Category Archives: Kopi

The truth about kopi


The truth about Kopi by Pak Belalang.

Pak Belalang: “Hantam aja lah”

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Kopi Luwak


At last, a chance to try the infamous Kopi Luwak.

Our friend, Dennis got me some Kopi Luwak from Indonesia. According to his “Reliable Source”, it is the real deal. It was given to him as a gift.

So, in double-quick time (6 hours period), got a few guys to come over to my place for tasting session. At around 8.30pm we  have Dennis the Menace, Ralph the German Bear, Marcus Aurelius + Wife and Kid, Me + my Home Minister ready to see what so great about Kopi Luwak.


70g of Kopi Luwak. They are properly processed. Washed and Roasted plainly. Some find the aroma chocolaty with slight sweetness. No horrid smells.


When you have the Emperor Marcus himself waiting, the barista also sweating lah.


The Home Ministers also giving you the look “This better be good. We don’t want no shity smelling coffee”


Pouring freshly ground Kopi Luwak into the Aeropress


Pouring hot water into the Aeropress. Temperature around 90 celcius I guess.


Stiring well to make sure all the coffee ground is saturated with hot water.


Carefully pressing down the pump.


Extract it carefully into a milk pitcher.


Hey photographer, focus on the coffee lah.


Quiet! The Emperor having the first sip.


Hey, the Princess says it is GOOD.


Errr… maybe Kids really shouldn’t have coffee eh.


No kidding

Well, I actually made 3 rounds of Aeropress coffee using different beans just to make sure their minds are not bias in anyway (don’t want them to be influenced by the reputation of kopi Luwak).

In fact everyone like the Kopi Luwak. It is earthy, full body, no bitterness. Personally I find it surprisingly pleasant. Then I ask the very important question, “Would you pay USD30 for a cup of Kopi Luwak or even RM30 for that cup?”

And everyone answers “NOOOOOO”.

Frankly, it is a decent cup of coffee. Whether you like it or not depends on your taste preference. I would prefer some Ethiopia. I would not pay more then RM10 for a cup. And it does taste better than those Kopi-O Kosong-type you find in regular kopitiam.

Next: My Signature Drink.

A Brief History of coffee or kopi in Malaysia


I have always been thinking of doing a story on the History of our Malaysia coffee / kopi culture.

But thanks to Coffee Ritual, no need for me to do so.

Here’s the excerpt:

The roasted concoction mentioned above has creates a beverage known as kopi (coffee in Malay language). If you order a cup of kopi in a kopitiam, however you will ended up with a cup of milked coffee instead. How is this come about? This is a hint that initially the proprietor of the kopitiam did not feel comfortable with the concoction they have created to be served straight black. To hide any undesirable flavour in their kopi, they added lots of condensed milk (fresh milk is expensive). Hence, by default, kopi is served with milk. If you desire black coffee, you should order kopi-O, O is black in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect. Again, be aware that it is sweeten with sugar, the proprietor still find it uncomfortable to serve you a straight black unsweetened coffee. You must order kopi-O-kosong, kosong is “nothing” in Malay language, to get your black unsweetened coffee. Just a word of caution, if you are use to good quality arabica coffee and cannot settled for anything less, just avoid kopi-O-kosong.

Check them out.

Coffee Lovers Gathering at Segafredo, Sunway Pyramid


Sorry for the late posting. Have been super busy preparing ISO9001 at work.

Finally, after all these while of faceless communications via email and blog, we manage to have a Coffee Lovers gathering. It was Friday night, 29th August 2008 at 9pm.


(From left to right) Magneto Low, SF Fong, Michelle


Michelle & Kevin


(Left to right) Wee, Irving, KF Chan, Mun Shin, Michelle, Kevin and Jean.

I personally had a good time knowing all these people. Among our midst, we have people with a diverse background… Enginner, IT Support, Marketing, Software Developer, Nurse, Designer, Cyber Cafe Owner, and Entreprenuer.

Some interesting topic:
Jean was telling us of some Kopi Luwak story.
We shared some good and bad coffee experience as well.
Resources for fresh roasted, high quality coffee is in demand.
Resources for Barista Training.
Places to get proper espresso machines.
Cafes with decent coffee.
Some are contemplating cafe business.

So, how’s the drinks in Segafredo? I leave that for you guys to comment.
Only 3 of us tried the espresso… two of us found it lacking and one was ok. But then, espresso has always been hits and misses.


