186 Cafe&Bar Review in Mae Joe, Chiang Mai Thailand

186 Cafe&Bar

Mae Joe Chiang Mai Thailand

Today’s Coffee Geek featured is with P’Bang from 186 Cafe&Bar.

It was our first Facebook Live broadcast where we had the opportunity to have Stumptown Coffee with the Aeropress.

Was a great brew.. Special thanks to P’Bang for treating us for the day.



Tim here, coming to you again with another episode of Coffee Geek TV. We’re coming to you live from the 186 Cafe and Bar. Here’s my good friend, Bang, and we’ve got something special for you today.

We’re introducing AeroPress coffee. I’m excited about this because we’ve never showcased Aeropress Coffee in these videos.

We’re using a coffee brand known as Stumptown Coffee Roasters from the U.S. I think it’s from Portland, What are your thoughts on this coffee?


Bang: I love the taste. It’s a Direct Trade which goes from the farm straight to the roaster

Tim: They’ve roasted it for pour overs and Aeropress coffee, right? Let’s get straight into it.
What do you usually do when you’re making pour over coffee? What’s your favorite style of coffee?

Bang: I usually do pour overs. But after I attended the Bangkok Aeropress Championships, I developed a taste for Aeropress coffee.

Tim: It was the first Aeropress Championship, right? I remember seeing the pictures.

Bang: Yes.

Tim: So what are you doing with the coffee now? You’ve just weighed it? How much does it weigh?

Bang: About 20g

Tim: 20g. So you’re going to put 20g of coffee in the grinder? So we’re going old school, hand ground, which is exciting.

Adam, Matt, and Chang! HI! Happy to see you guys.

That was quick. Gee, you’re strong!

I want to tell you a bit about Bang’s cafe. You’ll find it about 15 minutes north of the old city of Chiang Mai. It’s 13 km away, right across from the University, It’s in a fantastic location that will entice school kids to come over, have coffee and study.

I want to do a pan view of this cafe. You can see how beautiful this space is. Bang’s had it for about a year, and it’s an architectural marvel, and beautifully laid out. There’s a beautiful mezzanine floor. It’s going to be a little go to place to do some work.

We’re not doing the inverted, but usual Aeropress. You just put the coffee grinder over the top. You put a nice paper filter at the bottom. You may use a metal filter. You may get a bit of dust at the bottom of your cup.

We’re just trying to get the water temperature right. What water temperature are you using at the moment?

Bang: The manual recommends 80 degrees Celsius

Tim: 80. That’s fantastic. That’s interesting because I was in Japan, where I went to a fancy cafe bar. The barista was brewing coffee between 78 and 82 degrees. The amazing thing is that it’s more full-bodied. The standard is usually 88 to 92 degrees. But I guess that’s what coffee’s about, experimenting and finding out how to get the best flavor. Let’s take a look.

Bang: It’s still boiling.

Tim: You’ve got to be a bit patient. We’ll wait for that temperature to drop.

Tim: While waiting for the temperature to drop, let’s take a look at this. Is it a little Kennex?

Bang: It’s actually for cold brewed matcha tea.
(Puts one jar facing the other)

Tim: I love coffee, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like tea. After I’ve had a few coffees, I’ll need lunch by 5 p.m. to flush it out of my system.
(looking at coffee0 It’s about 90 degrees now, we’re trying to get it down to 80. Did you do anything to the water? Do you use a particular type of water or do you just use regular water?

Bang: I try to experiment. I learned that mineral water improves the taste of the coffee.

Tim: Really? Just pure water?

Bang: Do you remember the AHma Coffee Farm that we visited? They use water from the mountain.

Tim: Spring water is the best, right? It’s got the right PH level and the good mineral content.

Tim: I told Bang this morning that I usually do a V60 -type coffee in the morning. I experimented with mineral water and noticed a difference with the way the water boils.

