I am a big coffee addict.

How this happened, I don’t know.

No one in my family drinks coffee. It isn’t a big thing amongst Pakistanis. They are all tea lovers. To this day, I can’t convince them to try coffee. In fact, my family has no coffee maker at home and they can’t fathom why I have the intense craving for coffee each morning! I have to make trips to a local coffee shop in their area when I visit them in Toronto.

My father was so sweet. Although he was a tea fan only, every time I visited him in Zambia, he’d take me to a fabulous coffee bar and would sit there patiently until I would fulfill my heart’s desire! (Kenya, Uganda, the Ivory Coast—all the African countries boast fantastic coffee!)

We served coffee at home to our guests. I later learned it was considered “cool” to serve it back then. The aroma tempted me (and I still love the smell of fresh coffee beans). I must have been 16 then, but I didn’t actually start drinking coffee regularly until I landed in the States. And it was an acquired taste, building in strength (from mild to bold) and adding different ways it is served (cappuccino, expresso, etc.).

When I travel, I try the local coffee. And the first thing I do is scout cafes where the locals go. In Vienna, for instance, the three places I frequent the most are Café Sacher, Café Frauenhuber and Café Gerstner.

The Viennese expertise extends even in the sky. My first time flying Austrian Airlines, I came across the special coffee service in business/first class. I was like a kid in a candy store, trying different varieties;  the long, eight-hour flight back to New York ended all too soon! I have been an ardent traveler on Austrian Airline ever since and fly it at least once a year.

At home, I prefer Nespresso, and play with their intercontinental flavors. You will never, ever find me with a jar of instant. Guests in my home are treated to coffee with a lot of love… another thing I learned from my dear parents.

Here is a sneak peek of the “Viennese coffee house above the clouds” from Austrian Airlines.  

What is the most extravagant thing you’ve done to end your vacation?

The Z Experience: Coffee

Please note that these are all my personal recommendations. Nothing in this post is sponsored.

My Three Favorite Cafés in Vienna:

Café Sacher

Café Frauenhuber

Café Gerstner