Good Espresso in Malaysia…


virtually does not exist. Douglas left a comment and asked me if there is any decent place for a shot of espresso. After thinking about it for a few days,  I’m unable to recall having any decent espresso shot in any coffee outlet in Malaysia.

Recalling… I have tried espresso in the following places:-
1. Starbucks
2. Coffee Beans  and Tea Leaf
3. San Francisco Coffee
4. Tony Roma
5. Ikea
6. Marche
7. Hoca Coffee
8. Izzi Italian Restaurant

Note: taste is subjective. What I’m expressing is purely my own personal interpretation and preferences.

Starbucks’ espresso:-
Quality varied greatly among outlet. In fact, even if you get a passable shot in an outlet, it does not mean you will get the same quality the next visit.

I must admit that some outlet does have some knowledgeable staff who will pull you a decent shot with proper extraction, meaning a shot of around 25 seconds. You need to be lucky to meet one. And when you do, you will only get a passable shot. Why, their coffee is just NOT FRESH.

Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf and San Francisco Coffee:-
Forget it.  I like Coffee Beans’  Vanilla  Latte and their  ice-blended drinks though. Their Vanilla  powder will mask the poor espresso and still give a milky sweet drink.
At San Francisco Coffee, don’t take anything other than their ice-blended drinks. After I tried one shot, I’m looking for some soda drinks to wash my mouth.

Tony Roma:-
Go try their ribs and grab a beer. Stay away from their coffee.

Ikea:-
Super Auto Espresso Machine serving tonnes of people. I automatically adjust my expectation to the lowest possible and “enjoyed” their coffee as it is.

Marche:-
So damned hot it burnt my tongue. Complained also no response. Waste of time to try their coffee, much less their espresso.

Hoca:-
Ahh.. Hoca. Just tried a double espresso yesterday. Freshness is there. Crema is there.
But serve to me in a big cappuccino  cup.  Bad after taste.  I think their blend is heavy in Robusta. Very  bitter.

Izzi Italian Restaurant:-
Located in Bukit Bintang. I can tell you, sometimes the worst espresso you can try are those from restaurant that put the word “Italian” in their sign board. Yucks.

Sad to say I have yet to have any above average espresso in Malaysia. When I’m lucky, I got an average shot from Starbucks. Other time it is between below average to “quick, give me a coke to wash my mouth” experience.

If any of you guys and gals encounter any GOOD experience of espresso or coffee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, please tell me know. I’ll go and try.

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127 thoughts on “Good Espresso in Malaysia…

  1. kfchan Post author

    Hmm.. now that you mentioned it, I did try both of them. But I guess I should revisit them. Secret Recipe actually have some decent beans with decent freshness. Like in most cases, the person making the coffee is unskilled.

    I went to Secret Recipe just 2 weeks ago. The tumeric chicken was quite nice. The latte was just average.

  2. imzar

    there is no espresso joint in Malaysia worth visiting..most of them use stale beans and the barristas lack understanding on what makes a good espresso. I saw a multiple groupheads Marzoco and a mazzer grinder at a Secret Recipe outlet but the espresso in barely drinkable.

    Theres hope though, ETC at Ikano sometime stocks relatively fresh Coffex beans and your best bet is to make your own espresso but you’ll be needing a good machine and a grinder..like at least a Sylvia and a Mazzer Mini

  3. kfchan Post author

    Hey Imzar,

    Where are you from? Are you using any espresso machine at home? I’m trying to find more people in Malaysia who are coffee lovers or using proper espresso machine at home. Maybe we can start a club or something.

    You said correctly about the “relatively” fresh coffee at coffex. I’m encouraging my supplier to bring in really fresh beans from Singapore. Once I manage to get 500g of coffee bean that is only 4 days from roasting. The difference is obvious 🙂

  4. kfchan Post author

    Dear uname,
    You are one funny fella. How can you ask who am I, when you don’t identify yourself? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    And didn’t you notice “Note: taste is subjective. What I’m expressing is purely my own personal interpretation and preferences.”

    My coffee knowledge probably better then yours, or probably poorer then yours. If you have any points to make, state them.

    If you don’t agree with my views and opinions, you can give your opinions too. If you are an expert, then I’m sure all the visitors and myself included will be interested to know what you can contribute to improve the coffee scenes in Malaysia.

    But if you have nothing to contribute, then shut-up and go drink more coffee.

  5. Aaron

    Wow! KfCHan, kudo’s to you got your great answer to Uname
    I like the way you answer.
    You’ll always have our support and the rest of the people here!
    =)

  6. Jim

    uname, if you want to scold other people, please do I beg you, please do use proper english.
    The way you said it, it’s like you’re those people who drink kopi o their whole life, and never tasted any nice espresso shots.

  7. Jim

    You know what today I just got a complain from my customer, which I don’t know who yet, complained that my latte is full of foam, and creamy (which I really don’t know how the hell he can say that even though I’m just making a normal latte without adding any whip cream what so ever).
    Yeah I do understand that at times I tried to do some latte art and end up abit more foam that usual in a latte, but yes I do make sure there’s half of the milk there. Then, I was sort get screwed by my supervisor, sigh…..

  8. kfchan Post author

    Pity, well the last time you make me that tea latte, the milk was excellent. Did your supervisor praise you for that? Next time try your latteart on your own staff drinks lah 🙂

  9. Jim

    I did tried to do it myself haha but sometimes the pitcher in my store make my life’s hard…
    hehe they usually dont praise when your drink is nice one la.. but then if you screwed up one thing they’ll shoot you like there’s no tomorrow..

