Before we get started: not a single one of these Bangkok cafe owners takes their coffee with milk (or at least not dairy milk). This is a story about respectable coffee-drinking, for crying out loud.
If you’re working from home or just vibing at home, it’s likely that you’ve been exploring your coffee options lately. This lockdown has brought many of us to develop new drinking habits, many of which are also non-alcoholic.
Some of us bought a French press. Others purchased drip bags. And many of us still order from our favourite coffeeshops and cafes, even if only to help support our beloved small businesses and coffee spots.
Whichever way you drink it, we were curious to learn about how some of our favourite Bangkok cafe owners drink their morning coffee. Seeking inspiration (and some interesting delivery ideas), read on for what these coffee experts had to say about their morning cuppa. You’ll learn why coconut water is a game changer, and why the ideal pairing to your coffee is a cat and slow jazz.
[Hero Image Credit: Sarnies; Featured Image Credit: The Banana Warrior]
Ben Lee of Sarnies uses a coffee grinder for his morning workout
If you’re missing brunch at Sarnies like how we’re missing brunch at Sarnies, let Ben Lee metaphorically lick your wounds.
The Sarnies front man enjoys his morning coffee in his favourite mug with a V60 dropper, filter paper, ground coffee, and boiling water. The special trick? “Freshly ground coffee makes all the difference. I use my new Timemore hand grinder which is amazing and gives me a little morning workout as well.”
The beans at Sarnies come from all over the world, and Ben likes to use those from Northern Thailand or Colombia and Ethiopia especially. It depends on the day. Adapting to the lockdown, Ben’s coffee pairing lately is an interesting one: “while the country has been locked down, we decided to launch a bakery (as you do), so most days I’m pairing it with one of our sourdough croissants.”
Julia The Banana Warrior loves fresh coconut water in her coffee
How does the baker of Bangkok’s most beloved banana bread take her coffee in the morning?
Julia Panchkowry, the CEO and founder of The Banana Warrior Cafe, likes it strong with a special twist: “I have an iced Americano mixed with cold fresh coconut water.” She buys her beans from Karo Coffee Roasters (“they are like magic”), and notes the importance of choosing the right mug for your morning coffee. “I’m quite particular with what kind of mug I drink coffee from. If I can, I like it to be a big, pastel-coloured ceramic mug. I usually have my first coffee while I’m in my meeting of the day with The Banana Warrior Team.”
Smokey Cat Roaster’s Luke and Thip swear by their own beans, and old school jazz
Have you checked out this sweet new spot on Suanplu yet? Offering small-batch and single-origin coffee, Smokey Cat Roaster is helmed by a “humble coffee roaster and cat geek,” and we managed to chat to both of them about their morning cuppa.
Thanawat ‘Luke’ Buddhichewin explains that he drinks a hot filter coffee in the mornings, always using high quality single-origin beans. He pairs it with a “double cheddar cheese bagel and old school jazz,” because life is short and he knows how to live.
Dhipkawee ‘Thip’ Sriyananda Selley, on the other hand, keeps things lighter. She drinks a hot Americano in the morning, made from her very own light-roasted Norah’s Blend. She pairs this with light bakery and a banana. The key here is to “keep it simple…for a bright start to the day.”
Smokey Cat Roaster is open for delivery and takeaway. They’re on GrabFood, LineMan, and Robinhood.
Wasin of Nana Coffee Roasters drinks with his cat
Whilst we can’t travel far during this time, a road trip to the artisanal Nana Coffee Roasters is always a fun excuse to get out of the house. Wasin Kusakabe understands this kind of fun, as his morning coffee is usually made from sample beans to be used at the coffeeshop. “I drip my own coffee that has been roasted by our head roaster, Warong Chalanuchpong. The coffee is usually samples that we receive from green bean traders to decide whether we should purchase said beans, so it’s different every time.”
He highlights the importance of investing in proper equipment when making your own coffee, in order to eliminate mistakes and “improving your skill as a coffee brewer.” However, beyond the green bean traders and the snazzy equipment, Wasin’s coffee companion is a simple one: “I usually pair my coffee with my cat on my lap.”
Nana Coffee Roasters is open for delivery and takeaway, with two branches (Liap Duan and Ari) across Bangkok. Keep your eyes peeled for a new project by Nana Coffee Roasters opening soon on Sukhumvit 71, called Haru.
Kappra Cafe’s Preeti uses vegan coffee as rocket fuel
Mama Kappra (or Preeti Sirikulthada) says she switches between the store’s Vegan Dirty and her regular Americano. The Bangkok cafe owner’s beans are all local, and come from Pahee, Chiang Rai, Chom Thong, or Chiang Mai. Despite the lockdown, she’s ever-buzzing, and pairs her coffee with “three phones and a stack of paperwork.” She admits to the power of a good morning coffee, exclaiming, “Mama Kappra doesn’t stop hustling unless she’s meditating!”
That’s the (caffeinated) spirit. Happy sipping.
Kappra Cafe is open for delivery via Robinhood or via Line @kappracafe.