KL in a Cup
Kuala Lumpur is simply a fascinating city, offering up such a diverse range of cultural experiences and when cultures come together peacefully, wonderful things happen. Such as amazingly delicious food experiences! And that is something you’ll be guaranteed in KL.
There’s something more interesting to me than delicious food, yep, believe that (!), and it is the little magical brown bean that brings us coffee. More than a fruit producing plant, more than a drink, for so many, it’s a deep seated passion, a blending of art, science and expression. And how about KL?, fascinating! There’s a lot of culture formed around a cup in this city, which can be seen in the forms of milk tea, unique white coffee and the coffee artisans who are taking bean choice, roasting and methods of extraction to such higher levels. KL has got it!
Talking about KL in a cup, lets start with tea, and the a drink that has an Indian heritage, Teh Tarik. The recipe is simple enough comprising of black tea, sugar and condensed milk. The drink comes together in the skillful art of pouring between two cups at a long distance to help stretch the milk, merge the flavors, cool the drink and plus it makes for a great show!
Next thing you’ll likely run into is Ipoh white coffee, a name referring not so much to the fact that it’s milk based but the way that the beans are roasted, the beans are usually a lower grade than that used for espresso, and they are roasted with margarine or palm oil. The preparation is by coffee grounds placed into a sock filter and hot water poured over, as the water slowly moves through the grounds the flavor is extracted, similar method to Hong Kong milk tea. The other method is brewing where the coffee grounds are placed in hot water for 20 minutes, then filtered into the cup. In both cases condensed milk is added to make the finished product making for a milky sweet smooth drink. Another local drink is Kopi O, where the beans used are roasted with sugar and margarine and for a longer duration, it’s generally served without milk. You’ll notice several large chain stores based around this drink such as OldTown White Coffee.
Then there’s Italian coffee, and the growing artisan roasters and baristas. It begins with the roaster, culminates with the barista and is enjoyed in the ambiance. If all three come together, it’s a memorable experience. Add food and friends if you want to take it to another level!! Has KL got it, oh yes! And more. The city now has several artisan roasters, if your in the right place you’ll find a barista expressing his passion through technique, whether it’s a drip coffee formed from freshly roasted Brazilian beans, an espresso shot wonderfully extracted from Guatemalan beans or a nicely blended latte with perfectly textured milk.
Here’s a journey around KL for coffee lovers, there’s so much I could write, but I don’t want to bias any experiences, go forward and enjoy:
Antipodean – Two locations, the roasting takes place at Bangsar. Fresh food all prepared in-house, in-house roasting, you can buy beans here too (recommended!).
Address: No 20, Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur & No 207 Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak Kuala Lumpur
Plan B at Publika – Distinctly Australian feel from the food, the coffee and the design with chairs on the roof much like Brother Baba Budan in Melbourne, yet it casts itself as an American cafe…..
Address: Publika Shopping Gallery (G2-65), Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
Espressamente Illy at the Pavilion
Address: Pavilion, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Coffee Stain at Fahrenheit 88 – Great place to escape the hustle of the street and enjoy an artisan coffee experience..
Address: 3rd Floor, Fahrenheit 88, Kuala Lumpur
Top Brew Coffee bar – Award winning barista at the helm of his own shop.
Address: C-0-7, Plaza Damas 3 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, 50480 Sri Hartamas
Raw Coffee – in house roasting and passionate baristas, has to be a recipe for success!
Address: 150 Jalan Ampang, Ampang, KL
Artisan Roasters – 3 locations
Address: Jalan 13/2, Seksyen 13, 46200 Petaling Jaya – UG, Bangsar Village 2, 2 Jalan Telawi Satu, Bangsar Baru – 4 Lorong Rahim Kajai 14, Taman Tun Dr Ismail
For connoisseurs, coffee lovers and disciples of the brown bean, I save you the best for last!
Beans Depot – From coffee cocktails, featured in the worlds leading cuisine magazines, to artisan roasted beans, here is where knowledge and art meets the heart! My lame words would not do it justice, so follow the facebook page and you’ll start to see:https://www.facebook.com/beansdepot, go there in person and I dare you to leave uninspired!
Address: 18 Jalan Changgai 6/22, Petaling Jaya