So the ground is at the bottom, so we’ll just fill it up. I’m not sure about Bang’s style of doing the Aeropress. Everyone’s got a different style. Some people get it right in there and get the grounds wet, while others get it right in there and stir. There’s no right or wrong way to make coffee.

Bang: Andy, my friend, tends a coffee bar over in Chiang Mai called Sammi. But they just moved to Lambeth. They used to be an Aeropress bar.

Tim: I remember! I was supposed to do a coffee geek episode there. I’ll have to check them out.

Tim:: Interesting aromas. There’s a black tea smell coming from there.

Bang: (showing the tea bag) Black tea

Tim: Look at that! Winner. But there’s also a subtle sweetness coming from that, right?

Tim: So what have we got here? Cranberry, Palm and Black Tea. The cranberry will add to the flavor, as opposed to the aroma. He’s giving it a pour between them just to get the smell moving through it. Would you like to try it with me?

Tim: As they say in Thailand, Chung Gae Ong.

Black tea.

Bang: For Mr. Cameraman.

Time: Mr. Cameraman, give it a try. It’s a bit zesty around the edges. It’s a full=bodied brew. I sense that it’s purely black tea driven. I don’t get much of the cranberry. But there’s a sour taste, which is what probably comes from it.

It’s quite a tasty coffee.

Bang: I’ve never actually tasted cranberries.

So here from Tim, Bang and Camera-man Grant coming to you with another episode of Coffee Geek TV.


Rocket Coffeebar S.49 | Bangkok Thailand

Rocket Coffeebar S.49

Thong Lor & Ekamai | Bangkok | Thailand

Rocket Coffeebar S.49 was a great little discovery recommended by my good friend and creator of eggsontoast.today – Sam. The cafe has a variety of gourmet dishes and coffee on their menu including some specialty coffee options.

Its location is tucked away within the soi’s of Thonglor, it would be recommended that you take a taxi or motorbike taxi to get there.


Hey, Geeks! Welcome to another episode of Coffee Geek TV. Let me introduce you to my good old mate, Sam. I haven’t seen him for a couple of months and am here to catch up with him.

Find Rocket s49 on Sukhumvit Soi 49 in Bangkok. It’s fantastic because this is the first episode of Cofee Geek TV in Bangkok. The coffee’s good. I just needed a small cup with a bit of whack. I love this one. Do check it out. You’ll enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this place. They’re ultra modern at fit in with the coffee shops in this area. Anyway, coming to you again with another episode of Coffee Geek TV. Peace.

Feel to subscribe to the channel or personally contact me at any of the above social networks.

image credit: Sam from http://eggsontoast.today/ and Sapparot on Pinterest


% Arabica | Kyoto Japan

% Arabica

Kyoto Japan


After first visiting % Arabica in Hong Kong, I was stoked with the opportunity to check them out in Kyoto..

Having 2 Slayer espresso machines and a Tornado roaster they pump out some pretty amazing coffee! Super impressed with what these % Arabica do.



Tim is coming to you again with another episode of Coffee Geek TV.

Listen up. I’m here at the % Arabica in Kyoto, Japan. This cafe rocks.

They have the Slayer machine as they’re the official distributors for Slayer machines in Japan. For all good reasons, they’re the Rolls Royce of espresso machines.

I was about to have a drip coffee, but they told me to have an espresso instead. I’m glad for this because there’s a Slayer machine here.

Anyway, I had a Honduras-Guatemala type beam variety. Like I tell you, it was unbelievable. The extraction they produced was on the mark. If you check out Instagram, you’ll see a video I took of the process.

I can’t rave enough about how good the espresso was. There are only a couple of times I’ve had a good espresso in my life. One was from the Spirit machine made in Holland. It was in a place in Chiang Mai. They had bean varieties from Melbourne. The best coffee I tried was in Hong Kong, in August last year. That cafe has branches around the world

The guy who owns this cafe is a successful businessman., so he has invested a lot of money in coffee. He’s got investments here in Kyoto, Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates. He also has a Kona farm in Hawaii. He distributes Slayers and has cafes around the world.

