dr.CAFE @ Solaris


This is like a quiz. Anyone can tell from the procedures below, what did they do WRONG.

Happenned to be at Solaris, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur today and saw a nice looking cafe.

“The best coffee in the world”

That of course is their Tag line lah.

They originate from Saudi Arabia.

It was very well decorated. And they sells some very interesting stuff… mugs, cups, thermos, thermometer, french presses, drip coffee makers and ready for this… The Eva Solo coffee maker.

The Eva Solo is a really cool and sexy looking coffee brewer man. Wee Chuan should really do a review on it.

The pastry bar looks good but I can’t be spending so much on them. You guys give them a try and tell me if they are really as good as they look, ok.

They also have quite a selection of single origin whole beans. Guatemala. Costa Rica, Sumatra, Ethiopia, Columbian and their own espresso blend too. And surprising there is “manufacturing date” on the packaging.

The “manufacturing date” is SURPRISE! SURPRISE! July 2009!!!!

JULY 2009!!!

Can you believe that?

Ok, I thought to myself, if the “manufacturing date” (which I hope it really meant roasting date) is only 2 months old, maybe the coffee should be pretty good.

So I ordered an espresso and cappuccino. From the way I was looking through, they asked if I’m a coffee lover and i answered affirmatively. I ask the barista how many seconds is their standards of espresso extraction and he says 17 to 23 seconds. O-Oh… red flag… then i remind myself, “Don’t be so judgemental. Even Barista Competition also states between 18 to 26 seconds. See first”.

Then I stand right next to the espresso machine and squeezed myself into the corner to take a good look at the preparation process. I have my camera out and ready to snap some pic.

But alas, the “barista” says.. no, no… cannot take pic and point me to the “no camera” sign. Sigh… ok.

Well, if I’m not allowed to take pic, all my attention will be on how he is going to prepare my drinks.

Here’s the procedure:-

1. Pour milk into pitcher (30oz pitcher I think)
2. Flush the portafilter with hotwater.
3. Immediately dose into it.
4. Tamp, knock-knock, tamp again.
5. Lock in the portafilter to the group head.
6. Start frothing milk
7. Finish frothin milk
8. Start brewing from the portafilter in step 5.
9. Sink the shots and try again saying the shots is not good.
10. Repeat steps 2 to 5 and 8 again.
11. Repeat step 9 for two more times.
12. Colleague comes and do steps 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8.

Then serves me the espresso. I took a sip and walk to the other side on the counter when they gave me my cappuccino.

Espresso: Lack of crema (doesn’t look like a 2 months old beans), bitter and burnt taste.

Cappuccino: Hard foam on top. I took a careful sip and OUCH… burnt my tongue. Wow!!! Remember the milk already done at step 7. How in the world it can still burn my tongue I cannot tell. Did they re-froth the milk while I was walking around the counter? I don’t know but one patch of my tongue just lost sensation.

If you guys are going there, do tell of your experience.

Btw, Free Wifi available and the seats are REALLY comfortable.

31 thoughts on “dr.CAFE @ Solaris

  1. Cheryl

    Hey Chan! their business model sounds similar to Starbucks tho…
    havent been to their place yet but am really curious to try out.


  2. kfchan Post author


    Can you tell me IF there is anywhere in Malaysia where their espresso CAN BEAT your home espresso 🙂

    I’m referring to commercial settings (Not my home lah… hahaha)

  3. Faisal Austin

    As per my recent visit to newly opened dr.CAFE a company from Saudi Arabia. Well my experience was altogather different..

    I am a black coffee lover especially espresso now a days i am hanging on… and the tase of espresso was quite the same as I was able to feel from my taste buds….

    rest the decoration and seating is of exquisite style… but for me the thing matters is the taste of coffee above all….

    well served in my first visit… best of luck dr.CAFE in Malaysia…

    Faisal Austin
    Coffee Lover

  4. Faisal Austin

    When purchasing a coffee maker to brew a great cup of coffee there are three factors you should consider. Knowing these 3 things when you are comparing coffee makers can be the difference between you finding the right coffee maker or not.

    First, when choosing an electric drip brewer you should look for a coffee maker that offers you the most features for what your budget can afford. Electric coffee makers range in price from around 10 dollars to several hundred dollars. While the $10 unit will still make an okay cup of coffee, many coffee lovers believe that the plastic and aluminum components can effect the flavor of your coffee. Coffee makers with stainless steel components wont have an adverse effect on the outcome of your coffee and typically are not as effected by mineral build up like the cheaper brewing systems.

    Second, it is general agreed that to get the most flavor out of your coffee beans the water needs to be heated to 200F + degrees while brewing. When looking for a high quality coffee maker look for the brewer with the highest watt rating for the heating element. Generally speaking, the hotter the water, the better the brewed coffee flavor.

    And third, once the coffee is brewed it should be stored in a thermal carafe with a stainless steel liner. The stainless steel carafe insures that the flavor of the coffee is maintained at its peak freshness after brewing for several hours. Also, a stainless steel carafe does not experience any mineral or sediment build up over time. Many of the entry level coffee makers use a glass carafe that sits on a heating plate to keep the coffee hot after brewing. It only takes a few minutes for the heating plate under the glass carafe to start “cooking” the coffee and giving it a burnt taste ruining a great pot of coffee.

    So, if you choose an entry level coffee maker then please take the time to purchase a separate stainless steel thermal carafe for storing your coffee after brewing to insure the entire pot of coffee will taste as great as the first cup.

  5. Fair Trade Coffee

    I love how you asked the employee how many seconds is their standard of espresso extraction and he says 17 to 23 seconds. Yes, red flag indeed. Great of you to try and put that little fact out of your mind.

