Caldo Cafe, Taipei

Sometimes coffee alone isn’t enough to make a café visit an experience to remember. For a little more, head to Caldo Café where devil-dark brews are paired with angel-light soufflés. Caldo Café is hidden in a small back-alley near Fuxing South Road; the Indian restaurant opposite confirms you’ve got the right place.

Enter and order your soufflé first as it takes a good 20 minutes to prepare. Their original soufflé carries a light hint of vanilla whereas their green tea soufflé has the deep aroma of good quality matcha.

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If you are ever in the 7th arrondissement of Paris and need a break from touristy spots such as the Rodin Museum and Le Bon Marché, look no further than Coutume for a pick-me-up. This spacious place enjoys plenty of natural sunlight, giving it the feel of a Melbourne coffeehouse rather than a gloomy Parisian café.

Opened in 2011 by Frenchman Antoine Netien and his Australian partner Tom Clarke, Coutume isn’t only a café as they also roast their own beans and supply various restaurants, hotels and bars in the city. Regulars don’t only drop by for the specialty coffee; there is also their popular organic menu with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Brunch here can be a relaxing, detox affair (assuming that’s not an oxymoron).

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Sangenjaya is not a touristy destination so visitors to Tokyo generally don’t think of coming to this quiet neighbourhood. So it was a surprise when, a day before leaving Tokyo, we take our Japanese friend Satomi to this place—for coffee naturally.

Satomi tells us that she has worked for many years in Tokyo but she has never been to Sangenjaya. Perhaps this is a good reason to have visitors to your country: we certainly haven’t been to everywhere in Malaysia; being a guide is as good a reason as any.

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Only a block away from Melbourne University is Seven Seeds, founded in 2008 by Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor. Students flock to the coffee haven in between classes for brews made from carefully sourced single origin beans, imbuing the space with a youthful energy.

The café’s name comes from the legend of Baba Budan, a famous Sufi who smuggled seven fertile coffee seeds from Yemen into India during the 17th century. At the time, coffee cultivation was tightly controlled so this act helped spread the bean’s influence to the rest of the world.

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Most cafés in Kuala Lumpur are divided into two schools of décor – the industrial, grungy Brooklyn-Melbourne look and a cozier—if slightly cluttered—homey Taipei-Tokyo ambiance. Sevencups, hidden away in the brick blocks of Empire Damansara, bucks the trend by giving off a cool, minimalist Scandinavian aura that attracts coffee lovers who enjoys some peace and quiet too.

The sparkly owner Eve Von made her bones as a protégé of Top Brew Coffee Bar barista champion JH Yee and learned about café operations at Artisan Roast HQ. The latter means she is meticulous about running her own shop while the former is a reason for espresso lovers to celebrate as she pulls a mean shot. In fact, black is her favourite way of drinking coffee, as she happily informs us from our visit.

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