Tag Archives: Coffee

Hacienda Venecia – Caldas, Colombia


Hacienda Venecia

(57) 320 636 5719
Vereda el Rosario (vía Chinchiná in the coffee motorway)
Manizales, Caldas, Colombia


Hacienda Venecia is a full operational coffee farm  in the picturesque Zona Cafetera in Colombia; Not far from Manizales, a 6 hour drive from Medellin.

While exploring this lush area, the Hacienda Venencia is a good place to stop and even spend the night, as the Hacienda offers two lodging  options.  A beautiful hundred year old  hacienda house, surrounded by gorgeous gardens, with  a pool and free roaming turkeys!  As well as a newer  house transformed into a hostel, with a shared kitchen, both shared and private bathrooms as well as a camping area with beautiful view over the coffee plantations.

We did not stay the night, but the other tourists we met briefly seemed very happy.  A few were part of a state-wide bird watching tour.

The Zona Cafetera in Colombia has the ideal altitude (3600 to  6000 feet) to grow the highly valued arabica strain.  At the hacienda, we took a day long coffee class, that starts with a walk through the plantations, viewing the different states of the grains.  Then you are guided through the entire process of fermenting, drying etc.  And the end of the afternoon,  we gathered in the Hostel house to compare the smells of the different coffee grains to a standardized library of aromas; all the while  drinking a lot of coffee !!

Funny enough, we found that many of the brands we knew from around the world sourced their beans direct from the Hacienda Valencia !!  There are many different farms to visit in this rolling green paradise; pick one and go !


Hacienda-Venecia-001some of the brands Hacienda Venecia sells beans to






Kayaba Coffee – Tokyo, Japan

Kayaba Coffee 001

Kayaba Coffee

(81)  33.823.3545
6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku
Tokyo 110-0001, Japan


Open Hours:
8:00 – 23:00    Monday – Saturdays
8:00 – 18:00    Sundays

The Kayaba coffee shop originally opened a few streets away from the Yanaka Cemetery in 1938. It  continued business until 2006, when it shut down due to it’s owner’s death.  In 2009, the community rallied to bring back this much loved and missed hub.  Today it is a combination of local meeting place and coffee destination.

Kayaba takes up an entire 2 floor house built in 1916.  The second floor is a combination of traditional tatami floor siting and Isamu Noguchi tables.   Old meets new in Japan again!  This little brown gem seems right out of a Ghibli world!

Kayaba is a great destination as it is across the street from a local museum that describes the history of the neighborhood, and only a block away from the famous art gallery “Scai Bathhouse “.

Pop in for a cute menu hot and cold drinks, tea sandwiches,  a weekly lunch menu and sweets; and then explore this simple yet alluring Tokyo suburb.

Kayaba Coffee 002Cafe Latte
Kayaba Coffee 004 roast nuts macchiat
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Kayaba Coffee 005roast nuts macchiat and vegetable sandwich

Hazel & Hershey – Hong Kong

Hazel & Hershey 004Piccolo and Flat White

Hazel & Hershey

(852)  3.106.0760
Shop 3, 69 Peel Street
Central, Hong Kong


Open Hours:
10:00 – 19:00    Daily

Hazel and Hershey is one of those places that we wanted to love … it’s small, has a cute side patio, nice places to sit, decent enough service, WIFI, magazines …. in short everything you want in a coffee shop.  And besides coffee, they sell all sort of coffee related paraphernalia – and I mean all sorts!  So it is obvious they are way into coffee.  And I think that may be the issue;  In ‘trying so hard’, they lose some of the ease and joy that is actually drinking the coffee; no matter how much energy you put in the making of it.

I mean – if you are staying close, then it is the best brew in the short radius; however we found ourselves trekking the extra 15 min walk to get to Fuel for a better cup; albeit in a more corporate atmosphere.

Definitely stay away from americanos –  as we found out  is the case in most of Hong Kong’s coffee shops, they are not great.  Instead we would suggest the Flat White or the excellent Piccolos.

If you are looking to make a hobby of it; Hazel & Hershey offers barista and aficionado classes.

Hazel & Hershey 003

Hazel & Hershey 006