Friday 12 March 2021

coffee reviews | for the love of coffee

recent coffee hauls

Yet another compilation posts but doing a different kind of post today _  coffee reviews! It didn't occur to me to review coffee before but while browsing through my photos, I noticed that I have experimented with multiple brands in the past months and thought it isn't a bad idea to share my passion with my fellow readers! Before MCO, I was an instant coffee lover. Guess partly due to boredom of the whole lockdown that I take it to try new foodstuff and coffee is just one of them. So yes, expect more posts as I indulge myself and experiment with all the brands. 

At the same time, this particular blog post is just my coffee journal of what I tried and among which what I like and don't like for future reference. Because seriously, I already cannot recall the flavors of most brands I tried like this Starbucks Espresso Roast even though it was a few months ago! (゚Д゚ ;)

Just a note before I proceed, I have included affiliate links to Amazon and Shopee Malaysia in this blog post to which I may receive a commission should you choose to use it. My advance appreciation if you do! <( _ _)>

Starbucks espresso roast

Expect a rather amateurish mini reviews, I'm not planning to be a coffee connoisseur! I make good-enough-to-drink coffee. If there are something I'm picky about brewing my own drip coffee, it'll be that I always make sure the grind is small enough and that the flow is slow because these affects the coffee taste by a whole lot! Too course or too fast and it'll come off super bitter, yucky and a waste of good coffee beans. In terms of flavor notes, I prefer smooth tasting one with hints of floral, nuts or chocolate. Mildly sourish or acidic is acceptable but not a personal preference. Apparently there are quite a lot of different flavor profiles I have yet to try! Lastly, nothing 'flat' because life is short to be that boring.

I don't usually buy multiple different packs at the same time but only made an exception because I want to brew and let my fam try when I returned to home sweet hometown end of last year. In the end only my dad humoring my whole VV cafe business nonsense ( ̄ー ̄;) Gulung tikarlah like that. Because I was only home for a week and we are moderate coffee drinker who usually drink a cup a day, I ended up with all the brands in my pantry.

Before I get to the beans, here is a quick introduction to my humble collection of coffee making tools: Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill (Amazon | ShopeeMY), Hario V60 Plastic Dripper 02 (Amazon | ShopeeMY) and Daiso plastic dripper & paper filter and a cute pour over kettle. The milk frother (Amazon | ShopeeMYis a recent addition as I want to experiment with latte.

home coffee tools

Between the Hario V60 and Daiso's I'd say go for Daiso because drip size matters! If I can do differently, I'd get the other ceramic dripper with smaller drip hole (Amazon | ShopeeMY).

Also, I'd recommend going for a larger size pour over or an electrical pour over in aesthetic black design (Amazon | ShopeeMY) or retro wood design (ShopeeMY), just for convenience sake. The one I have needs to be refilled twice to make a cup of coffee. Not complaining, it is a pretty gift from a friend and I love using it! Final note on the pour over, good to have one with insulated handle too because it can get too hot to hold. As for the hand grinder, I got mine for RM100-ish which is great for making up to 2-3 cups but found if you're willing to top up a bit you can get a machine grinder (Amazon | ShopeeMY). To some may be much convenient and you get precise grind size but it takes up counter space. A handheld one also meant it is super portable.

1) Starbucks Pike Place

Medium Roast

Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast

The reason I try so many Starbucks' coffee beans are because of  the quality, variety and accessibility to buy the coffee beans in the supermarket. On top of that, I also very much tempted to try their seasonal blends just for fun. That said, I do get super overwhelmed if I have to choose between 50 brands of coffee beans! 

Like the other Starbucks coffee pack, this Starbucks Pike Place (Amazon | ShopeeMY) retailing at RM24.90 for 200g. This one is mildly bitter and didn't really leave much of an impression in me really. If you haven't hear yet, with every pack of Starbucks Flavorlock™ bag you recycle at any branches, you are entitled to a 10% discount off their coffee beans. So don't forget to keep them if you want to try in-house specialty and seasonal blends that are only available in the store which BTW is different than what's in the supermarket.

2) Aeon Big's 

Ipoh White Coffee Bean

Aeon Big Ipoh White Coffee Beans

This beans were bought from Aeon Big Mid Valley, probably the only Aeon Big that offers fresh coffee beans by the gram? This simple pack of 250g is RM15.50For those who just wants to appreciate homey, traditional kopitiam-style kopi-o but better, this is worth stocking in your pantry. Just one thing, make sure to store them properly! I think my containers lid isn't airtight enough. On top of keeping it too long, this made the beans no longer fresh, harder to grind and the brew, much bitter...