  10. Aaron

    KFChan, thanks for adding me into your blogroll, i am very honored. thank you so much.. i’ll add you into my blogroll after setting it up soon.. 🙂

  11. Simon Yeo

    Hi KFChan…

    I was really surprised to see a blog like this…being an espresso lover myself…great blog. I’ve read all your posts in the past day or so…

    I agree with your assessment. The quality of espresso in our country is atrocious at best! I generally prefer milk based drink…but the ones served in Malaysia are so terrible I cannot imagine how a straight espresso or ristretto would taste like….among the chain shops only Dome and Gloria Jeans are acceptable and even that is only 2/5 rating.

    I do make my own espresso….have a Gaggia Classic which I bought from Australia…I read from your posts that Dankoff provides fresh roast? It’s so difficult to get them in Malaysia (especially since I am from Sarawak). Do they sell to normal customer (not hotels or restaurants?)?

    I bought my beans from Coffee for Connoisseurs (Roaster is Alan Frew, brilliant coffee) and they generally arrive between 1-4 weeks….yes it’s a compromised solution but better than anything I could get…once in a while I do get fresh batches if my sister comes back from Australia….have you tried Five Senses Roast? (www.fivesenses.com.au) Equal quality with Coffeeco buying from Australia…the freight charges is easily up to AUD 30 for a kilo of coffee. Expensive!

    Please let me know if you plan to start a club or something…espresso lovers have been deprived too long….still cannot believe I found your blog…keep up the good work…how is Paul Bassett’s espresso in Japan? I read about his stores…most of the nice espresso I had, I drank them in Australia….sorry for asking so many questions and writing such a long reply…cheers,

    simon

  12. kfchan Post author

    Dear Simon,

    It good to hear from you. Always glad to know another coffee lover from Malaysia.

    Wow, you are getting coffee from Alan? How’s the coffee? Which blend did you buy from Alan? I wanted to get from him also before I found Dankoff. Dankoff freshest coffee is from Singapore. I think it is usually about a week or two from roasting. But my Malaysia’s standard, 2 weeks coffee beans is top of the range already. Until Dankoff do their own roasting, I suppose 2 weeks is the best I can hope for.

    Back to Alan Frew, how much does it cost to buy 500g + delivery? Now, I’m paying RM 46.00 for 500g. I wanted to try Alan’s but I don’t want to pay too much for it. Dankoff sells mostly to cafes and restaurants. But I’m a walk in customer. No problem. If you want to try beans, send me your address to my email and I check for you if they are willing to deliver and what is the cost.

    The Gaggia Classic is a good machine. I’m using a Gaggia Baby D. In Malaysia, Gaggia is the best home machine you can buy affordably. Forget about Krup and Delonghi. If I have 6K – 8K to spend, I will probably want to get a Butterfly or the Vibiemme Domobar Super. But alas, I’m not that rich.

    About Paul Bassett, here’s my review: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/worldregional/australasia/269931#269931

    Hope to hear from you again. If you have news of coffee scene in Sarawak, feel free to put in your comments.

    Cheers,
    KF Chan

  13. al

    Wow, I’m glad I randomly stumbled onto your site…it’s great to find like-minded Malaysian espresso coffee lovers! We’re a pretty rare breed (in JB at least *g*).

    The espresso situation in JB’s pretty dire as well – it’s near impossible to find a decent cup around here. I had the opportunity to mainline some fabulous cappucinos in Australia (my best friend during exams) so it was dissappointing when I was unable to recreate the experience here. (Don’t get me wrong, I still love my kopi but sometimes, only an espresso will do).

    Quick JB review based on a standard cappucino:

    Secret Recipe, City Square: BAD. Bitter after-taste and tastes like diluted percolated coffee *gag*

    Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, City Square: The “best” of the lot here (BUT that’s not much of an achievement). Their Xmas gingerbread latte is REALLY good tho.

    Lavenders Cafe, Jln Serampang: Watery, tasteless crap.

    Season’s Cafe, City Square: Passable.

    Starbucks, City Square: Drinkable. But I think they gave me a double shot which I didn’t ask for. Mad energy rush that lasted 3 hours.

    That’s about it off the top of my head. And if you’re into coffee AND cake, Coffee Bean’s the place, IMO. Best compromise for good cake and drinkable coffee. I’ve stayed far away from Secret Recipe after having too many crappy cakes.

  14. zam

    go to coffex show room and new stock coffee

    or their local roasting coffee coz they have roasting plan here

  15. kfchan Post author

    Dear Al,

    I can’t imagine you having the “Australia Coffee” experience can feel satisfied by those you mentioned. As for CBTL, their flavoured drinks like their Vanilla Latte is not bad but that is NOT a real cappuccino.

    Hey, you should consider my journey, doing it yourself.

    And Zam, you know, Coffex showroom are not exactly easy to reach. There are located at somewhere really out of the way. I visited them last year and they don’t really roast high quality arabica blend here. Mostly mixture with robusta… cheap.. meant for hotels i believe.

  16. kfchan Post author

    Dear Sakif,

    Good for you. If you like Starbucks espresso, there are plenty everywhere. For those of us who prefer fresher beans with a cm of crema and complexity of taste, the journey is harder and more difficult.

  17. zam

    Hi
    I still like coffex or bristot for espresso and cappuccino. Illy still ok but not segafredo too bitter.

  18. Fong

    I kind of agree with Sam that you can find a good espresso in Malaysia at Segafredo Zanetti Espresso. The espresso serve at most of their Penang shop are genuine though I would agree with KF that the skill of the barista is the critical factor besides the freshness and premium beans used for a perfect espresso.

    Zam, a good taste of espresso will have the perfect balance between acidity and bitterness. Illy’s taste is mild if you compare to espresso that you will likely get in Italy.

    Still find the Segafredo’s espresso is authentic and quite true to the Italian tradition.

