Answers from Our Experts (1)
Coffee connoisseurs are in luck in KL because the last year has seen an explosion in independent cafes trying to oust the established chains. Now fighting for your latte dollars are organic, bean-to-cup brewers using top quality ingredients, serious machinery and experienced baristas.
Artisan Roast Coffee
One of the first players in the independent coffee movement, Artisan Roast has now grown to become one of the more established names. With cafes in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Bangsar Shopping Centre – two of the city's most happening suburbs – the shop has found a following among trendy coffee drinkers. But don't be fooled, Artisan Roast is as welcoming to coffee newcomers as it is to coffee aficionados. There's even a hand-drawn flowchart of coffee types to help you get just the drink you're after.
South Korean coffee chain Coffea Coffee went international when it branched into Malaysia in early 2013, but that's done nothing to take away from its independent coffee shop feel. Sourcing, roasting and blending its own beans, the shop has outlets in Bangsar and Section 15, Petaling Jaya with shopping mall locations planned for later in the year. Its growth is based on getting the basic things right, and Coffea Coffee outlets do a good job of mixing excellent coffee (producing one of the city's best mochas) with real chill out locations.
Like many of its coffee shop competitors, Espressolab started out as a small operation. Now, however, outlets appear to be sprouting up in every high-end mall. The cosy coffee kiosks aren't the best place to lounge for long periods of time, but that's not the point at Espressolab. Here what matters most is the blend of fresh, rich beans and deliciously airy microfoam.
When a coffee bar can boast to serve drinks prepared by the country's top barista, you know you're going to get a top cup of coffee. Founded by JH Yee – 2012 Malaysian barista champion and 2012 Asia Barista Challenge second runner-up – Top Brew prides itself on serving the best of the best when it comes to the black stuff. The bar at Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas is the one to try for coffee purists.