For many, the search for a quality cup of coffee is endless. Just when they think they have found the best, another brew piques their interest. However, after a while, a palatable cup of coffee just isn't enough – suddenly the atmosphere and decor of the coffee shop needs to enhance the flavour as well. While you won't find much inspiring at the local Starbucks, there are a number of creative and innovative coffee houses around the world that not only take pride in their signature brew but the area they serve it in. Looking for a picturesque coffee shop to enjoy your next caffeine fix? Here are some of our favourites.
Balzac's Coffee Roastery in Toronto, Canada
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Classically cluttered in decor and designed like an old English pub, Balzac's Coffee Roastery is as vibrant and energetic in its decor as its coffee will make you feel. This particular coffee shop is located in an old warehouse in Toronto's Distillery District, giving it plenty of room to do its own thing and accommodate the throngs of caffeine deprived masses who are looking to get their coffee fix. With decor that always assures that visitors have something interesting to look at, their vegan baked goods, this coffee roastery earns its reputation for being one of the most spectacular coffee shops in Canada.
D'espresso in New York City, USA
D'espresso is the most aesthetically pleasing coffee shop in New York City, a city that is known to have some pretty stunning coffee shops. Even when visitors first walk into this Madison Avenue staple near Grand Central, they know it is special. D'espresso was designed by Nemaworkshop to resemble a library on its side. More specifically, it was modeled after Bryant Park Library – as if it was all topsy-turvy.
Loveat Jaffa in Tel Aviv, Israel
This creative little slice of Israel was converted from an orange-packing plant into a colourful coffee shop that looks as though it was made from crates. The architects of Loveat Jaffa, Studio Ronen Levin and Earan Chehanowitz, stated that they were inspired by the building's history and wanted to model the coffee shop after it. The kitchen is hosted in a steel cargo container while the toilet is tucked away in a box of timber planks. Through this design, the coffee shop hosts a number of different styles and all of them harmonize with each other.
Kayaba Coffee in Tokyo, Japan
Kayaba Coffee looks somewhat unassuming from the outside, but still has a classic allure to it. It might have something to do with the fact that this particular coffee shop is situated in a 100-year-old house. The exterior exudes old world charm, but the interior is a stunning mix of mid-century modern design accented with traditional Japanese elements like tatami mats. However, this shop only does coffee during the day, at night it switches over to the laid-back cocktail scene.
Confiserie Bachmann in Basel, Switzerland
This Swiss coffee house is deceptive in every way. Through extensive use of mirrors, the shop looks bigger than it is and with the white colour scheme, it seems like the designers at HHF Architects took a slice right out of heaven. For those who aren't afraid of accidentally walking into a mirror, this coffee house is a piece of Swiss perfection. The design combined with the strong coffee and sweets made fresh in-house assure that this coffee shop is a must-visit while in Basel.
Callas Cafe in Budapest, Hungary
Callas Cafe might just be the most elegant place to sip espresso in the entire world. With an Art Deco interior created by the world-famous designer David Collins, grand vault ceilings and a stunning view of Budapest's most beautiful boulevard, coffee lovers will be hard pressed to find a more majestic setting for their morning fix. Not only can visitors get a quality cup of coffee, but they can also tuck in to some fantastic traditional Hungarian fare in this cafe/restaurant combo. However, it is just as fulfilling to watch the Hungarian elite out the windows as they shuffle about their days on the famous Andrassy Boulevard.
Coava Brew Bar in Portland, USA
After starting from humble beginnings in a garage, Coava Brew Bar has grown and evolved into one of the most respected coffee shops in Portland. That is a lofty reputation to have in Portland, which is notorious for being extra picky about the quality of their coffee. Aside from hosting some of the best coffee in Portland, they also operate out of a beautiful space. Their coffee shop still embraces the grunge movement, but only in its classic Pacific Northwest style.
Coutume Cafe in Paris, France
The Coutume Cafe in Paris, France is part coffee roastery and part laboratory. They offer arguably the best coffee of any cafe in Paris, but one can't argue that they offer some of the most unique creations, not only in their brews, but in their organic delicacies as well. The building that houses this quaint little cafe is absolutely picture-perfect. It is modern in design but an air of class and elegance is added with European style decor.