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