Guiness Draught and Cafe Mocha (They got a different name which I cannot remember).

I find the Guiness draught excellent. The Mocha looks nice. Milk was nicely microfoam. In fact the few cappuccinos that we ordered, all of them were decently microfoamed. Some were excellently done.

But properly frothing of milk is only part of the equation. As to the taste, I leave it to you guys to comment.

I also tried their spaghetti and it is value for money.

Jimmy, the manager was nice and offer us some snacks on the house.

OK guys, over to you.

P.S. Anyone got suggestions for next gathering?

Old Town White Coffee – Kopi O… Is this coffee?


I say this is one of the previous posting “But let me ask you, the next time you go to any kopitiam, order a cup of kopi-O, and try drinking that without milk or sugar. Then you tell me how nice it is”.

Many times when people talk about coffee, they are not really talking about coffee.

What some people meant when they say coffee:-
1. Coffee flavoured milk
2. Coffee, vanilla syrup flavoured milk
3. Coffee flavoured, iced-blended, heavily sweetened milk
4. Condensed milk + evaporated milk, mixed with water and add crap coffee drinks
5. Add your definition here…

Personally, I don’t call any drinks coffee if the content has less than 10% coffee.
(Note: When I say coffee, I meant the finished product which is a liquid of coffee extracted with water)

Espresso: 100% coffee (but the actual content of course is (90%++ water)
Note: 1 shot espresso is approximately 0.8 to 1oz.

Traditional Cappuccino: 16% to 20% coffee (1 shot espresso & 5oz milk + foam)

Latte: 10% to 12.5% coffee (1 shot espresso & 8 to 10oz milk + light foam)

Other type of coffee derive from different methods like drip and press I consider 100% coffee because they only contain coffee extracted from water. You have later add sugar or milk but the percentage will not drop below 10%.

You will notice some cafe use ridiculously big mugs for your coffee drinks. They use mugs as big as 12oz to 15oz but they only put a single espresso shots. My friend, if you are drinking that, don’t call it coffee lah. The milk exceeds 90%+++, it is basically warm coffee flavoured milk.

Now back to Old Town White Coffee. They have been mushrooming all over Malaysia. And certainly most of their drinks with the name coffee does indeed have more than 10%  contents of coffee.

This is where you can differentiate between great coffee, good coffee and crap coffee.

I orders their 100% coffee, the Kopi O.

When you want to understand your coffee, remember 2 important points, aroma and taste.

So, I give it a few deep good sniff. Hmmm.. very strong aroma… like slightly burnt and sweet. Now why would it smells sweet? Ah.. they add some form of sugar and margerine into the roasting process. So, this is why they are call White Coffee. It is not even 100% coffee because apart from coffee that was extracted by the water, they were other “stuff” inside there. We of course do not know what is the actual ingredients.

Ok, never mind… not 100% also never mind. Cappuccino is only 16% after all.

Here comes the tasting. Arrrgggghh… gaggg…. poooiiii…. Wow… it tasted very much like charcoal water. You know, immerse charcoal in water, wait till it gets black.. that’s what I imagine. Totally undrinkable.

Calm down.. take a deep breath… Dear stomach, please relax… cool… Don’t throw up.

Phew!… This is a kind of coffee that is undrinkable without adding plenty of masking agents like condensed milk, evaporated milk and sugar.

Without a doubt, this is truly coffee. Truly CRAP coffee. That is how you describe coffee that is undrinkable on its own. They should use Gardenia’s motto about their bread, “So good you can even eat it on its own”.

I have tried many espresso that is bad, french-pressed coffee that is so-so… but undrinkable coffee??

Don’t believe me, go try it and let me know. Remember… decent coffee can be drank on its own. No adding sugar or milk.

As for me.. I quickly drink some “white coffee ice” to wash my tongue. White coffee ice is of course mixed with plenty of milk and sugar.

You can try “Kopi-O ice” if you dared. I’m just a coward.

Special note: What I comment above has nothing to do with their coffee drink making skills. It has to do with the “original” products. Their beans is most certainly of low quality, they say theirs is a blend of Robusta, Arabica and Libirica beans. The roast it DARK.. to almost charcoal like… reduce the coffee to almost a carbon-like state. With such condition, you just can’t do magic.