  19. sam

    Last Sunday, I was in Sunway Pyramid and accidentally I found one of the Segafredo Zanetti Espresso shop. I had tried their coffee in Penang fews year back. So I had an espresso and some of their food. Well, on average everything is good. The espresso is perfect in taste and the texture also not bad. But the only thing is the server is not train enough I think (they’re operating table service) They can’t even explain to me what is Segaafredo Espresso. *This is only some experience sharing no heart feeling.

    So, guys if you like espresso, please give a try on them. But don’t expect more on their service!

  20. chris

    as for cafes go… there was this cafe at changkat bukit bintang call ole cafe served very good coffee, in fact, the barista was imported fr taiwan, but the sad fact is, he’s gone back to start up his own cafe in taipei…

    for those of you like syphon coffee, there’s ikopi near petaling street…

    other than that, there’s a new cafe in ampang call caffeinees, interesting thing is, they roast their own beans…

    the good thing is, all of the above are independently owned… 🙂

    if you need pointers and directions to the above, do let me know…

    may be we can all meet up one day for a cuppa or two??? 😉

  21. kfchan Post author

    Dear Chris,

    Surprise! Surprise! I’ve been to all 3 that you mentioned.

    Ole – Long time ago.. maybe I’ll revisit.

    iKopi – last time I ordered their iced-syphon coffee or something.. suppose to be their signature drink. It was not freshly brew, and I thot I can see the Syphon in action. Unbelievable, they served me pre-made syphon iced-coffee from the fridge!!! Expensive some more.

    Caffeinees – I used to like their burgers, the Bondi Burgers. But nowadays the quality dropped a lot. I think they change the supplier for the chicken patty. The burgers now are totally bad. They USED to be excellent. Sigh.. what a shame. I know they roast their own coffee. But many don’t realised that roasting gourmet coffee is a science and an art. You can’t just use a wok and expect great coffee. Yes, they are probably fresher then most place… but the coffee quality, nothing to shout about.

    Unless they invest in a proper roasting machine and spend more time with better quality beans, I don’t think it will amount to much. And If even they best burger has become worse then McDonalds, I don’t think their coffee will improve much. Really.. what a shame.

    Hey Chris, emailed me at kfchan7(at)gmail(dot)com with your contact number and I’ll give you a call.

  22. ezra

    I believe kfchan is not after regular coffee… he is after espresso, a ~30ml emulsion of coffee oils extracted from about 15g (std double ristretto) of coffee under about 135psi of pressure in ~30sec. It is really a bit challenging to get it right – not bitter – not sour/acidic – but savoury and tasty. No sugar necessary!

    1) Get a pop corn popper.
    2) Import some green beans
    3) Roast yourself
    4) Get a grinder. Ground coffee goes stale in about an hour.

    Gotta admit, every big coffee company’s coffee tends to be pretty shit. milk drinks are acceptable, but macchiatos and espressos end up bitter or sour or just rancid (from stale beans).

    In australia i guess they are kinda lucky as they have a large immigrant italian population. Small delicatessens sell fresh roasted beans (delievered weekly) that is of acceptable quality.

  23. kfchan Post author

    Dear Ezra,

    Wooohhh.. Are you a Malaysian? Like your blog man… and saw your facebook profile. No wonder your Pictures look so cool. Even your profile picture have you holding a camera.. hahaha. My poor little digital camera can never capture such poetry of pefect Coffee moments.

    What machine are you using?

    Just wanna clarify something though.
    Nowadays, I’m having second thoughts. I don’t want to come off as a coffee snob. I wanna experience great coffee but no longer just espresso. Considering the cafes scenes in Malaysia, I’ll be contented with any cafe who can do proper microfoaming and pour a decent cup of capuccino.

    Getting consistenly good espresso is very difficult. Even at home, I’m still chasing after consistencies. But while espresso require a proper balance of the force to achieve, good quality beans and always produce very good cup of americano.

    I have achieve many cups of fruity, bright, clean and flavourful americanos. Good espresso is still a 50-50 chance even with good beans. I suspect my Gaggia Baby D has fluctuating temperature and pressure stability.

    Good cappucino has been very consistent with decent beans. From your blog, you seems to be in Australia. So lucky of you. Try some Epic Espresso from Five Sense man.

    Cheers.

  24. Irving

    Hi KfChan,

    Speaking of temperature stability. We did talked about ‘PID’ing your Gaggia Baby. Just did some sourcing for parts for the PID. Here’s what I’ve come up with :

    1) Temperature (PID) controller : Omron E5GN – RM320
    2) Thermocouple – RM25
    3) Solid-State Relay – RM55
    4) small project box, wires, fuses etc. – around RM20-50.

    Can’t seem to find any details or schematics of the Gaggia Baby, though. perhaps somewhere in your gaggia manual there’s an electrical schematic….

  25. Stephen

    Well, first visit to Malaysia and trying to track down some good coffee. Proving most difficult. I’m working in CyberJaya and staying in Sunway – can anyone give me advice on good coffee outlets between CJ and Sunway? Surely there must some dedicated roasters out there doing a good job……? I’m yet to check out Sam’s “recommendation” on Sunway Segafredo Zanetti Espresso shop – Stephen

  26. kfchan Post author

    Dear Stephen,

    When you go to Segafredo, look for either Jimmy or Martin. They are the best barista there. And if they make you a cup that is not good, they will be happy to make you another. Tell them you saw this blog and expect good coffee.

    If you are down in KL, visit Espressamente in Pavilion too.

  27. Stephen

    Thanks Kfchan. Missed your posting before trying Segafredo. Anyway, it was pretty good really. They’re on my list for coffee next time I’m here.
    I’m not sure who made the coffee, but it hit the spot!

    Home tomorrow. So, if you’re in Melbourne, I recommend you try St Ali in South Melbourne – my current favourite place for fresh roasted beans.

