Thursday, November 21, 2013

Industry Beans @ Melbourne, Mokka @ Athens & Nowhereman Coffee by Artisan Roast @ Bangsar, KL

Seeking coffee, here, there & everywhere: We've sniffed out the scent of fresh caffeine in three continents for this sweeping survey of what cities in Australia, Europe & Asia offer cafe-hoppers.

First up, Industry Beans, one of the most acclaimed openings this year in Melbourne, the Australian city that chiefly inspired the recent surge in KL's cafes & coffee bars. Tracing this trend back to its roots seems like an essential experience.

Industry Beans is parked in a warehouse brimming with bags of beans from across the world, bursting with regional, estate & micro-lot coffees that pass strict cupping & evaluation processes.

A role model for what ambitious Malaysian cafes can aspire to someday be: Industry Beans elevates the science & art of preparing coffee, including by infusing it in the cleverest of cuisines.

Exhibit A: A kangaroo burger, inimitably Aussie, mounted with marsupial meat crowned with coffee mustard, caramelized leeks & a relish of tomato & fennel in a brioche bun, accompanied by vegetable chips.

Customers can have their coffee & eat it at Industry Beans: Try the likes of latte pearls ...

... cold-drip caviar ...

... stick-to-the-teeth coffee toffee ...

... & aeropress jelly, trail-blazing examples of what can be done with raw/roasted/brewed coffee.

And the beverages? Also among the best to be found anywhere; sip on the Brothers Blend, distinctively composed of two Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffees, 60 percent washed from the village of Dusermo & 40 percent natural from the high slopes of Aricha Keble.

Next up, teleporting thousands of miles to Athens, where contemporary cappuccinos are slowly but steadily seeking to challenge traditional Greek coffee.

In a city where history rules, Mokka is a cornerstone for coffee lovers, with a family legacy that stretches back four generations to 1922, visited by prime ministers, poets & painters through the decades; today, it blends that heritage with modern perspectives on coffee.

Mokka's also known as the first Greek company to use certified specialty coffees in its blends, employing single-origin beans from Central America & elsewhere. Forget pretty latte art for these beverages; looks matter little as far as Mokka's baristas are concerned.

Greek coffee coexists harmoniously with frappes on Mokka's menu, boiled instead of brewed for bitter-creamy concentration & paired with loukomi, similar to Turkish delights.

Finally, our road brings us back home to KL, to Nowhereman, a casual pop-up coffee bar that popped up this week in Bangsar, spearheaded by Artisan Roast, the venerable brand that we've covered faithfully since its birth in Ampang nearly three years ago.

Run by jovial barista Joey Mah, Nowhereman's venue for the next six months is a suitably & strikingly stark set-up, sharing a space with a nearly monochromatic clothing store showcasing the work of fashion wunderkinds Joe Chia & Justin Chew on a Telawi shop-lot's second floor.

Mah emphasizes interaction with customers at the frills-free Nowhereman, whose signature 'Cough Syrup' blend comprises Colombian & Indonesian beans, described as a deliverer of citrus acidity & an orange peel finish. Some may wonder, why visit Nowhereman if Artisan's easily accessible in Bangsar VillagePJ & TTDI? The response: this blend is exclusively brewed here.

Black, white, mocha Valrhona _ pick your poison.

The food at Nowhereman is carefully selected to support local entrepreneurs: Gourmet sandwiches of  sourdough stuffed with smoked salmon, as well as carb-rich pleasures filled with egg, rib-eye steak or chicken are also available ...

... courtesy of Tommy Lee, better known as Tommy Le Baker ... 

... plus sweet treats like crumbly-fluffy baby buttermilk lemon poundcakes topped with juicy berries & Yuletide-appropriate, richly complex but not cloying brownies with twin-colored chocolate, cranberries & nuts thoughtfully perfected by Karen Tan, the charismatic curator of TartArt. All in all, Nowhereman (a Beatles-inspired moniker? maybe) marks a nice addition to KL's cafe scene & a satisfying way to wrap up this globetrotting coffee-&-more crawl.

 Industry Beans
Warehouse 3, Corner of Rose & Fitzroy Street, Melbourne, Australia
Mon-Fri, 7am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-5pm

Mokka Specialty Coffee
Athinas Street, Athens, Greece

Nowhereman Coffee by Artisan Roast
Second Floor (note: no signboard), 20, Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Daily for now, 9am-9pm. Opposite Alexis & G3 Kitchen, above the Live It Up store.

The Oct.-Dec. edition of Eat Drink KL: 100 Favorites is now available in an eBook for free, convenient reading on computers, tablets & smartphones. It comprises reviews of 100 eateries that span various locations, cuisines & budgets: http://eatdrinkkl.publ.com/Eat-Drink-KL-100-Favorites-Oct-Dec-2013 (link expires Dec. 31, 2013; see blog entries after that date for new link)

Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

26 comments:

  1. cold drip caviar... intriguing! I like the interiors for both cafes too :)

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    1. Ken: oh yeah, inventive application of molecular gastronomy for coffee!

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  2. yepeeeee....new cafes everywhere.... i like their "mushroom" stools.

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    1. 女飞侠: heheh, ya, I think nowhereman's 'mushroom stools' are going to get photographed a lot in the next few months! :D

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  3. Very interesting, Sean. Industry Beans looks like a factory! Love your coffee photos!

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    1. Linda: thanks! This was a fun entry to compile! And yes, Industry Beans totally fits its name :D

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  4. Industry Beans looks nice, I want to go! Hehehe
    We had two cups of great coffee at Nowhereman! I love the espresso, excellent! :D

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    1. CK: ooo ya, it's a cool place to check out in melbourne, really fun & inspiring for coffee lovers! =) heheh, i like the latte! :D

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  5. Oooh...kangaroo burger - now, that's something to check out, for sure! Love the look of those latte pearls too!

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    1. Pureglutton: yeah, there are tons of treasures on the menu! there's also french toast with espresso cream and duck bacon cured with coffee! :D

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  6. The burger looks good! How's kangaroo meat taste like? Nice?

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    1. Melissa: it's good, quite mild-tasting, so it basically tastes like meat, heheh :D

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  7. I like the minimalist decor at Nowhereman Coffee... the mushroom chairs are so cute too!

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    1. Baby Sumo: that's a great description, minimalist! and yeah, those chairs are fun to admire and photograph! :D

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  8. More cafes coming up, the more headache I am, coz I really hope that I have the "extra" time to explore all the new cafes in town!!><

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    1. 比比: ya, i guess you could try to check out two every week, that should be OK! :D

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  9. Wow!!! Around the world in one post! LOL!!! That burger certainly looks like to die for...

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    1. Suituapui: heh, and it was nice that all three countries had good coffee ... and one had a good burger! :D

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  10. Three continents! Now you're just making me jealous. ;-)

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    1. The Yum List: heheh, let's go continent-hopping! :D

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  11. nice, sometime i wonder how u can know so many restaurant de?

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    1. Mr Lonely: ya, it's good to try to keep informed! =)

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  12. OMG that's amazing! It's a cornucopia of all things delicious for coffee lovers!

    I love the espresso caviar and toffee, and I'll happily munch on that roo burger! :D

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    1. Huai Bin: a coffee cornucopia, true! :D and yeah, in this case, coffee makes everything better =)

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  13. Stick to the teeth coffee toffee...yummy thought!

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    1. Missyblurkit: heheh we must remember to brush our teeth promptly after that! :D

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