  6. Faisal Austin

    We should know that

    “dr.CAFE® COFFEE is a Coffee empire from the Original Lands of Arabica Coffee Beans with an Outstanding Business Model to Provide High Quality Products, Knowledgeable and Friendly Services in a 1st Place Experience”. These integrated elements constitute its business model, which is a main foundation to deliver the ultimate coffee experience every time the guests visit the stores.

    From the inception of the company the company has been recognized well in the market by its commitment to promise to offer outstanding coffee experience at our stores. Forbes – a prestigious business magazine – has named dr.CAFE® as the Saudi Arabian Coffee Empire in their May 2005 cover story

    As per recent market Study, dr.CAFE® is undisputed market leader in organized coffee retailing/Specialty coffee shop market in Saudi Arabia, capturing the highest brand recognition and loyalty in the market. With presence in pan Saudi Arabia the company has its headquarters in the central province- Riyadh of the country.

    With the presence in Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Malaysia, dr.CAFE® is opening 3-5 stores per week and is on an aggressive expansion move. The company has formulated strategic development plan up to the year 2015 by focusing primarily on the Middle East and Asia Pacific market with 650 branches in these regions.

    The network will grow progressively to the other parts of the world and we expect to set up 32,933 branches globally by the year 2030.

  7. JC

    Their coffee is horrible if you are a coffee enthusiast at all. Of course, if you call yourself a coffee enthusiast and like starbucks, then by all means go there.

  8. kfchan Post author

    Hahaha.. in fact, if you are a coffee enthusiast and love Starbucks, then you are a very lucky man. They are available everywhere. For those of us who want better stuff, it’s a tough life man.

  9. Allan Powell

    Hello Kfchan.

    I missed your reply posted to my enquiry of 13th July 2009. I was out of the loop.

    It is taking longer to get over and stay in Malaysia, it was very time consuming to buy a house, at least we now have one in Seremban.

    I just love the taste of really fresh coffee, I can believe there won’t be any savings from commercial roasted.

    Where would one get a license to import beans?

    Simmonelli Nova 2 group
    Hottop Drum Roaster
    San Marco grinder

    Between these they do a pretty good job.

    Many thanks.

  10. kfchan Post author

    You have some really cool machines man.
    If you are settling down in KL, i’m sure many coffee geeks here would like to come over for a barista jam.

    Forget about getting the license to import green beans. There’s no way you can get the AP without a full commercial setup and full roasting facility.

  11. allan P

    Kfchan/Wee Chuan.

    Not quite KL, will be living in Seremban (hope not too far away) at the moment I have considerable commitments in the USA. It will be some time before we can call it home.

    Great some beans are available, generally Espresso are a blend of 2 – 3 beans, I have found that around 70% are Brasillian with the balance being Central American (Colombian) and Sumatran work well.

    Look forward to meeting you folkes and any others one day, we can then talk coffee.



  12. alia

    i’ve only just tried it recently and they do have nice muffins. can’t believe they charge rm2.10 for whipped cream but don’t even fill it up to the brim though!

  13. John McAdams

    Easily the most important part of drinking an espresso is the point JUST before you take your first sip… when it’s delicious savory scent enters your nostrils and makes you feel… delightful… mmm YUM!

  14. Jessie Lim

    They don’t even know how to extract a cup of espresso and frothing milk and they dare have a tagline the best coffee in the world? dear oh dear i really have to go check out how bad they are….who knows they might surprised…..so hard to find good coffee here if u know of any places do let me know

  15. rinto

    i want send apply vocation in dr cafe coffe at malaysia
    i’m experience in dr cafe coffe saudi arabia

    how i send my cv?

  16. eddie

    dr. cafe coffee now open at the strand,kota damansara,near encorp strand, and festival city,danau kota,setapak. new outlet will be open at kl lifecentre,in front of wisma kfc, jalan sultan ismail. come and enjoy the coffee experience of dr cafe coffee,the best coffee in the world!!

  17. Fadinha

    Wow, I just discovered your blog…a coffee blog, yay! Anyway, I go to Solaris Mt Kiara almost everyday for jiujitsu classes and I’ll kill time at the coffee shops. The three main ones there, dr CAFE, Coffee Bean and Chilla Cup all gave me different experiences and I gotta say, among the three, dr CAFE was the best for me. It’s not just the coffee for me, I like a good atmosphere where I can read a book in comfort. Coffee Bean, although with good beverages, plays awful music. How can any coffee lover enjoy a nice afternoon with a cup of joe listening to angry Eminem songs? Yeesh. Chilla Cup had a nice Hazelnut Latte and good pretzels but I don’t know what they put in their drinks, man. Twice I’ve been there and both times I felt like passing out after having their drinks. As for dr. CAFE, although I think the sofa arrangements are weird, at least I think so, it’s weird sitting ‘outwards’..I don’t feel like I have much privacy having people looking at you sitting in that position. But they also have that upper deck which is more private and I like that, and they play nice songs. However, I do find it kinda annoying that they try to be like Starbucks (maybe, who knows) by shouting out in turns, the drinks that you order. I find it weird, cuz like four people shouted but only 1 or 2 people are making the coffee. Anyway, I love mocha lattes and the one in dr CAFE has a rich chocolatey taste to it. Is it the best coffee in the world? That’s a BIG statement to make, but I have a lot more to explore. 🙂

  18. kfchan Post author

    Dear Fahinha,

    I have to agree with you that the furnishing in Dr.Cafe is one of the best. And it is certainly nice to have comfy sofa to relax in while reading nice book.

    But for coffee, I suggest you try out Cafe Departure Lounge instead.

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