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December 11, 2003

Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai

Thailand has some damn good coffee — you just have to know where to look. Also make sure you order the right thing; a lot of Thais, and too many farangs, get Nescafe. There's no need to do that; the real thing is grown in-country, and is much better (and usually cheaper) than the dried instant rot.

If in doubt, try out some Thai: kaafae thung is "bag coffee", "which refers to the traditional method of preparing a cup of coffee by filtering hot water through a bag-shaped cloth filter," says our trusty LP. You'll probably sound silly, but eventually you and your server will sort it out, and you'll gain a couple of points for attempting the language.

2 places that have the Claudia/Anthony seal of approval (2 shots up):

  • The Mint Coffee House is on Thanon Ratchadamnoen Soi 5, along with the Baan Thai Cooking School and several good guesthouses, including The White House, where we're staying. Fresh coffee is 20 baht (50 cents US!) a cup, and is rich and tasty. It's strong and flavorful, balanced enough to drink black but milk and sugar suit it well too. It's open-aired and a good place to chill with friends or get the day started. They have food as well, but I didn't sample.

  • Cafe Elé is between a couple of cool shops on Tha Phae. Elé would be just as at home in Oregon as it is in Chiang Mai. The iced lattes (49 baht), hot coffee (39 baht) and iced cocoa (39 baht) are all good ways to relax after a day of shopping and browsing along the Tha Phae or the nearby markets. They also have a cool outdoor seating area.

    Be sure to try "Wawee" coffee as well — delicious stuff. Enjoy.

    Posted by Ant on December 11, 2003 06:34 AM
    Category: Thailand
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