  28. Eason Lee

    hi all, i found a cafe in kl while im searching replacement part for my vac pot. maybe u guys wanna try them?

    ikopi (爱咖啡) near petaling street

    and a coffee supplier
    barista team in subang

  29. CF Lee

    Hi,
    I am looking for a Gaggia Classic Expresso machine and a Baratza Virtuoso burr grinder. On the internet I notices that these usually come in 110 volt power supply. Do you know where I can purchase these two items with 220-240 volt in KL?

  30. kfchan Post author

    Dear Lee,

    Only ETC-Concept in the Curve sells Gaggia. And there is no Virtuoso seller in Malaysia as far as I know.
    Btw, what is your budget? Perhaps I can recommend you a better combination.

  31. edwin chow

    Hi Chan.
    This is Dr Chow.
    I am a frequent visitor to your blog.
    In fact, I recently asked you regarding which blender to buy and whether I should buy it in UK/Malaysia.
    Remember?
    I am currently in Cambridge UK doing my advanced training in nephrology(kidney) and will be back in Malaysia by the end of the year.
    In UK, the best place to get premium beans seems to be Hasbean. So much varieties. You should check it out. https://www.hasbean.co.uk/ The problem is they refuse to send the beans to Malaysia. I have asked them. Maybe you should try and use your charm and media fame and try to bring it into Malaysia. They said that they ran into issues when trying to send it to Malaysia. ? immigration issues. Did you encounter any problems getting the beans from 5 senses, Australia?
    Until then, I can only enjoy the beans while in UK and will probably be stuffing my luggage bag with as much beans as possible when flying back. Maybe I could get you some as well if you want? Any friend of Hannah Yeoh is my friend. Ha ha.
    Keep in touch.

    Edwin chow

  32. MW Liu

    Hi all,

    I love coffee and I too have been following this blog. Seems everyone in Malaysia and even in KL has problem to get good beans. I myself has bought Illy, Starbucks and many others, and like Chan said they are not fresh or tend to wear off pretty soon.

    I have found this great cafe called Providore in Solaris. They serve this blend called The Brazil, roasted by Genovese of Melbourne.

    I have tried the beans on my Gagggia and in my opinion they are indeed very fresh. It provides thick crema. try it and you’ll know what I mean. It comes in 1 kg bag and costs RM95.

    According to the owner Luke, the beans are freshly roasted before being brought over. He brought in about 30KG last time and so far I’ve bought about 5 – 6 kg from them, some for me and the rests for friends. Currently they’re out of stocks but James (the brother and co-owner) told me over the phone that fresh stocks should be in next week and this time they’re bringing in 100kg.

    since they also serve food, it may be a good place for the gethering too.

    relevant sites are listed below. check them out!

    MW Liu from KL

    It’s

  33. Wee Chuan

    Hi, Dr Chow.

    Yes, Hasbean is one of the best roasters in UK. When I was still studying at UK, I always buy online from Steve.

    If you still in UK, you can also order from Square Mile by James Hoffmann, 2007 World Barista Champion & Arnette, World Cupping Champion. http://shop.squaremilecoffee.com.

    If you do buy from both sources, can I try some too and join Chan? Very much appreciated as Malaysia is lacking of good coffee sources.

    And MW Liu, thx for source recommendation. I will be around Sri Hartamas this Sat. Probably I can go over and check out the place.

  34. kfchan Post author

    Hi Dr. Chow,

    You know Hannah too? Do you know Simon Yeo from Sibu?
    And if you do come back from UK, let me know earlier. I’m sure Wee Chuan and I will be interested in some great beans from UK. If got chance to try James Hoffman’s WBC winning blend, that would be really cool.

    I think last time you asked about grinder instead of blender 😀

  35. kfchan Post author

    Dear MW Liu,

    I was actually passing by Solaris on Tuesday afternoon.
    Unfortunately I was really disappointed. They don’t have Genovese and were using Lavazza. But that was not my major complains. Lavazza has problem with freshness as we all know, so I wouldn’t make an issue out of it.

    But the preparation is really flawed. I ordered a cappuccino.

    1. I see the Barista hardly tamp the coffee. I was thinking “perhaps it was already fine enough, so no need to really tamp” And sure enough… I must have been really fine. The extraction was 35 seconds” If he did a normal tamp, I think it choke the machine already.

    2. The milk was too hot and not properly frothed. They were using Farmhouse but due to the poor frothing and high temperature, no sweetness in the milk.

    3. And a single espresso cost RM8.00. Same as a cappuccino. Of course i dare not order an espresso lah. RM8.00 for an over-extracted Lavazza espresso is really too much.

    Maybe when their Genovese beans come in, I may give them another chance. So Wee Chuan, go and try and tell me how is it.

    Maybe i’m just unlucky today.

  36. Hilsy

    I am a great fan of Bristot beans. Just like you have mentioned before, taste is a personal thing, I rank it higher than coffex.
    So far is have not found any good coffee place/Cafe in KL except expressamente (not sure if I ha e the spelling right) that is in Bangsar Village and the one that we make at home.
    I usually get my beans from Etc at the curve. They grind the beans for me too. But I just found out they closed down last week. I am devastated… Now I have to hunt for a grinder or look for a shop that provides grinding service. Any recommendation?

  37. kfchan Post author

    The most affordable grinder that can grind coffee properly is the Grinta grinder. Cost should not exceed RM1.2K.

    Hilsy, what espresso machine are you using?

  38. Hilsy

    Kf
    Thanks for the recommendation.
    I am using the Gaggia baby twin.
    Would you be able to recommemd any shop that sells Grinta? Very few shops in KL that sells grinders.

  39. joie

    Hi, i am also a coffee lover~ jus wanna to ask that where can i get a Gaggia Baby D at KL? at this coffee machine cost how much?

