Coffee and a view
122/128 Moo 6 Klong Cholpratarn, Chiang Mai
T: (081) 530 5388
Among the impressive homes of residential compound Lakeland hides Asama Cafe, one of Chiang Mai’s best places for a great cup of coffee as well as a little-known place to catch up on emails while you’re on the road.
Barista Mook is too humble to tell you about her qualifications in the world of coffee, but she’s already won first place at Indie Barista Chiang Rai and third place at the National Thailand Barista Championship. She practises daily on the Spirit, an espresso machine that more closely resembles an alien spaceship than it does, well, an espresso machine. When asked why she chose this particular contraption, Mook confesses she was curious to work with a Dutch espresso maker, having never done so before. We champion her curiosity, as it makes one potent yet smooth espresso. While the machine itself rings in somewhere around 100,000 baht, you can taste its prowess for a mere 60 to 65 baht.
Mook treats coffee as an artist would their creation, using a homemade blend of Thai, Brazilian, and Ethiopian beans whose roasting profile she custom selects to ensure the coffee’s never bitter. If in doubt, go for the espresso panna cotta, which consists of slightly chilled custard bathed in piping hot coffee. We’re not sure whether to qualify the espresso panna cotta as a dish or a drink, though, to be honest, we can’t be bothered; it’s just so straight up delicious.
Mook opened up Asama Cafe next to her family’s restaurant, which has been around for 23 years and is well known among Thais. This pairing is convenient if you plan to hang out at Asama’s for any length of time, as it’s all-too-easy to pop into the restaurant for lunch. Both establishments enjoy the natural beauty of Lakeland; picture a canal and little rowboats combined with a view of Doi Suthep in the background. While there’s both air-conditioned and outdoor seating available, there’s nothing quite like pretending to work while staring off into the canal or the frangipani trees in full bloom. And even though Asama is further away from the Old City than the busy cafes on Nimman, it’s a perfect stop on the way to the Hang Dong Market or Doi Kham Temple.
By Claudia Sosa
Last updated on 8th February, 2014.