There’s just something about artisanal coffee that beats the regular cup of coffee you make at home — coffee aficionados would agree. Whether you are starting your day or needing a little pick-me-up to get you through the afternoon, nothing beats a good cup of coffee to reset your mind and give you that boost of caffeine-fuelled energy. And thanks to the thriving third-wave coffee culture in Kuala Lumpur, speciality coffee shops can be found peppered in the city in growing numbers. Here are a few spots we would recommend for the avid coffee-lovers.
1. Artisan Coffee Bar
Take a break from strolling along the alleyways of Bangsar’s Jalan Telawi and make your way to the neighbourhood’s shopping mall for a treat at Artisan Coffee Bar. Located on the upper ground level, the café exudes a warm and inviting atmosphere for those looking for some respite. If you are undecided about which coffee you’d like for the day, choose your poison with the assistance from their playful chalkboard hanging above the counter.
A selection of desserts are also available to accompany your drink of choice. For those who prefer something a little different, we highly recommend the caffeine-free red latte made from Rooibos tea.
UG, Bangsar Village 2, 2 Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2. PULP By PPP
Nestled in the former cutting room of a historical printing factory turned creative space known as APW (Art Printing Works), PULP opened its doors to the Malaysian public in 2014 and was instantly met with rave reviews. The café is run by Singaporean coffee boutique PPP Coffee – formerly known as Pulp Palheta. Here, guests can not only enjoy a good cup of coffee but also fully indulge themselves.
From private cupping rooms to rotating modular coffee bars as well as a wide array of coffee accessories available for sale to nurture your obsession, PULP is a treat for those who want to immerse themselves in the world of coffee.
29-01 Jalan Riong, Bangsar 59100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Transparent Coffee
Café by day and a bar at night, Transparent Coffee is one of KL’s best-kept secret (blink and you’ll miss it!). The café is only recognizable by its brick-coloured exterior and collapsible gate that is perfectly framed by an abundance of explosive leafy green foliage.
At the entrance sits a quaint little brew bar ready to welcome caffeine-starved visitors. And venture a little further in. You’ll find yourself walking on gravel-laden floor complemented with stripped walls of grey and dusty pink and finally, finished with modest tables and chairs – a pleasing aesthetic and atmosphere befitting of the ethos of Transparent Coffee that sources their coffee beans directly from the producers. And with their friendly baristas who can recommend the right coffee to suit your taste, what’s not to love?
6-G, Jalan Abdullah, Bangsar, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4. Common Man Coffee Roasters
Hailing from Singapore, Common Man Coffee Roasters (CMCR) KL is situated in the cosy neighbourhood of Taman Tun Dr Ismail. At CMCR, relax and unwind as you enjoy your coffee in its art-deco interior and retro vibes. Serving speciality coffee that is roasted by their team in Singapore, die-hard coffee fanatics will no doubt be pleased by their range of coffee offerings.
For those who prefer something less acidic, we recommend the 22 Martin blend for espresso drinks and the ArdiSidama for filter coffee. With their soul-pleasing selection of (pork-free) brunch menu and friendly welcoming staff, the experience at CMCR is as enjoyable as the speciality coffee that they serve.
A-G-1 New Podium, Plaza Vads, No.1 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad, 60000 KL, Malaysia
Established in 2013 by Andrew Lee, VCR first caught our attention with its aesthetically pleasing café and superb coffee. Take your pick from a trusty flat white to a hand-brewed Aeropress filter coffee and more. In addition to their high-quality speciality coffee, the café also offers other beverages to accompany their delightful Instagram-worthy brunch menu.
Following the success of their first branch in Jalan Galloway, they opened their second café in the heart of Bangsar’s JalanTelawi 3, much to the delight of their fans. Head over early if you’d like to avoid the queue.
No 2, Jalan Galloway, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6. Kopenhagen Coffee
If you are looking for a café that serves good and wholesome coffee in a minimalist, “hygge” environment, then Kopenhagen coffee is without a doubt, your go-to spot in KL. Though hidden amongst the towering apartments in the affluent neighbourhood of Mont Kiara, the café is a popular destination for coffee enthusiasts.
Founded by Danish owner Peter Sehested, the café is an ode to the Scandinavian lifestyle and as the name would suggest, draws its inspiration from the Danish way of life and offers “a Scandinavian coffee bar experience”. Another plus point to consider is their commitment to sustainability that includes sourcing their coffee through Project Origin, sourcing local produce, reducing single-use plastic and more.
Shoplot 7-6 Vista Kiara Condo, 7, Jalan Segambut Dalam, Mont Kiara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
7. Page 2
At Page 2 café, coffee is serious business and lovers of hand brew coffee should visit Page 2 café in Bangsar Shopping Centre. The café was founded in 2017 by four friends with the aim of understanding and sharing their love for speciality coffee.
Using their understanding of siphon coffee, the café serves single-origin hand brew coffee with the siphon brewing method. The result is a consistent and flavourful, clean cup of coffee that heightens the coffee-drinking experience. Our coffee of choice would be their brew of the day. The founders of Page 2 also actively participate in competitions, representing Malaysia at the World Brewers Cup and have won several titles.
T128, 3rd Floor, Bangsar Shopping Center, 285, Jalan Maarof, 59000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
8. Room 203
Founder Yeong started Room 203 in 2014 with the aim of connecting people through their love for good quality coffee whilst disrupting the coffee scene in KL along the way. Charging only RM5 per cup, you’d be hard-pressed to find another café in KL that sells speciality coffee at this price.
Since setting up his platform in Publika through a simple kiosk that served fuss-free white and black coffee, Room 203 has come a long way, expanding and opening new outlets across the city. And while his humble kiosk might not be at Publika anymore, you can find Room 203 serving their loyal customers at a permanent space with a small selection of pastries to accompany your affordable yet delicious coffee.
A3-G2-08, No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
9. Feeka Coffee Roasters
Feeka Coffee Roasters hails its name from the Sweedish word ‘fika’. Launched in 2013, its location at an idyllic spot in the centre of the city makes it an accessible coffee spot for visitors who are exploring the heart of the city. The café is a 10-minute walk from Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and boasts a raw and zen-like atmosphere that is sure to get you feeling comfortable and relaxed in an instant. So, when in need of a quiet break away from the hustle and bustle of KL city centre, be sure to make your way over to Feeka for a little “me time”.
19, Jalan Mesui, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ◼
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© This article was first published online in Nov 2020 – World Travel Magazine.