  40. kfchan Post author

    Dear Joie,

    Hilsy mentioned that ETC in the Curve closed already. I don’t think you can find Gaggia Baby D anymore. They sold at RM1890 previously. Now, if you are looking for a second-hand Gaggia Baby D, I got a 2 years old machine… I can let go for RM800.00.

  41. Hilsy

    Joie

    While I was shopping for coffee machine few months back, I found out that Etc supplies Gaggia to Robinsons at the Gardens (Mid Valley). You can try there. They have a good selection of coffee machines there. Other than Gaggia they have a lot of other brands such as Bodum, Jura etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Now I shall continue with my quest for either a grinder/ Nespresso machine.

  42. kfchan Post author

    Dear friends,

    I strongly suggest AGAINST the Nespresso option unless the CONVENIENCE factor is paramount.

    Reasons:-
    – You will be severely limited in your choice of trying great coffee and limited to Nespresso capsules.
    – Nespresso capsules is not cheap… I think RM2 ++
    – They are not fresh

    Getting a decent grinder will allows you almost limitless possibilities of trying various blends and origins of great coffee.

    I just got myself a 250g of Ethiopia, freshly roasted coffee.
    Yesterday, made with a Syphon device.
    Today, I made it using a french press (Not with an espresso machine).
    It was floral, fruity with hint of sweetness. My wife and a friend tasted hint of lychee (my tongue is not that sensitive).

    There is a whole world of great coffee out there and if you don’t need cappuccino or milk based coffee, the investments are only a decent grinder and brewing devices that cost less than RM300… like french press, syphon, Aeropress etc.

    The most expensive part is the grinder… Nothing less than RM1000 can make you good coffee, but it is an investment after all.

  43. Den

    Hi,
    I will also suggest the Moka coffee, which you can get the good brand such as Bialetti Brikka from Parkson or Metrojaya for only RM300++ for 2 cups (or double if you like it strong). With the Krups coffee grinder for RM249 you will definately produce a better cup than any cafe (assuming you have a fresh bean).
    I know Bangsar has a cafe which sells Bialetti Moka coffee, I will try it one day.

  44. Hilsy

    Joie

    Found out that etc at the curve has reopened. Apparently they are just closed for renovation. They have baby d there. Hope this helps.

  45. femZ

    hello,im bck 😀
    if u want an espresso with shots that pour around 25 second in Starbucks, u can always request for it :). it just that, most of the barista, they didn’t time the shots everytime when they use la marzocco, they wud simply press the button, n give u a random quality of espresso, unfortunately 😦

  46. kfchan Post author

    Hi femZ,

    Good to have you back. But frankly, I don’t think they can make a 25 secs shots even if I asked for it.. unless i’m very lucky. But with most of their machines already changed to Super-Auto, it is virtually impossible.

  47. Karen

    Hi, I just came across your blog by chance. ETC at the curve was closed for renovation for two weeks to make way for new items coming in soon. Sorry to all the loyal customers for the “no notice” during such time. We re-opened on the 1st of May. Look forward to serving our regulars again.

  48. joie

    Thanks a lot Hilsy. Ur info is very usefull for me :). That day i go to Robinsons at the Gardens..Waooo..many type of coffee machines..But the price also very pretty..mayb i will consider kfchan’s gaggia baby D. By the way, is tat gaggia baby coffee machine ok ar? 🙂

  49. Wee Chuan

    Hi Joie,

    Gaggia MM is a decent grinder but if you are using it for espresso then it cannot be comparable to any Mazzer grinder. More of a multi-purpose grinder though.

  50. sam

    Hi all,

    Gaggia Coffee Machine really good? So many using and support Gaggia machine 🙂 As i knoe thr are few model of gaggia coffee machine. Gaggia Evo, Dose, Twin.. Gaggia Baby Twin expensive but got 2 boiler. Evo need to manually stop. Dose is it great to make a nice coffee? By the way~ may i know any ice blender machine is being use by those starbucks and coffee bean ar? Is that any recommend on ice blender machine ar? And may i knoe tat ice blended is it normally use instant coffee to make up ar? Hihi.. So many question.. Hope to get information from all of the experts~~ By the way – i love this site~

  51. kfchan Post author

    Dear Sam,

    I would say Gaggia home machines are consider very good for those priced below RM2000. There are 2 functions that anyone wanting to get a Gaggia should consider:

    1. Volumatrics programming. With this you can program the amount of water for brewing, meaning it will stop say after brewing 2oz. You don’t need to manually press it to stop. Basically for convenient and you can save money without it. It only takes less than 30 seconds to brew a double shots and you should be watching it.

    2. The 3-way soleniod valve. Basically, there is a valve at the back of the brew head that will auto-open whenever the brewing stops. It functions to released the built-up pressure from the brew head and extra water will flow to the drip tray. This is very important if you want to brew another round immediately. Without this, you CANNOT immediately remove the portafilter, otherwise, you’ll get the “sneeze”. Coffee ground sprayed everywhere. You probably need to wait 1 min before removing the portafilter to brew again. I consider this function important because it is a real pain in the a** to wait and wait.

    Gaggia Evo is the cheapest at RM1250 but it does not have a 3-way solenoid valve nor volumatrics programming. But the internal is the same with others and can make just as good a cup of espresso or cappuccino as the more expensive model.

    Incidentally, I hate the Gaggia Twin. The so-called double boiler is a joke. I tried it at the showroom. Does not enhanced the steam power by much and lot’s of water coming out from the steam wand. NOT WORTH IT. And so expensive too.

    Therefore, if you want to get the Gaggia, get those below the TWIN model. In fact, based on the price now, only Evo is worth getting.

    Let me tell you why. The Oscar alone without grinder cost around RM3500, but it is at least FIVE times better investment than the Gaggia Twin.

