Leaving Starbucks Behind: New Ways of Getting Your Caffeine Kick

by Jeff Smith, contributing writer

Eating local is a big deal. Step into any Whole Foods and that’s clear enough. But what about coffee? Can we join the local food movement when it comes to the other black liquid that seems to run the world? Some intrepid Vayable guides are now making it possible to at least get a little closer to your coffee.

But first, a little background on the stuff: Coffee is a funny thing. According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherder named Kaldi ate some bright red coffee berries after watching his flock get all hot-and-bothered after doing the same. He got juiced up, and immediately took the berries to a holy man who disapproved of their use and threw them into a fire, from which an enticing aroma billowed. The roasted beans were quickly raked from the embers, ground up, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world’s first cup of coffee. Coffee is pretty simple really: roast the two seeds of the coffee cherry, et voila. Coffee is hand-picked, grown across the equatorial belt, and the second most exported commodity only to oil.

Vayable can now bring you even closer to your favorite beverage. If you’re going to London, imbibe like a revolutionary. It was the coffee shop where the 17th century Consumer Revolution took place – where business transactions happened and a middle class got cultured. Follow Kardelen around London while she shows you the most happening coffee shops in the city.

In Hawaii? No problem. The little chain of islands is home not only to one our our biggest icons but phenomenal coffee. If you’ve heard of Kona coffee, you’ve heard of Hawaii. Get an education from Casey on his coffee in Kula, or take in beauty vistas with Marilyn at an estate 600 feet above sea level in Lahaina.

But, if you happen to be in Thailand and feel a bit more adventuresome, the 2-day, all-inclusive, countryside coffee shop tour by motorcycle (yeah, it’s that epic) with Dane will put you on the edge of your seat even before hitting the espresso.

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