Category Archives: Kuala Lumpur

Artisan Roast Cafe


I think this is the ONLY cafe in KL that is set in the open… No air-con and near to nature. Yup, there are trees around and as anything close to nature, there are others living creatures flying around too.

Well, any coffee lover worth his salt or espresso will brave the outdoor for a good cup of coffee, right?


Yayasan Seni Berdaftar – Off Jalan Ritchie, Jalan Ampang.


Feels like in a Resort?


The Menu


Alang the Barista. Hey, he originate from Jalan Imbi man. No wonder he is so cool.


Single Origin Espresso – Sumatra Mandheling


Lovely pour. Manual Pre-infusion ūüėÄ


Well textured cappuccino. Ask for a small cup though.

The Espresso
I was¬†pleasantly surprised. I ordered the espresso without knowing what blend they were using. It was bright, good body and lovely sweetness. Then I found out that it was not a blend but using only Sumatra Mandheling. I have not know Mandheling to be sweet. This is very interesting. I’m impressed.

It is hidden in a secluded location. Those not familiar with Ampang may have problems finding it.
Follow the map. X marks the spot.

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Highlander Fresh Roasted Singles


Sometimes too much milk based drinks like cappuccino and caffe latte can put worrying stress in one’s middle-kingdom. And sometimes we just wanna enjoy a full cup of hot coffee while catching up on newspaper or magazines. On days like these, the craving for a cup of SYPHON-BREWED Single origin of Ethiopian Djimma or Costa Rica will bring much comfort.

I particularly like myself a bright and refreshing cup of Ethiopian at Coffee Ritual.


Many Choices.

When you got chance to go with a few friends, order 1 cup each so that you get to taste the obvious differences of the aroma and taste of coffee from different regions in the world.

Asked for Fresh Roasted Highlander Single Origin Coffee.

Expobar Office Control


The Expobar Office Control

Finally, the Expobar Professional home espresso machine reached Malaysia.

Specifications:

  • It is a Heat Exchanger machine
    You can brew espresso and steam milk at the same time.
  • E61 Group Head with Pre-infusion and thermal syphon
    Consistent extraction and temperature stability.
  • Commercial size portafilter with a 58mm double basket
    Make real international standards double espresso.
  • 2.7 Litre water tank
    Enough water to make 50 cups of espresso per filling.
  • 1.8 Litre boiler
    Plenty of steam power to make smooth velvety milk.
  • Multiple Safety Switches and Controls
    Low water level electronic sensor that auto-fill the boiler.
    Automatically turn off heater when low water in reservoir is detected.
  • Programmable Buttons
    4 volumetric buttons to program the amount of coffee to be extracted.
  • Brew Pressure can be adjusted
  • Hot water dispenser
  • Cup warmer with enough space for 12 cups
  • Stainless Steel Body
  • 360 degree movable steam wand with safety grip

Very suitable for small cafe and beverage kiosk.

A Departure From The Norm


Finally, coffee worth raving about. For a departure from the norm, I would say my new favourite coffee cafe is Malaysia is… Departure Lounge.

What is so special about Departure Lounge? Actually for a cafe, their concept is quite special. It’s a place for you to wait/hang out before boarding your flight. Departure Lounge Cafe put on display tonnes of books. What kind of books? Well, not comic, not FHM, not girlie magazines, not IT/PC/Tech/Gadgets, not automotive. There are all books on TRAVELS. In fact, it is a perfect place to to your research if you plan to visit any counties out there.

I’ve known Departure Lounge Cafe for years. Though their sandwich and food are decent, nothing much to shout about their coffee though. So, what has changed? For your info, they have 2 outlets. One in Solaris, and the new one is in Damansara Uptown. My happy experience was at Uptown.

Ok, I know you are still waiting… What has changed.

They are now serving COFFEE from FIVE SENSES.

I wrote about my“epiphany moment” with Epic here.

Five Senses roast some of the best coffee in Australia. I was introduced to Five Senses by Simon. Hey Simon, you may want to come to KL more often now.

Back to Departure Lounge.

Departure Lounge Cafe - Counter

The Counter

asd

Very interesting breakfast menu.

Travels Research

For those who plans to travel or dreams of travelling.

Coffee you want to try

Here they are.

Tried 3 drinks.

1. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe – Americano
They called it Lungo or Long Pull, which is not an accurate way to describe it. In fact, I wouldn’t want it if they are pulling it long. But as Americano, is is a lovely cup of coffee. My wife immediately found the “lychee” notes. I find it sweet and refreshing.