    Comparison.
    Boiler: Gaggia = 105ml, Oscar = 2 Litre
    Boiler Material: Gaggia = aluminium, Oscar = Copper
    Steam power: Gaggia = lousy, Oscar = Super
    Brew and steam at the same time: Gaggia = No, Oscar = Yes

    Therefore, only get the Evo for a learning stage and upgrades in future.

    For proper investment that goes 10 years down the road, go for the Oscar.

  52. Wee Chuan

    Sam, I agree with Chan’s analysis.

    If you have budget, go for Oscar and do not need worry about the upgrade fever.

    Else, get a Silvia and PID it straight away.

    Slightly cheaper than Oscar, so you can pair it with a good grinder like Rocky or Mazzer Mini

  53. Irving

    Sam,
    Somewhere in between the Gaggia & Oscar is the Rancilio Silvia. The Silvia is better than the Gaggia’s home machine:-
    1. Silvia’s Brass Boiler vs Gaggia’s Aluminium Bioler
    2. Silvia’s boiler capacity is 360ml vs Gaggia’s 105ml
    3. Silvia’s has much more powerful steam compare to Gaggia’s.
    The Silvia is probably the most talked about, blogged, hacked and reviewed machine. You can find loads of information about it on the web.
    One thing the Silvia lacks compared to the Oscar is the ability to brew and steam at the same time. Check out the pictures taken during a barista jam at my place some months back.

    https://kfchan.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/barista-jam/

    I have since PIDed my Silvia. Check out Wee Chuan’s blog:

    http://weechuan.com/blog/2009/04/pid-your-silvia/

    The Silvia is not sold in Malaysia, the closest is from Singapore, costs about RM2700. (not including tax & duty). The PID modifications cost me RM300+ (parts only)

  54. kfchan Post author

    Dear Irving,

    The reason I didn’t even bother to mention Silvia is that you are probably the last person getting a new Silvia. Highlander Coffee in Singapore no longer bring in the Silvia. And if anyone bring in the Silvia and got taxed, it will reach almost the same price as the Oscar.

    Take care of your Silvia my friend. Endangered species… hahaha.

  55. joie

    Dear Wee Chuan, thanks for ur info regarding the grinder :). But the Mazzer grinder is quite expensiv hor.. :(.and ur coffee on https://kfchan.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/barista-jam/ is very nice lei.very pretty.so geng..

    Dear Kfchan, regarding the post at coffee machine tat u had mention the second hand Rancilio Silvia for around the same price as the Evo isit stil available ar?

  56. Irving

    Joie,

    9 months old PIDed Rancilio Silvia. RM2400. Get my contacts from Chan if you’re interrested.

  57. Wee Chuan

    Joie,

    Unfortunately I sold off mine to Venky already. You can get Irving’s Silvia, which is still new & PIDed, so you do not need to go through the temp surf, which is quite a hassle. Also, get yourself a decent grinder too.

  58. Irving

    Joie,
    You can check out http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews for consumer review of the Evo, Silvia and the Oscar, or any other machines.

    Chan,
    Spinelli is the distributor for Rancilio Silvia is Singapore. So I may not be the last person buying a Silvia from Singapore :). I think it is going for about S$1100. The only problem with upgrading to the Oscar (besides the $$) is that the Silvia looks so much more sexier on my kitchen counter.

    p.s. – I’m now researching pressure PID methods for Oscar… will eliminate the need for temperature surf 🙂

  59. Irving

    Yeah lor, I was reading about temperature surfing with HX machines, you need to do “flusing” or “water dance” (not a barista dance, mind you!) among other things. Wahlau!. sounds more chialat than my Silvia! Will find out more details and share with you guys.

  60. kfchan Post author

    Aiyo, just flush 2oz of water only lah. That’s all to it. Don’t get overly hung-up by those stuff. Make preparing and drinking good coffee a hassle lah.

  61. Irving

    On the contrary, my friend. The whole idea of the ‘possible’ upgrade is to reduce the hassle in order to get a good shot. So far, based on consumer reviews, the Oscar meets 2 out of 3 of my criterias (or excuses) for upgrade :

    1) Steam on demand (no hassle – met)
    2) Finicky factor to get good shot (met)
    3) Ease of attaining desired temperature – (not yet….)

    Not yet for point #3 is because I’ve been reading contradicting reviews on that. I PIDed my silvia to eliminate the hassle of temperature surfing. I hope that’s not necessary for the Oscar. The best way to find out is to try out the machine by myself. I’ll try it at Phil’s place when I’m in S’pore next week.

  62. Kuen Hoong

    My brother sent me your URL… finally found someone that have the same thought of bad coffee in Malaysia. I was always wondering if i got too used to my own coffee that I have yet to find even an acceptable coffee.. not to mention Espresso. Thanks for the sharing.

  63. kfchan Post author

    Kuen Hoong,

    Welcome to Coffee Community of Malaysia. Do contribute your thoughts and findings too, ok 🙂

  64. joie

    Wee Chuan,

    Ya, true.. buying my first espresso machine really make me headache…. will consider Irving’s Silvia

    Irving,

    May i know whether the machine is still under warranty? Any service centre at KL area?

  65. kfchan Post author

    Dear Joei,

    Buying your first espresso machine doesn’t need to be a headache.

    Just need to consider your budget:
    Below RM1500 = New Gaggia Evo (lifespan aprox. 5 years)
    Below RM2500 = Irving’s Silvia (lifespan aprox. 5 to 10 years)
    Below RM3500 = New Oscar (lifespam aprox. 5 to 10 and further?)

    Just an estimate though… I’ve heard of some Gaggia survived up to 8 years.

    But don’t forget the grinder man.

  66. Irving

    Joie,

    The machine is under warranty until August this year. Closest service centre is in Singapore, but the machine is simple enough for me to service it myself (I’m a geek!).

    I’ll let you have the option to buy it with or without the PID, which you can choose to add in the future. email me at irving[dot]xlr8[at]yahoo[dot]com.

