According to an article in the Melbourne Herald Sun, Booking.com surveyed more than 1,000 of its users from around the world and determined that Melbourne, Australia has the world’s best coffee. Really?
This conclusion merits a little closer look. First, at Coffee Review, we always point out that there is no such thing as a “best” coffee and, by extension, no city with the “best” coffee. We haven’t been able to locate the Booking.com survey itself so the “best” designation may be a case of hometown favoritism on the part of the Herald Sun reporter rather than a conclusion drawn by Booking.com.
Based on the article, it seems that Booking.com asked users which city has the best coffee. Presumably the users must have visited the cities for which they voted. If that is the case, one must conclude that Booking.com did not choose a very diverse or representative group of users. In any random sampling of 1000+ users from around the world, it’s hard to believe that over 300 visited Melbourne. Perhaps even more surprising, 86 respondents endorsed Lviv, Ukraine, placing it fourth on the list. I don’t mean any disrespect to residents or coffee roasters in Lviv but its hard to imagine that 86 out of 1000+ random Booking.com users from around the world have visited Lviv, much less endorsed the quality of their coffee.
If anyone can point us directly to the survey results, we would appreciate it. I’d like to understand the survey methodology because it appears to have some serious flaws.
On a related note, one of Coffee Review’s goals for 2014 is to sample more coffees from outside of the United States and Canada. In May, we plan to conduct a cupping of coffees roasted in the U.K. Let us know if you have any nominations.
We’d be interested in cupping coffees from Australia as well. Melbourne is renowned for its food and wine scene so I have no doubt that the city has many roasters that produce outstanding coffees. Send us your recommendations on coffees we need to sample.