3) Bonjour Garden Bakery Cafe

100% Arabica Mandheling Coffee Beans

Bonjour Garden Bakery Cafe 100% Arabica Mandheling Coffee Beans

I got this from Jaya Grocer, retailing at RM15 for a pack of 100g. The other option to get this is on ShopeeMY. This rich chocolate-y scented beans make quite bitter coffee with slight acidity. With sugar, it has a moderate taste and I think I sense some floral-y flavor. Tell me if you find the same!

4) Kapal Api 

Kaw Coffee Mixture

This is a combination of Java Robusta and Mandheling beans which results in a dark, slightly bitter brew. This pack of 180g retails at RM4.80 (Amazon ShopeeMY). Rich, dark and earthy scented, almost resembling Kopi Bali.

Kapal Api Kaw Coffee Mixture

I don't think this is meant for drip coffee! The grind is so fine (I didn't noticed it was mentioned on the packaging!) that it takes forever to get a cup of coffee. Forever because the water can't even pass through even though I stirred several times *face palm* I think you would need a fabric coffee strainer (who has that at home OMG) or allow the grind to settle at the bottom then pour over into another cup?

I found out that super fine coffee grinds are perfect for espresso machine or moka pot, both of which I don't have (≧Д≦ ) I have been obsessing with the idea of owning a Bialetti moka pot for the sake of a home cafe but still thinking about it! Purchasing it meant I'd probably need to get a mini electric stove top because I don't want to put it directly on the gas stove, personal preference stuff.

Kapal Api Kaw Coffee Mixture

I later found out that Kapal Api actually offers two grind size: fine and course but overlooked it when I bought mine! *screams internally* While I wish I have a moka pot right now just so that I wouldn't need to drink badly brewed coffee, I'd just have to tolerate this for now because I don't really want to waste it...

I could have settled for cheap brand-less moka pot but from reviews online, I hear they don't last because the pressure valve would get loose after just a handful of use. I wouldn't mind paying for something that'd last besides a matter of safety. Personally eyeing Bialetti's Moka Express Oceana 4 or 6-cup moka pot (Amazon | ShopeeMY) and an electric stove (ShopeeMY), the latter apparently has Bialetti's logo but oddly I can find it on local Shopee site only and not on the official store website. Can't tell if legit, but if I get the moka pot, I'd rather use it on an electric stove. Both would have cost me RM450 which is why I'm really considering if I really want to drink espresso often!

Kapal Api Kaw Coffee Mixture

5) Starbucks' 

Premium Instant Coffee 

Dark Roast & Medium Roast

Starbucks Premium Instant Coffee  Dark Roast & Medium Roast

A new edition of Starbucks for 2020, premium instant coffee in Dark Roast (ShopeeMYand Medium Roast (ShopeeMY)! Comes in cute aluminium tin price at RM35 for 90g which makes approximately 40 cups with a tablespoon at a time. I found that you can get them online between RM29.90-RM32.50. This is perfect for the days I want quick coffee without resorting to 3-in-1 and still have satisfactory coffee. What I don't like is that you can't keep them for long as they will coagulate with exposure. 

The dark roast one has deep and chocolate-y flavor that I'm super loving while the medium is plain mild but smooth, less exciting flavor. 10/10 will repurchase the former.

6) Davidoff Espresso 57 Intense

Davidoff Espresso 57 Intense

Lastly, not coffee beans or grounds but instant coffee _ Davidoff Espresso 57 Intense (Amazon | ShopeeMY) which I got for the sake of making Dalgona Coffee. I find Davidoff instant coffee has a strong bitter taste on its own but the strong flavor definitely suits Dalgona-making.

It didn't work out though (ㄒoㄒ) I don't know if its too much water or just don't have the strength to beat the coffee until it thickens. I used the milk frother at the beginning to speed up the process but still didn't work out. First two attempts ended up with quite a mess!

More like a reverse cappuccino _ milk and coffee foam ( ¬ _ ¬ ;)


Switching to coffee beans is just my way to avoid drinking too much 3-in-1 coffee. For a long while I stocked up on brands like French Cafe, Old Town, Essenso, Caffe Bene, Pappa Rich and of course Nescafe _they taste sinfully good but too much sugar content! I still don't do black but I noticed with better beans with fresh, natural sweet flavors I don't need so much sugar YAYYY!

Expect more coffee posts on this blog after I finished what I already have. Though I'm pretty sure I won't run out of ideas with the selections available in the supermarket and online just yet, happy to listen if you have recommendations for great coffee beans! 

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