    Check out the PID installation photos : http://www.flickr.com/photos/irvinski/sets/72157616670481550/

    As for the grinder, you can choose the Grinta as Chan suggested. Alternatively, Highlander has an Isomec Professionale conical burr grinder, almost same price as Grinta. I’ll be in Singapore in mid June, so I’ll check it out, take some photos and let you guys know how it is.
    http://www.highlandercoffee.com/grinders.html

  67. Kuen Hoong

    kfchan,

    I am just a beginner in coffee appreciation. Still very fresh and looking for direction. Not really know what a good espresso should really taste like but only knew those that i tried are bad.

    Still trying to figure out if the few stove top espresso that I have really going to brew me some nice coffee so far.

    Have tried both Stainless steal and aluminium type but haven’t find anything good ( but still better then what i ordered over the cafe so far ). No creama at all from the extraction like what i saw on the youtube.

    So, currently just use them as normal coffee brewer… switching in between my french press and stove top so far.

  68. kfchan Post author

    Hi Kuen Hoong,

    Unfortunately, it is hard to find decent espresso in the commercial settings.
    When you are ready to invest in an espresso machine, then you will be able to experience proper espresso and cappuccino… with the proper training of course.

  69. Tommy Leong

    Dear kfchan

    Im new to espresso and i’ve been reading (going thru the net) alot about espresso and there’s just limitless information about it. This is how i stumbled across your site and i can barely understand 70% of what you guys are saying (LOL hahaha excuse my newbiness). I’ve also came across a few websites (actually only 2) that offers barista training in malaysia (1 in KL and the other in Penang). http://www.itsnotjustcoffee.com and http://www.lighthouse-coffee.com.my. Do you know if they are any good? and i think its a pretty hefty price to pay for a 5 day course at “itsnotjustcoffee”

    Could you please advise me what are the most basic setup/equipments needed for a newbie like me to start my journey into the world of espresso? so far what i know is that i need an Espresso machine / frothing pitcher (stainless steel) / grinder and some fresh beans of coz… ive also read that its pretty hard to get fresh beans… only place i saw you guys mentioned was ETC at the curve… or was it somewhere else…

    Maybe i’ll give Segafredo Zanetti Espresso a try since i need to know what does good espresso means or is there a better recommendation?

    Thanks for reading

    Tom

  70. kfchan Post author

    Dear Tommy,

    Both barista training is good. Of course if your are in Penang, look for Victor from Lighthouse Coffee. But if you are in KL, there are more choices. You can’t really expect a 5-day course to be just a few hundred ringgit, right.

    The most basic thing you need to start out is as you describe: Machine, grinder, milk pitcher and fresh coffee beans.

    Fresh coffee beans you cannot find at ETC lah. You can try the fresh roasted Supremo Blend from highlander. I can get it for you for RM25 for 250g pack. Very good.

    For decent espresso in a cafe, yes.. you can try at Segafredo main outlet in Sunway or Espressamente in Pavilion. But for great espresso, you can only get it in a home setup like ours… you need 3 things… Machine, fresh quality beans and skills.

    Hey, let’s come out for a cup and coffee if you are in KL or PJ. Then we can talk.

  71. cyka

    How about Hotel coffee……anyone found a good cup around the hotel cafe.
    Does the price worth or value for it……….

  72. Fernando

    In KLCC you can also get good espresso at Chinoz on the Park, it’s pricey though but the best that I have found in KLCC.

    Otherwise, as you correctly pointed before, a very good espresso can be done at home if you have all the right components. I brought my B.F.C. Ela and Demoka grinder from Holland when I moved here.

    By the way, where can I buy Highlander Supremo here in KL?
    Fernando

  73. gyn

    Hi,

    My espresso maker is just a humble Bialetti Stove Top Aluminium Pot.

    The rubber gasket in the pot is totally worn out and I wonder if anyone can kindly tell me where I can purchase its replacement part in Malaysia?

    Thanks!

    Gyn

  74. Kenny Ng

    hey.. can anyone tell me whr can i drink latte on the coffee..
    I been to starbuck and coffeebeen.. dun hav either..
    Sry 4 my bad english…
    i staying in malaysia KL..

  75. kfchan Post author

    Dear Kenny,

    Both Starbucks and Coffee Bean also have lattes unless your idea of latte is different. Latte means milk. So, you want milk on your coffee issit?

  76. Manto

    Hye,
    If you’re interested to try our coffees because there so little information in your website regarding Gloria Jean’s Coffees……..

    Maybe you can give out some review or comment,come and try out our Gloria Jean’s Coffees Bukit Bintang Plaza (It’s free for you only,ask for Manto)

    I know your taste is subjective based on your own personal interpretation and preferences but however on my opinion all the coffees company should have proper evaluated.

    Any enquiries, email me k

  77. Nic

    hi there,

    ive been trying to look for a good place for coffee in the blog, which, in your experience is the best in KL?

  78. zzeed

    I tried Gobo Chit Chat’s latte and I think it was pretty good. Gobo Chit Chat is part of Trader’s hotel in KL Convention Centre (KLCC)

  79. Nic

    heard of it but yet to try. is that their first outlet here? saw it opened just months ago. will try it out when i go to departure lounge too.

  80. Jes

    I’m a student,i have some question to ask…
    1)how coffee made??
    2)what is the advantages and disadvantages of drinking coffee??
    3)how coffee made in Malaysia ???

  81. saicek

    Hi Nic.

    Just for information!
    Actually there is a cafe name’s Chocz Cafe @ KLCC serving a very nice espresso and cappuccino! (start from August till February only)
    I think Chan also been try the coffee there B4! But dunno Y never mention or share on his Blog???
    Maybe for him that is not a good coffee??? It’s very hard to share with everyone which day or which place he really go and visit and they really served a good or bad coffee!

