Category Archives: Barista

FHM 2009 – My Favourite Event of the year


This FHM is not For Him Magazine.

FHM 2009 is the Malaysia’s Official Food and Hotel show. The previous show was in 2007.
The event held in KLCC Convention Centre on the 11th to 14th August 2009. For Trade Vistors only.

Of course what were really interesting to me are all those coffee players bringing their best for the show. Who was there? Barista Coffee, Bon Cafe, Classic Coffee and Beverage (previously Simplex Maju), Dankoff Coffee Specialist, Mister Coffee and a few smaller players.

Noticeable missing was Coffex Coffee. They had a pretty large booth in 2007.

There were others quite interesting showcase of food technology, pastry art, bakery course, equipments and many more. Of course, one gets to sample some pretty tasty food too.

Ok, back to coffee. Well, I drank quite a few cups of coffee… espressos, cappuccinos, hot chocolate…yum yum yum.

Here are some photos to tell the stories.


Expobar in action in Malaysia. Serving Lavazza. Lavazza is making a comeback too.


Expobar 2 group on display


Here is the Expobar G-10 Single group. Really glad to see the Expobar entering our market. Price is decent and if you have a good barista, it can make you very good coffee.


Nuova Simonelli Aurelia, Official Machine for the World Barista Championship


2 Group Aurelia. Really love the red colour. Really sexy but sexy stuff cost money.


2 Group Francis! Francis! A capsule machine. The IPERESPRESSO.


1 Group Francis! Francis! If all you want is convenience and very average espresso, Francis! Francis! will give you that and looks good at the same time.


The Pressto SuperAuto. Looks expensive. Didn’t bother asking about it. Will make your life easy if all you want is average coffee.


Avanti Espresso. I don’t dare to ask for a drink. First, in such a specialized exhibition with many competitors, and they used UHT milk!!! Not even in a chill box!!! And the espresso extractions I saw were mainly “gushers”.


Korean Stone Coffee Roaster. This guy is interesting. The only exhibitor showing a roasting machine and they were Roasting Coffee thoughout the event. This roaster cost USD5K.


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Another interesting product. Rice Biscuit Maker. This machine can make a rice cracker using only 1 teaspoon of rice. And a rice cracker is produced every 10 seconds. Really cool man. Oh Yes… tasty and healthy too. Imgine they sell for maybe RM5 for 10 pieces. 10 pieces only uses 10 teaspoons of rice man. This machine cost USD5K.

Barista Jam @ Wee Chuan’s


Last Sunday we had another Barista Jam at Wee Chuan’s place.
These Photos will tell the story…


Dennis: “I can’t watch this”
Wendy & Joie: “Oooo… my knight in red armour making coffee for me”


Dennis: What are you looking at? Never drink good coffee before issit?”



Hmmm… Yummy looking espresso pouring like hot honey


Master Sifu showing us how to froth milk.


Here is a leaf and a tulip for the fair maidens.


Ana: I like coffee
Mun Shin: I like the photographer


Fernando and Wee Chuna. Two grown man drooling over a leaking LaMarzocco


Prozac = Happy pills
Coffee = Happy drinks
Which would you rather have?

The rest of the photos here.

Good Espresso exist in Malaysia


Almost 2 year ago, I say that Good Espresso In Malaysia virtually does not exist.

Time for a revision.

Since then, I have had quite a few good to great espressos. Mostly home brewed. Supremo Blend from Highlander Coffee has been giving me consistenly above average espresso. Then there is the Epic Blend. My all-time favourite.

But the problem is where in a commercial settings in Malaysia can you find good espresso. Since I sold my Baby, I’ve been having espresso withdrawal symptoms. I’ve been surviving on Aeropress only. Aeropress has been great. But I miss the intensity of a shot of espresso.

Well, I happened to be in Pavilion earlier and drop by Espressamente for an espresso. Wow! It was good. Intense, sweet, nutty, pleasant acidity and very flavourful. Maybe it’s because I have not had a decent espresso for more than a month. Or maybe it was just simple good. My espresso was pulled by Waran, definately one of the best barista around.

So, as of now, for a good shot of espresso in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, visit Espressamente Illy in Pavilion.

Coffee With Moses Chan


Updated with new Photos
Check out another angle from WeeChuan.

In case some of you still do not know, there is an excellent program about coffee on Astro channel 311.

It’s Coffee Confidential with Moses Chan: 9 episodes, every Sunday at 9pm. If you are fans of Hong Kong Series, you will know that Moses Chan is one of the very popular star in recent times. He is a coffee enthusiasts. His program introduces coffee from the basic to the complex, from the farm to the cafe. I think it is an excellent development of coffee exposure to the Malaysian Public. Check out Wee Chuan’s blog, he will probably give a summary of every episode.

But somethine even better happened. Astro manage to arrange for Moses to have a Coffee Forum in Malaysia. And I was privilage to be invited as one of the panel.

