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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cafes & Coffee Shops in Penang ~ 'Daily Dose of Coffee Fix'

Welcome back readers!   
This shall be my last hello for year 2014
^_<

Disclaimer: This isn't an advertorial nor a promotional post but its just a sharing of my personal preferences but please bear in mind that I'm not a professional taster nor a barista (I wish I am) at profession.  Therefore, my reviews may not be 100% accurate to suit your liking.

As abstract as an art could be, to me coffee is actually part of art that is able to stimulate your brain to release more brain juices, aroma that possesses the power of awakening and allows you to be more focus and alert which explains why many drink it on daily basis.  For me drinking coffee is more of a self pampering thing to boost myself mentally.  Don't really depend on it to keep me going every single day but there are times that I tend to indulge myself in it when I am crucially in need or either just to chill and unwind.  

Nowadays we are spoiled with myriad of choices in many things including coffees that are customizable to individual liking.  So out of all the availability of coffee selections in the market, what is your favourite cup of coffee?  
source from www.independent.co.uk







According to some memes or articles that I have stumbled upon while surfing the net, there are meanings behind your favourite type of coffee.  So let's see how true it is, will your ultimate choice reveal your personality?



Though I am not a coffee addict, my first time drinking coffee was when I was four years old and that is the time that I only drink 'Kopi O' at coffee shops with my grandma but after being exposed to so many types of coffees, my preference somehow changes and my current favourite type of coffee though it is not classified in the pictogram above but then it is almost similar and closest to Cafe Latte.

The Latte Drinker
 Latte drinkers are laid-back types who love to spend time pondering the meaning of life. However, when it comes to making decisions, latte lovers are often indecisive and would be much happier if they had someone to tell them what to do most of the time. In spite of their indecisiveness, these coffee drinkers know how to maintain a calm demeanour and are extremely supportive in their personal relationships.  'http://www.aquaterracorp.ca/page.aspx?name=CupOfCoffeeE#sthash.5RJz30T4.dpuf '

I would say how Latte drinkers are being defined in general is quite true for me to a certain extend especially the highlighted sentence.  How about you guys?  

 If   you  guys are currently following  me via my  Instagram,  you guys  might  have  noticed that for this year I have more #foodporn or #coffeeart  related pictures  featuring  my  #coffeebreak session that have  already  outnumbered  my  meaningless  selfies  these  days.    No     doubt this year I have been more inclined to taking pictures like so, thus I might  as  well  compile everything (my artistic photographs :P)  and share it with you guys  here  since I think it will come handy when you guys  are looking for a place  to  self-study,  work,  go  on  dates  or gather and chill with your friends.  

Really cannot believe myself who used to laughed at those people who always take pictures of their food before eating but now I am one of those hipster who is sometimes bossy enough to ask those dining on the same table not to mess up with my food specifically to those cafe foods or coffees or fine dining food which catches my eyeballs till I'm done capturing them lol.  But hey!  Think about it!  By doing so it is a symbol of appreciation for the chefs, cooks, baristas or even hawkers who have actually put so much effort to make good food which satisfy our sensory.  See the relevance of letting your camera or phone eat first before you do? 

Continue scrolling downwards as i will be listing out seven places for coffees for your whole week supply that I personally find them worth visiting.  When I emphasize on 'worth visiting' I will rate them according to ambiance, pricing, parking availability, service, and of course the most important factor of all which is the taste.

Anyway here goes some of my recommendations: 

Ah Lai Coffee Shop (Under the Big Tree / Maggie Soup)
15 Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.


Their 'Kopi Special'  as its name implies is not your ordinary glass of ice coffee but something that has more layers of flavours and also instagram worthy.  Not forgetting to mention that the pricing if I am not wrong, during the time I visited in April was RM 1.80 per glass which is very affordable.  Though this place is not as posh as cafes but then it felt gratify to be shielded under a big tree as we sip through our coffee   As the saying goes 'someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago'.

