Some of us probably have coffee running through our veins instead of blood. This brown liquid is the life force that sustains us, powering us through our hectic day and keeping our minds sane. But coffee is so much more than just your sachet of instant mix or Starbucks. For a deeper appreciation of coffee, you’ll need to try third wave coffee. You’ll be able to find it in these specialty coffee cafes in KL.

When trying out specialty coffee in these cafes, be sure to keep an open mind. Upon trying different coffee blends or single origin coffee beans, you’ll realise that not all coffee tastes the same. Like wine, each coffee region produces a different type of flavour profile, from berries and dark chocolate to even onions and garlic. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the expansive coffee flavour wheel.

Before you jump the gun and order a latte, try having your coffee black to fully appreciate its flavours. Ask the barista at these specialty coffee cafes in KL what’s the best way to have it — a pour over or Aeropress is usually the most popular option to brew these beans. Afterwards, if you’re keen on learning more, there are always these coffee appreciation classes you can get into. While there are more specialty coffee cafes to be discovered beyond KL and in Selangor, here’s a list of memorable ones in KL itself.

1
PULP By Papa Palheta

By now, most people would be familiar with Pulp, nestled in the cool space that is APW in Bangsar. Instead of ordering a latte or nitro coffee next time, why not try out some of their hand brews? They’ve easily distinguished the different types of hand brews they have: Bright, Balanced, Bold, and Seasonal Specials. Just ask one of their baristas to find out which beans suit your palate for the day.

(Picture: PULP)

2
Common Man Coffee Roasters

“We aim to provide delicious, quality coffee, in a way that celebrates the relationships formed during the journey between bean and cup; from the farmers and millers to the baristas and drinkers,” says Common Man Coffee Roasters. Indeed, when you head over to the cafe in TTDI, you’ll find a good list of specialty coffee brew offered. The cafe has its own roastery in Singapore where they roast their own blends such as 22 Martin (named after the first cafe location in Singapore), Lucky Basterd, and Country Cousin blend. Ask their friendly baristas for recommendations on what the current single origins are available and how best to have them.

(Picture: Common Man Coffee Roasters KL Facebook)

3
The Lolla Co.

The latest addition to the specialty coffee scene in KL is The Lolla Co., a tiny cafe along Jalan Ampang. Blink and you might even miss it, but for those in the know, The Lolla Co. is a favourite jaunt to get no less than an excellent cup of joe. You can get your latte and Flat White here, but be sure to ask the man behind the bar, Larry, for recommendations on pour-overs that you should try out for the day.

(Picture: @thelollaco)

4
Whisk Coffee & Pantry

Whisk Coffee & Pantry in DC Mall is the brand’s third outpost, with a fourth one recently opened in Kiara 163. Unlike its other branches, Whisk Coffee & Pantry is the only one that serves up hot food with its coffee. Ask about the cafe’s filter coffee to find out what they have for the day, and sip away.

(Picture: Whisk KL Facebook)

5
VCR Bangsar

VCR finally got an outpost in Jalan Telawi 3, years after its original Pudu branch was established. With a more accessible location (and more carparks), you can now enjoy specialty coffee by them. There’s also a full-sized food menu in the Bangsar outlet, which means you can have your filter coffee alongside decent brunch options. Like its Pudu outlet, VCR Bangsar has a good selection of single origins and interesting coffee blends to give a spark of energy to your day.

(Picture: VCR Bangsar Facebook)

6
The Hub

The Hub was one of the earlier micro roasteries to set up shop in KL, and their humble cafe is still running strong till today in Taman OUG. One might not think that the neighbourhood is a hub for specialty coffee, but this cafe proves otherwise. There’s a good range of medium to dark roast coffee here, which you can sample at a more affordable price than most cafes out there.

(Picture: The Hub Facebook)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction.