upbeat vibe. If I remember correctly, I've tried Pick Me Up (raspberry + apple + banana) & the Fibre Active (avocado + lemon + apple).
12. TORAYA CAFE AN STAND
Toraya cafe is an establishment created by the famous wagashi (traditional Japanese confection) brand with 500 years history - Toraya Wagashi. Located in Kita-Aoyama Tokyo, the Toraya cafe is a new approach targeting a much younger crowd, serving drinks and sweets mostly made from red bean paste. The store also sells Toraya Wagashi products such as yokan (a thick jellied sweet made from red beans).
13 & 14. Reykjavik Roasters
This was the only coffee shop I visited in Iceland, and I remember it was the day before we left Iceland. I saw pictures of its interior on Instagram while researching prior to the trip and I immediately book marked this place. Located in downtown Reykjavik, this cozy shop has a nice selection of Skyr based (a popular yogurt brand in Iceland) breakfast and baked goods.
15. Coffee DPT
If you live in Taipei and you haven't had the cookie from Coffee DPT I honestly don't know what you're doing with your life. Ha just kidding, but seriously the cookies here are one of the few sweets that I actually crave from time to time (fyi I am not a dessert person). I developed a massive crush since DPT first opened in Huashan Cultural Park because their cookies remind me of the cookies from my all-time favorite cookie spot Levain Bakery in New York. Slightly crunchy on the outside, soft and moist on the inside, it has a gooey consistency near the center, just the perfect texture. I am drooling over that double chocolate chip cookie just by looking at this photo.
16. Alpha Black
The first thing you'll notice upon arrival is probably these highly Instagrammable floor tiles. Yup, this is the ultimate shop to shoot your #IHaveThisThingWithFloors photo. Alpha Black opens at 7am and has 3 locations in downtown Taipei, which is very convenient to grab your morning cup of energy booster here before work.
17, 18 & 19. Halfway Coffee
I must say, out of all the cups I've collected so far, Halfway Coffee's cups are my top favorites! The designs are just so delicate and the colors are vibrant. However these are also the only ones that I actually had to pay to get new cups. I knew I couldn't just pick one color so I bought all 3. Halfway Coffee is an eclectic mix of west & east - a Western coffee shop that serves their coffee in vintage Chinese porcelain cups in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
Peacockoffie was a quaint discovery near the hotel I stayed at in Semerang, Indonesia. Peacockoffie offers specialty coffees, coffees with flavored milk, caffeine-free milk based drinks. I ordered a piccolo and brought it with me to the back of the cafe. Yes, there is a hidden open-air garden in the back with a small pond (I don't remember if there's any fish in the pond) and a large wooden table. It's the ideal cafe for a comfy reading.
21. Saturdays Chocolate FACTORY CAFE
Marshmellow sandwich? With cartoon eyeballs?? SO FREAKING CUTE. A follower recommended me this place during my last trip to Sapporo in 2017. I am super happy about when she sent in this place, because I had no clue about this place at all, it just never came up while I was doing travel research. So thank you follower!! Hokkaido has the best milk in the country and Saturdays Chocolate is definitely taking full advantage of it. I mean, just take a look at that rich chocolate milk ice cream!
22, 23 & 24. INK. BY CANVAS TOKYO
Daikanyama is one of my favorite areas in Tokyo for the unique shops in the area favoring up-and-coming designers along with plenty of hip cafes. Ink by Canvas is famous for the colorful lattes made with all natural ingredients. The colors of the cup holder complement nicely with the intricate hand-pulled latte art. I got a regular latte and a pumpkin latte, hence the yellow color (the color lattes are caffeine-free). The cafe itself is a beautiful entity to lay your eyes on.
25. Cafe Kitsune
Cafe Kitsune belongs to the Parisian fashion & music label Maison Kitsune founded by Gildas Loaec from France and Masaya Kuroki from Japan. The cafe is situated in a traditional Japanese Washiki style house with fusuma sliding doors and tatami & bamboo pole elements. Cafe Kitsune has a limited seleciton of coffee but trust me, their coffee is amazing. A few pastries and seasonal dessert items are also available from time to time. If you're in Omotesand/Aoyama, make sure you stop by this trendy cafe!
26. Roots Coffee
If you travel for coffee like I do, you have to add Bangkok to your list. The Roots is located on the first floor of the Commons, an establishment created to promote wholesome living and a sense of community with many restaurants, cafes, art galleries, and shops in the building. Once you step inside the building, you'll be greeted first with the lingering smell of coffee. Roots sources their coffee beans from all over the world and work with local farmers. Besides espresso based coffee, filter coffee and cold brew are also available here.
27. Saturdays NYC
A very cool and hip place to sip your coffee. I finally made my way to Saturdays NYC during my recent trip to Tokyo. Saturdays NYC is a New York based menswear clothing and lifestyle brand. I've been a huge fan of their concept and design, even though I am a girl...but hey who says girls can't buy menswear? Their store in the trendy Daikanyama combines a surf shop and an espresso bar into a fantastic oasis with a living wall and a wooden terrace. Grab a coffee or an cookie and cream ice cream sandwich and head out onto the beautiful wood-decked balcony.
28. Omotesando Koffee
This much-hyped Japanese franchise coffee shop can be found in not only Japan and Hong Kong but also Singapore. In recent news, it is said that they are set to open their first store in Thailand 2018 Summer. This particular store that I visited is in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. I was recommended by a friend that they have the best tamago (egg) sandwich, and she wasn't kidding! The texture of the thick cut tamago piece was so unique, it's like firm tofu but extra smooth and creamy. The thin layer of wasabi butter compliments the sweet tamago perfectly.
29. Blue Bottle
Need I say more? I've been to many Blue Bottles - multiple ones in the California, and 3 in Tokyo. Blue Bottle is basically another name for high quality coffee and has taken the world by storm in the past few years. Blue Bottle works directly with farmers around the world to source the best coffees. Their single origin is the most popular, with a smooth rich taste in every sip. Even though Blue Bottle to many is considered a tad bit expensive with small serving sizes, I still find myself stepping into Blue Bottle every time I pass by one, because I know it will never go wrong.
Address: Please google ha, there are too many of them!
30. Cafe Junkies (closed)
Café Junkies used to be my go-to place for an early morning coffee run since it was close to work. Unfortunately, the store closed in April, 2017. If you'd like to read more on this cafe (though it's gone), here is a post I did on 10 cafes in Taipei.
31. Expat. Roasters
Indonesia is among the world's top coffee bean producing countries. It exported a total of $1.36 billion dollar value worth of coffee in 2016. Their coffee is known for its strong and robust flavors, with a prominent earthiness. Expat Roasters in Seminyak, Bali is a nice little spot for a chill hangout. It's got a sleek interior and it sure does serve delicious coffee, probably the best in Seminyak in my opinion. Expats also work closely with local Balinese farmers and producers to find the best local product to compliment their nomadic bean collection from all over the world. Expat is right next to another popular brunch-style restaurant Sisterfields, making it a perfect spot to get your caffeine fix while waiting for a table there.