Espressamente – An Improve Experience

Went to Espressamente again today with my wife. My first experience was not that great.

But I was impressed by Michael D’Alessandro’s response… “We are not a Starbucks who in reality, is more about the people than the coffee, we are a specialist coffee bar who are as much about the coffee as the people.”¬†

Reached there around 3pm and lucky me, Michael was around. It was lovely to be able to chat with like-minded coffee enthusiast.

He was true to his word and offer to make me a nice drink. I asked for an espresso for myself and an americano for my wife.

Many times one can somewhat predict the quality coffee by observing a few visual clues.

Let’s consider the 4 “M”s of good espresso.

Macchina (espresso machine) – La Marzocco, good machine.
Macinacaffe (grinder) – Mazer, excellent grinder. Need a good Mano to adjust the grind.
Miscela (coffee blend)
Mano (the barista)

Here’s the Mano. How do you recognise an expert? Notice his attention to details.
– Cleaning the portafilter.
– Flushing the portafilter to ensure that it is hot.
– Wiping it dry.
– Careful dosing and tamping.

The visual from the extraction looks good.

Here’s the result.
It is good. Smooth, medium acidity, moderate body and a nice after-taste. No bad bitterness.
In fact my wife was raving about it afterwards and she is one who normally gets headache drinking bad coffee. The americano was just as good, with hint of fruitiness. You know how I always rant about not finding good espresso in any cafes in Malaysia. I take that back. Here’s one worth trying.

The Miscela (coffee blend) of course is Illy. Normally I don’t fancy Illy. In most cafes, they are very much lacking in freshness. I guess in Espressamente with reasonably high volume traffic, their beans should not be staling so fast. And Illy was known to be quite a forgiving blend.

Therefore, if it is reasonably fresh with the 4 “M”s in sync, you should get a pretty good cup. And if you are at Espressamente the next time and the espresso is not good, most likely it will be the Mano’s fault. Ask them to redo or complain to Michael.

Lastly I asked to try again their cappuccino.

What can I say? It was better than my last visit. Microfoam was better. It’s a decent cup of cappuccino that I consider above average and certainly better than most cafes. Oh yes, the cups.. it’s top notch. Thick and beautifully designed.

Here’s Michael on the left with his crew.

It’s a pleasant afternoon, good espresso and nice coffee.

For good coffee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia… visit Espressamente.

13 thoughts on “Espressamente – An Improve Experience

  1. Michael D'Alessandro

    Thanks for such a nice post. It was great seeing you in the cafe and I look forward to seeing you and your wife again. Please, never stop pushing our boys to even higher limits and always keep your expectations high.

    Our guys make cappucino’s like that one after the other and keep shaking the heads displeasingly if the art is not perfectly symetrical or the microfoam could have been tighter, because they strive for each drink to be perfect (if there is such a thing). With this attitude, we will only get even better.

    Next time you come in, I’ll introduce you to a new treat. An affogato with a difference, a new dessert drink we will be introducing.

  2. diana basa

    hi i think you have a nice coffee and place how can i apply as a barista i am a filipino and im working at seattles best coffee here in the phillipines

  3. Eena

    Have you bought the coffee machine and the grinder?I am a coffee enthusiast myself and i got a Gaggia coffee machine and a Kitchenaid grinder. But both of them are from the UK. I find it hard to get a decent coffee machine in Malaysia and since my husband is studying there, I thought , why not? It costs me more than 2K but it was all worth it!!Nothing is better than enjoying a good cup of coffee with your loved ones!!!!

  4. kfchan Post author

    Dear Enna,

    I have a Gaggia BabyD and a La Scala 5M grinder. The grinder is excellent, completely transform my coffee experience. What coffee beans are you using? Lack of fresh roast is another major problem in Malaysia.

    I can get you some excellent coffee if you are interested. The coffee I use is usually only 2 weeks from roasting and cost RM 46 per 500g.

  5. Parakram Singh Yonzon

    Hello everyone, I’m a coffee enthusiast trained as a barista by Michael while he was here in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kfchan has rightly pointed out where things went wrong in his first visit, which he evaluated after his second visit and meeting Michael. its the this case. Michael is a great guy who not only trains to make coffee, but also to put a lot of passion in it. Mic, I knew you wouldn’t let me down. This morning, I was at Galleria Cafe, showing the new trainees and interacting with our baristas about back flushing.

    kfchan, this is a wonderful site and I really appreciate that you are keeping the eateries and cafes in Malaysia to serve ‘value for money’.

    kathmandu, nepal

  6. Jerome Chin

    Hi kf!

    Australia is definitely a place for coffee. note that not every state in aus has great coffee.. many experts argue that the water quality determines the taste as well.. somethin to do with the level of impurities.. but melbourne is the coffee capital of aus! Ive been to italy but tasted mostly stove top coffees…

    Well, coffee is my passion. i make coffee at home with a semi commercial grimac la uno. i even roast my own beans with a popper(popcorn machine). been trying coffee everywhere in melbourne. you should come over and try it for urself. Air asia is finally flying here anyway. Obtw.. after you roast ur beans, u need to let it degas for about 3 -5 days before drinking… so fresh coffee is really 1 week old coffee… i guess u already know that..

    there are so many coffee roasters and specialty coffee places.. even though each coffee place has its unique taste, the competition is so fierce.. malaysia is far from being exposed to good espresso based coffee.. i once discussed with a fren of opening a coffee shop in malaysia.. but the malaysian public needs to be educated about good coffee… i am willing to try but it will take a long long time considering that u can buy a RM1.50 cup of (crap) kopi from anywhere…

    espressamente was the closest to a good coffee i tried in kl.. however it is no where near any coffee i had in melb.. i was really disappointed.. i have a cup of coffee everyday in aus.. but when i was in kl i only had coffee twice a month.. I rather crave for coffee than let my tongue suffer.. if only they let me work there as a barista… = )

    I hope i can meet up with you guyz and talk about coffee.. hmnnn come to think of it.. since there a no coffee roasters.. why dont we set up a roasterie? lol… green beans are cheap to source and can be kept for a long long time…

    obtw… gaggia uses an aluminum waterblock.. becareful about aluminum oxidation… alu oxide kinda makes u stupid. scientific results are inconclusive but it kinda links alu oxide to parkinsons or alzheimers.. cant remember which 1.. haha..

    clean it often with a citric acid solution… i opened up my old gaggia baby and found lots n lots of white powder(alu oxide)… best to use a copper boiler! do some research on it… i may or may not be right..

    well thanks for keeping the malaysian public informed about coffee… and keep up the good work..


  7. saicek

    Hi Chan!
    May i ask this question????
    Does Espressamente need barista????
    Coz i just came back frm illy shanghai!
    Finally i graduate there!

  8. Pingback: Where would I go for good coffee? | Coffee in Malaysia

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