2. House Blend – Double Espresso
Very bright at first sip. The Acidity is pronounced. Yet at the same time, good body and SWEET with delicate hints of citrus. A very pleasant after taste too.
House Blend Double Espresso

3. House Blend – Cappuccino
I was wondering if such a bright acidic coffee would taste good with milk. ¬†And it does. Sweet with hints of chocolate. They make with double ristretto. Another indication of decently trained barista… the milk was nice frothed.

This is the first time in Malaysia that I have the real urge to go back to any cafe for their coffee.

Location:
Damansara Uptown: 10, Jalan SS21/39, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Solaris: 10, Jalan Solaris 4, Solaris Mont’ Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
Opening hours: 8am to 7pm. Sunday closed at 5pm.

Coffee Lovers Gathering again


Update: 4th October 2009

Thanks to all who turned up today.

Here’s the photos:

First agenda on the menu, Chin shows us the Cold Brew device.


Chin explaining the workings of the Cold Brewer.


Using Brazil Single Origins


Carefully placing the coffee grounds into place.


The Iced-cold water above will drip down onto the coffee grounds very slowly.  The brewing process took about 8 hours to complete and the coffee will be rested another 3 days for the taste to be fully developed.


The resulting coffee is a very intense kinda drink. Do take note that this type of brewing methods produced very coffee that is very high in caffeine content. Those who intend to burn mid-night oil, wanna stay awake at anytime or chasing Champions League matches, give them a try.

NEXT: Balancing Syphon Brewer

Brewed using Columbian Single Origin


This is a really elegant looking device. It brew coffee using the Syphon brewing method but it will automatically turn off the flame. Really cool to see and fun to use.


It even has a tap to pour out the coffee. It is imported from Taiwan and cost around RM500 to RM600.

LASTLY: The humble Drip Pour Over

A really humble and low tech way to brew lovely coffee. This Drip Pour Over only cost RM20 plus.

Side Note:
You can enjoy good cup of coffee without paying a bomb. Even a simple drip pour over can make good coffee. Just remember these few important rules to enjoy coffee at low cost and low tech way:-

1. Get good fresh roasted coffee
2. Get a decent grinder (If you have a decent grinder, the world of excellent coffee will be opened to you)
3. Monitor the water temperature. 90 to 92 Celsius and not boiling hot water.
4. Choose your brewing device like Drip Pour Over, French Press, Aeropress, Moka Pot (All less than RM200)

Also a special thanks to Mr. Tan Bee Leng. Mr. Tan brought us some samples of Kopi Luwak and some Liberica coffee cherries to sample.


Inside the cherries are the coffee beans.
What is kopi luwak? In a nut shell, these lovely red cherries were eaten by a certain type of Civet Cat. Then civet cats love the cherries but their digestive systems cannot digest the seeds or beans from the cherries. So the beans will passed through the cats’ systems. Farmers collect the “passed out” beans, washed them, dry them and roast them. Lo and behold, you got yourselves some kopi luwak. They are very expensive.

Finally everyone is satisfied. Here’s the group photo.

Left to Right: Ana, Fernando, Jane, Iris, Shin Tatt, Tan Yoke Ling, Tan Bee Leng, Cheryl, Wee Chuan, Mun Shin, Zayne and Chris. I’m the one holding the camera and Irving has left earlier.

STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT EVENT

***********************************************************
Original Posting:

This Sunday we will be having a gathering at Coffee Ritual.

Coffee Ritual has been my preferred place for a cup of Syphon brewed fresh coffee. This Syphon thingy is a classy elegant device. If you plan to win the attention of someone special over a romantic dinner, preparing a cup of Syphon brewed coffee to share is pretty romantic and cool.

Note: This is not a device for the clumsy. And if your house is messy like mine… (that’s why I didn’t get one).

Coffee Ritual is giving us a special promotion: FIRST CUP FREE.
Guys… order something to eat and pay for it, ok. The food is pretty good.

Venue: Coffee Ritual
Map: Here and here.
Time: 2pm
Date: 4th October 2009
Address: No. 35, Jalan 14/20, Section 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya

After that, give your comments below.

If you are there and don’t know who to talk to or don’t know how to get the FREE coffee… This is the password: COFFEE IN MALAYSIA

See ya, ok.

dr.CAFE @ Solaris


Update:

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.

dr.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.

An Interview with Michael of Espressamente


I have known Michael since the early days of Espressamente Illy in Pavilion KL.

His passion and commitment to the running of Espressamente is an example that Cafes’ Owner should emulate.
– His dedication to the high standards of espresso preparation
– His priority in ensuring proper barista training
– His focus in Customers’ Satisfactions
– His willingness to share knowledge
– His readiness for constructive criticism

Espressamente is one of the VERY few cafes where REAL BARISTA works.

Check out the Interview of Michael D’Alessandro by Wee Chuan here.