    But, end of the day! This cafe also no longer anymore! The Chocz cafe already closed down!

  82. kfchan Post author

    Hahaha.. Dear Saicek,

    Your Chocz Cafe coffee is good lah.
    I thought want to do a nice review for you after you do your renovation.

    But who knows you close shop so soon wor. Well, blame it on KLCC for KILLING you with the ridiculous rent.

  83. kfchan Post author

    Dear Jes,

    You want me to do assignment for you meh?
    You 3 short sentences of questions, if I want to answers will take hundreds of sentences.

    Any of you guys out there wanna answer?

  84. Chong Shen

    Hi Jes, welcome to the world of coffee. For your questions, might I suggest that you first do some basic research on the internet as most of the information is already readily available? Drop by some cafes as well, to get a feel of what entails making a cup of good coffee. We’d be happy to explain specifics.

    Cheers,
    CS

  85. Guru Jaswant

    How about giving Chayo a try. we have a nice organic brand called La Alternativa from Brazil. i think our coffee is pretty good.
    i also usually like to try other places and i think so far gloria jean’s is better than the other big brands like coffee bean and starbucks.
    enjoy your coffee! we also make a mean masala tea!

  86. hana

    hey, im a coffee lover too…i used to love starbucks coffee especially cappucino but once i tried cappucino at Espressemente Illy at Pavillion, I stop having coffee anywhere except there…u can get not only fresh espresso but cheap too…so y dun you give it a try..perhaps u wud agree with me..they also have one in bangsar village…:p

  87. lightfl

    I do not drink coffee, not because I dont like, but I cant…till I tried espresso from The Coconut, PJ. Too bad, the shop no longer there. Recently, just find another place serve good espresso – Mbuji at IOI Mall, Puchong. Fresh bean, strong aroma, good skill…

  88. Ho

    Hello Mr. KF Chan,
    Noted you are you like Espresso coffee. May we know, you like the Traditional flavor or others. What are you looking for in your personal cup. It is very subject! If you can give us this information, we will be able to roast you a sample for cupping here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Brews and Blends
    Ho

  89. kfchan Post author

    Thanks Ho,

    Now that you mentioned it, got me thinking of the type of espresso I like.
    1. Good body
    2. Medium acidity
    3. Has some sweetness
    4. Very low bitterness
    Bonus if got a bit of fruitiness or flora, nuttiness or chocolaty.

    Hard to find any espresso blend that can fulfills them all.

  90. Rishinder

    KFCCHAN > Oh, please. If you do find a joint that has good shot, pls..pls.pls…let me know…Coffee here is dreadful !!

  91. Ismail

    Hello KFChan..

    I love coffee too.. I am looking ground coffee (preferably Columbia)..
    Can you recommend a good place near Bandar Utama, Mutiara Damansara or Taman Tun..?

    Thanks..

  92. kfchan Post author

    Hi Ismail,

    Go to Coffee Ritual. They have fresh roasted Colombian coffee and you can request them to grind for you.

  93. Choo

    Hi KFChan,

    This is actually my first post after weeks of reading and following up on your website, and also on wee chuan’s.
    To be honest, I am really glad that we have sites like this for coffee lovers in Malaysia.

    i am not new to espresso and coffee, and i started appreciating them since my end college years, and i must admit i am still not very far ahead or better than when i started tasting coffee. haha…
    *embarrassed*.
    my love for coffee once really boiled up several years ago when i was studying in the uk where i can taste good espressos & coffees, but it cooled down ever since i am back to Malaysia. my first espresso machine was the Morphy Richards (*last about 2years++) bought with my part time wages, and now with second machine (*for almost 2years) Delonghi EC701. only to realize later (after following this site) that these are “toy” and could not produce good enough espressos, but then it was also budget issues at that time and insufficient knowledge…
    *not everyday use, maybe only few times a week.

    one thing i must admit is that till now i am still having difficulties producing satisfactory microfoam milk. Maybe sifus out there can enlighten me… 🙂

    I’ve recently just bought a Gaggia MDF flat burr grinder before stumbled across your site.
    And i think i understand why you guys recommend only conical grinder after operating my MDF for some time, i think it’s the efficiency of pulling the beans into the burr, pls correct me if i am wrong.
    I am a bit regretted buying this grinder but i don’t think there’s anything i can do now, hopefully it serves me good enough.
    Any comment on this grinder?

    BTW, looking at you guys pulling great espresso shots with great machine, i am starting to itch for one as well, but i am still working with my budget…. i am actually aiming for the Oscar.
    May i know the price for the Oscar? i read from your earlier post that it’s less than RM3.5K? and will it increase with time? coz i need to have a target to aim for.

    i am truly sorry if i have written too much, too excited as this is my first post…
    Thank you.

  94. celeste

    Hi KF Chan,

    I stumbled into your blog and really love it. It’s very informative and interesting. I am a coffee lover especially espreso. Never knew so much about coffee till after reading your blog. If you do start a club, please keep me inform. Thanks.

  95. gracegrace

    Finally coffee lovers and real coffee critics.. I think of late there are a few more coffee joint popping up. I heard Artisan TTDI is good? So far my favorite Barista is at the Gourmet Bakery at BSC ( dont know exactly what is is called) We have a SAECO espresso machine but we rarely use it..

  96. Keith Chia

    Hi Chan, found your blog in the website, I’m Keith from Da Vinci Gourmet, we met in the FHA Singapore recently. Will pay a visit to your “myepresso cafe” for a good cup of coffee. Anyway glad to know you.

  97. farid azis

    dear all..im new in this coffe related.but i do love coffee.and drink a lot of espresso per day to taste and test my skill.i know somewhere around langkawi named bolaven cafe do serve quality espresso.u guys can go there and try.

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