Besides their coffee special, Ah Lai  Coffee Shop also serves bread and instant noodles to fill your tummies.  Check out my previous posting for more details.


Parking availability: 4/5 Theirs a car park opposite or right in front the coffee shop itself
 Pricing: 5/5
Taste: 5/5 for their coffee & 3/5 for their food
Service: 3.5/5
Ambiance: 3.5 No air conditioner but place is quite airy


DCOVA
No. 4, Bishop Street, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.


                                                                Cafe Butterscotch 

Service is definitely better than average for this cafe during my visit.  What makes me said so is because when they saw my check in with a negative comment, the barista actually walked over to me and ask what is wrong with their coffee. 


Honestly speaking, it is not the quality of their coffee which is not up to par with the current market players but it is just about my liking.  I was in the mood of trying something new at that time but then Butterscotch was just something too sweet to my liking and doesn't really have the hint of bitterness at the end of every note which I always look forward to a cup of coffee.  However, if you guys prefer sweeter coffees this is something that you should give it a try.

Also took a few sips of their Flat White (no picture since that is not mine) from my mum's and I like how smooth the froth is and of course the taste was pretty good.

Latte

Since we sat their for quite some time, had another cup of  Cafe Latte  and  out  of  the three coffees that  I  have  had  during  my visit,  this  is  the  one  that  I  would  said  is  the  most beautifully done.

Parking availability: 3.5/5 Street parking or a private car park on the same stretch of the cafe
 Pricing: 4/5
Taste: 4/5 for their coffee
Service: 5/5
Ambiance: 4.5 Air Conditioned, suitable for dates & gathering


Just Caffe
52 Green Hall Road, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang.

Felt so delightful to be introduced to  this cafe  by my  best friend  +Eileen Pang  who is  currently studying at Segi College which is just right opposite this cafe.  Not only the service here is great with the barista personally taking orders and  introducing their latest  menu  to customers  which will be so helpful to those who tend to be indecisive of what to eat. Coffees here I would say is one of the best I have encountered in town.  

Flat White

Although the cafe is just humbly situated at the very happening street of  Jalan  Green Hall, the environment here is very cozy and is peaceful enough for those who love to study in cafes.  The only setback of this place will be the parking, it is quite an issue to look for a space during college hours as most of the street parking  will  be  occupied.  Good food, reasonable pricing but it all depends on your luck to get a parking space. 

Fyi, I wonder if I have mentioned this before but then I hardly revisit cafes but for this place I already did and most probably will still go there in near future.  

Pumpkin Spice Latte 

I've gotten a little luckier upon my second visit as I got to park right in front of the  cafe itself.  Tried something on their special menu aka Pumpkin Spice Latte which I have been wanting to  try forever  ever  since  I heard it from the You Tube  sensational  Beauty  Guru, Michelle Phan if  you  must  know  mentioning  this in her  favourite  video.     The scent of the spices' fragrant cup of coffee has already made me  felt in love at the  first  sniff.     Do try this if you happen to drop  by since this  is  not something  that  is widely made   available   in our local cafes  but  if I  am  not   wrong,   Starbucks abroad  (Western countries)   do    have   this  in   their seasonal menu.


Check out my previous posting for more details.

Parking availability: 3/5 Street parking or a private car park which is super pricey
 Pricing: 4.5/5
Taste: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Ambiance: 4.5/5 Air Conditioned, suitable place to unwind & spend some alone time, good place for group study 


HANA Cafe
11 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang.



Love their landscaping, greenery are good for the eyes.


Flat White

Outdoor sitting is breathtaking especially when the cold wind blows bringing along the scent of your aromatic cup of coffee.  No doubt a great place to spend an afternoon sitting back just to read a book and also not too bad a place to focus on your studies.  Atmosphere here are rather nostalgic for me as the outdoor tables overlooking the garden are as comfortable as our old school wooden desk.  Flat white here is my latest fave due to its creamy consistency which also comes with a packet of brown sugar for you to add the amount of your sweetness to your desire.


