Category Archives: KL

One good coffee grinder


Not just a good coffee grinder, but really cute too.

The Isomac Professional Grinder, finally available in Malaysia.


You can see it is quite small grinder compare to my La Scala M5 flat burr grinder.

Specifications:
Height: 290mm
Width: 110mm
Depth: 200mm
Weight: 3kg
Hopper capacity: 250g
Burr: Conical
Type: Doserless, Stepped.

It definitely can grind fine enough to produce a 25 seconds double shots of espresso. Makes it an excellent home grinder or used as a second general grinder for other type of brewing purposes.

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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.

Coffee Lovers’ Gathering – Last Minute Ad-hoc notice


This is truly a very late notice but our friend in Coffee Ritual made us an excellent offer.
Many of you never tried a Syphon brewed coffee before. Now’s the perfect opportunity.
After that, you can order your favourite coffee….espresso, cappuccino or latte.

Since I’m meeting Wee Chuan for coffee and chit-chat, you are all welcome to join in.

The Offer: Free 1 cup per person
The Coffee: Syphon brewed single origin
The Password: Mention “Coffee in Malaysia” for the free drinks
The Duration: Whole of Sunday and Monday (8 – 9 March 2009)

I’ll only be there from 2pm to 4pm Sunday.

The Map:

Please drop your name or nickname in the comments.

See you guys there.

Espressamente


(Special Note: The improved experience is here)

Drop by Espressamente today. This is a store of everything Illy. Illy’s home espresso machine (Francis! Francis!), Illy coffee beans in cans, Illy Coffee cups and big Illy logo everywhere.

Location: 3rd Floor, The Pavilion.
The front entrance faces towards KL Plaza.

The display of beverages were nicely done. In fact they look so good, I really felt like trying them all. Presentation is impressive.

espressamente.jpg

But alas, the coffee is average at best. I would rather go to Gloria Jeans.

I ordered a Cappuccino.

espressa-cappa.jpg

As you will notice, there are some attempt to create microfoamed milk. (They call it emulsified milk), but the milk were not really velvety smooth. Still lots of small (small but still very visible) bubbles. Well, still better effort than most Starbucks.

One thing that is almost always consistent with places that uses Illy beans is that the beans lack freshness. How do I know? Credit to them, when the espresso is extracted, it does look promising from afar. Small stream of mouse-tail-like espresso pouring out. Extracting time is about 20 to 25 secs, I estimated. But the result in the shot glass is apparent. THE LACK OF CREAMA.

You don’t see a lots of crema in Starbucks because most of the time, their espresso extraction is less than 20 secs, in fact from my personal observation, most of the time it is less than 18 secs. They can harldy get the extraction timing correct, how in the world to get nice crema. Especially most beans in Starbucks is OLD.

Another thing that really bug me is that they re-froth their milk. No wonder the microfoam is not well done and most of the natural sweetness is missing.

Why am I being so critical. Dr Ernesto Illy, the second generation of the Illy family, and an absolute giant in the world of espresso and coffee research and science – has just passed away on the 3rd Feb 2008.

dr-ernesto-illy.jpg

Using the Illy brand, they owned it to the Illy family to do a good job.

Especially if you want to charge premium price for a cup of coffee. My 7oz of cappuccino (smaller than Starbucks and Gloria Jeans) cost RM 10.00. Add in 5% tax + 10% service charge, a whopping RM 11.50.

Good presentation, nice design, average coffee and ridiculous price.

Note: All comments are purely my own opinion and preferences. Feel free to go and try. It is your money.

Last thought: There are many cafes out there. Most serve an average cup of coffee. I don’t really want to complain too much. They did charge an average price for an average coffee. But when you charge even higher than Starbucks for a smaller cup of coffee, get your act right lah.

Re-frothing milk??? Dirty portafiler??? Never dry the portafilter before dosing??? Arrrgghhh..

Final good thought: The Illy cups are great. In fact they are among the best. Thick and nicely design. Not cheap but definitely very nice cups. I will go back and buy their cups for sure.