Come cafe hop with ST’s foreign correspondents as they show you the best java joints in the region.
Whether you are a new-age aficionado of the third wave coffee movement, or an old-school purist who considers a kopitiam kopi-o the only cup of joe, The Straits Times’ new microsite will have something for you.
Coffee Capitals is a guide to cafes in five regional cities, written by The Straits Times’ foreign correspondents who live and work in them.
Indonesian bureau chief Francis Chan says Indonesia exported about $1.38 billion worth of coffee last year. In Jakarta, cafes offer everything from hearty cuppas to candy confections that employ ingredients such as Nutella and caramel to give the brew a sugary kick.
Head for Bangkok for great food to go with your coffee, says regional correspondent Tan Hui Yee, who is based in the city of angels. Although the mountains in northern Thailand are dotted with artisanal coffee plantations, she says consumption has outstripped production in the kingdom.
Philippine correspondent Raul Dancel credits the mass market chain Starbucks with having reawakened Filipinos’ love affair with the bean, and offers a local’s guide to the hidden gems to get your java fix in Manila.
Taiwan might be thought of as a land of tea houses, but Taiwan correspondent Jermyn Chow says coffee joints are fast catching on as young people work and play in these caffeine-fuelled places in Taipei.
Japan correspondent Walter Sim, who is based in Tokyo, says the city is dotted with old school kissatens (coffee houses) as well as slick new designer cafes. Whether you want your cup of joe in the smoky (literally, since they allow smoking) ambience of a kissaten, or in a trendy space, Tokyo is the destination.
So before you book your regional getaway, check out our website for the best coffee joints in these Asian cities.