Parking availability: 5/5 Free street parking or a private car park at their cafe premise
 Pricing: 4.5/5
Taste: 4.5/5 for their coffee
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 5/5 Both air conditioned & outdoor sitting, suitable place to unwind & spend some alone time, good place for group study 


Coffee Journey
Island Plaza (G08), 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

Lavender Latte

Housed within Island Plaza made this place appeared to be classy but then don't worry the pricing over here for great coffees are fairly reasonable.  Love how the ambiance are not as congested as some cafes out there as the tables are placed at quite far apart from each another which provides some breathing space for customers.  Went with their in house speciality aka Lavender Latte upon my visit and as highly rated as it is, this cup of coffee is a well-balanced blend.  Their fabulous coffee art that managed to last till the last sip is definitely something that is worth adoring.  

Parking availability: 4.5/5 Street parking or inside Island Plaza's private car park 
 Pricing: 4.5/5
Taste: 4.5/5 for their coffee
Service: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 5/5 Both air conditioned & outdoor sitting, perfect place for dates & gatherings, suitable place to unwind & spend some alone time, good place for group study, great place for business meetings

Coffea Coffee
The Maritime (29C-02-17 & 29C-03-17), 11600 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang.

Another remarkable cafe cum coffee shop has finally made their way to Automall Penang.  From what I understand from my #coffeebreak session, Coffea Coffee well-trained baristas offers two signature creations blends which is known as Maestro a full-bodied, roasted, chocolaty undertones & Madanna sweet-fruity blend with dash of acidity.

Had their Cafe Latte in Maestro blend and totally being taken on by their immense aroma of coffee.  Even so, for some reasons the taste was not really palatable for me but don't get me wrong it is not at all bad.


Extra tip:  Bring along your best gadgets to take pictures as the wide glass panel allows adequate natural light to shine in. That will instantly  brighten up every shots of yours without making it looked like it has been edited especially selfies :P


Not mine but just borrowed +Gillian Ong cup to snap a picture since I like her coffee art more than my own cup.

Lemon Cheese Cake

Wanted to just focus on coffees on this posting  but  then  their  Lemon  Cheese  Cake is too good to not be showcased.  So yeah a cup of coffee with a slice of zesty cheese cake.

Parking availability: 5/5 Free street parking or a private car park at their cafe premise
 Pricing: 4.5/5
Taste: 4.5/5 for their coffee
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 5/5 Both air conditioned & outdoor sitting, spacious and a great place for gatherings, good place for group study, great place for business meetings

Finally, we have come to the last cafe of my post featuring:

Love & Latte
86 Love Lane, George Town, Pulau Pinang


Parking availability: 3/5 Street parking 
 Pricing: 4.5/5
Taste: 4.5/5 for their coffee 3/5 for their coffee art
Service: 4/5
Ambiance: 5/5 Air conditioned, perfect place for dates & gatherings
Tax: No

Was having a pretty good impression about this cafe at first since they have Nutella infused coffees which I believe is their signature.  Nutella Latte is a must try if you are someone who loves both coffee and chocolate and this blend is heavenly complimentary.  Definitely a cup that is a level up from your average cup of Mocha, the consistency of Nutella has more intense chocolaty taste which is absolutely pleasurable and lip smacking for coco lovers.  The coffee art which not only does not last till the end but then it left some greasy residue halfway through was somehow disappointing or else this cup will be perfect.

 Would be happy if you guys drop a comment at the comment box below whether you like or dislike this sort of post from me or either give some suggestions for what you want to see more on my blog.  Always hope that my readers will enjoy reading as much as I like to narrate and share things here.   You can always tweet me via Tweeter @rachaelimm if you have anything you would like to ask or just simply do good and entertain me at my half dead account lol.  

Okay guess its time to stop at this point now and get back with books, finals is drawing so close (7 days), that's all about all and I shall see you guys next year!   Sayonara & Happy New Year!!!

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