So, last Saturday at Berjaya University College of Hospitality, I was having coffee with Moses Chan. Astro organized the event and on the panel was Moses, Sum Leong and yours truly. The EmCee was Vivian Tok. There were about 40 students and invited guests in the audience.


Well, this is as close as I have ever get to a celebrity 🙂
We must be laughing over some bad coffee experience.


Here is Ms. Sum Leong, the other panelist. She is demonstrating how to brew coffee using a Syphon Device. Sum Leong has a small cafe in Shaw Parade, Pudu.


Sharing freshly brewed Sumatra beans. Not bad at all.


Moses and I were asked to demonstrate making espresso and cappuccino.
Well, you can see where all the attention goes to lah 🙂

Hopefully this little program will see air-time over in Astro. When I get the schedule, I’ll let eveyone know.

About Moses
He is a friendly guy. That is not a surprise at all. Trained in the art of PR. But make no mistake, he knows about coffee. That means what you see in his program is not just someone reading from a script.

He is a barista too. Better than most behind the bar in any cafe in Malaysia for sure. During the demo, he paid attention to grind adjustment, paid attention to extration rate, froth milk correctly on the 3rd attempt and manage to pour latte art too.

In the private interview after the forum, he told of his experience with kopi luwak. I assure you that he was being very courteous during the filming with regards to kopi luwak. Very courteous and polite.. if you know what I mean 🙂

Hey, he owns an Aeropress too. And he also gave me a copy of his program “Coffee Confidential” on a copy-protected and autographed DVD.

Coffee Scenes in Malaysia
As far as promoting quality gourmet coffee is concern, more exposure, education and publicity is needed. We as consumers (especially those who love coffee) MUST demand quality from anyone attempting to sell us coffee that cost more than RM4.

Why? Well, even gourmet coffee are consider cheap as far as raw material is concern. Most single shot of espresso cost no more than 50 cents. Many are even cheaper and even the more expensive ones cost no more than a ringgit. I’m willing to pay Rm10 for a cappuccino only if they are well made. A well made cup of cappuccino requires good beans, good machine, good milk, good environment and GOOD SKILLS. All these things cost money. Any cafe who does not spend money on all these good requirements has no right to charge you even RM4 for a lousy cup of coffee.

Berjaya University College of Hospitality
The Espresso Machine is in a sad condition. Dispersion screen probably block. Gasket dying and water is leaking during extraction. How do you expect good barista to come out from there? They make us a pot of french press using the very “expensive” Jamaican Blue Mountain beans. Ughhhh… STALE. Funnily, the few cups very given to the audience. Lucky for Moses, he didn’t manage to taste it. One last cup available, I took a sip…. yup… taste as stale as it smelt.

‘Nuff Said.

Caffeinees


Went with Wee Chuan to Caffeinees for a relaunch of their Coffee Initiative.

Check out the proper reporting with photos from Wee Chaun’s post.

We had a good chat with Chris, the owner about Caffeinees’ commitment to offer quality coffee to the market. Obviously, commitment to the training of barista is crucial to improve the quality of coffee.

When we talk about the quality of Coffee, let us narrow down to the few crucial factors in Malaysia.

1. Freshness of coffee
Actually, when it comes to the raw material, it is not just the freshness. The qualilty of the coffee beans, roasting quality and blends, all play a crucial part in the final output of “Fresh roasted, good quality blend” of coffee. But with the reality of the Malaysia environment, pushing the bar too high would be meaning less.

At Caffeinees, they brought in green arabica bean and roast it themselves. There are surely a lack of science, technology and art in the roasting and blending process. But I am happy that at least there is a consistent supply of FRESHLY ROASTED COFFEE. Crema is rich and certainly a very decent cup of cappucino can be done.

2. Barista skills
With the utter lacking of Barista’s skills in almost 99% of all the cafes in Malaysia, anyone who pays attention to good Barista’s skills can offer us a cup of decent coffee. And for any cafe owner who appreciate the value of proper Barista’s skills should be complemented.

And for this reason, I am glad that Chris is committed to the training of barista in his cafe. After all, there is no magic you can do to produce a good cup of coffee if the barista don’t even know how to produce microfoam in the milk frothing process.

3. Espresso Machine and Grinder
This is a area that really seems to be irrelevant to us. Most of the restaurant who offered Italian style coffee have good espresso machine and grinder. In fact, many over paid their machines. They pay few thousands ringgit extra just to have a good looking machine while the barista can only produce crap. Save the few thousands and spent it on Barista Training lah for coffee sake. Just take a look at that extreamly sexy machine in J Co. Donut and Coffee. A state-of-the-art, 3-group Nuova Simonelli Aurelia. It’s like having an F1 race car driven by me (I wanted to say Alex Yoong, but actually, even though Alex Yoong is not great among F1 drivers, but he is actually a professional driver who is way better then any drivers you met on the road.)

So, if you got chance, drop by Caffeinees for a cuppa. Their food there is also quite decent.

Cheers.