The baristas here are fantastic at what they do. And that’s another extraordinary thing. They’ve got a tornado roasting machine that can roast beans within 15 or 20 minutes. iT prepares up to 100 grams of beans. They computerize everything and are accurate every time.

If you’re a purist, you might like their style. But I am on the fringe and prefer things hand done. It highlights craftsmanship and gives the taste of proper, hand-roasted coffee. But hey, I like the best of both worlds.

Thanks for tuning in again to Coffee Geek TV. If you want to reach out to me, subscribe below or check out the information below this video.


The Top 5 Specialty Coffee Shops in Hanoi Vietnam

The Top 5 Specialty Coffee Shops in Hanoi Vietnam

If you’re a coffee fanatic and traveled to Hanoi in recent times, you’ve probably found the specialty coffee scene a little barren.

There are coffee shops everywhere you look.

But most of them are selling traditional Vietnamese filtered coffee which appears to have tin teacups and saucers on top of mugs.

They slowly drip coffee with the viscosity of mud. Usually, it’s so bitter that the coffee shop owners use sweetened milk to mask its intense flavor.

Although Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, specialty coffee isn’t as available as you would have expected.

However, the appreciation for craft coffee is growing and a scene is emerging in the heart of Hanoi.

Few shops now serve all your favorite pour over V6, Aeropress, and Siphon brew styles and that’s just the beginning.

Most of this interest comes from Vietnamese students who discovered the art of coffee brewing while studying abroad.

Escaping the heat and smokey season of Chiang Mai, Thailand for the months of April and May, Hanoi was the chosen destination to work from over that period.

This gave me the opportunity to get under the skin of the coffee culture of Vietnam to find what specialty coffee gems are emerging.

Below is my list of the best Specialty Coffee Shops I discovered.

Be Sure To Subscribe For My Global Specialty Coffee Map Which Includes All Coffee Shops Of Hanoi

1. KafeVille

KafeVille was the first specialty coffee house I found in Hanoi. Coincidentally, the Tay Ho Times featured it for the month of March.

Binh, the owner of KafeVille, is very passionate about producing quality coffee.

He pays particular attention to his serving technique.

What surprised me the most was the specialty coffee bean varieties he offered.

The first Pour Over coffee I drank was from the African nation of Burundi, it was the first time I’ve tried coffee from that country.

It was a unique experience as I was unaware Burundi was a coffee-growing region, although it’s their largest export.

What I love about the coffee industry is there’s always something new to learn and discover.

Getting back to the coffee, the flavor and aroma of the pour over were outstanding

Equally as impressive is their Latte Barista, who is passionate about producing drinkable latte-art cups of coffee.

I spent most of the two months of my time in Hanoi working from here. Binh here is staff are friendly, and knowledgeable about specialty coffee.

KafeVille also sells roasted beans starting at 100 grams lots.

If you travel like me and can’t do without a specialty brew in the morning, you can purchase them.

They usually roast their beans every few days as during April/May/June as this time of year is humid in Hanoi. Moreover, Binh prefers to protect his beans from the mold.

2. D’Codes Coffee Lab & Campus Vietnam

When I first visited D’Codes, the cafe had only opened for three weeks. It was an exciting time for them.

My good friend Sam Choi from Chiang Mai partnered with Caden and branched out his passion for specialty coffee training to northern Vietnam.

He established Asia’s 4th Coffee Lab. You’ll find the lofty ceiling cafe located on the ground floor.

The training lab for sensory sessions and Q graders is on the first and second levels.

One of the Baristas working at D’Codes is Vietnamese 2016 runner-up for latte art.

He moved to Hanoi from Saigon to work at the D’Codes coffee lab & campus.

D’Codes is a little further out from the Old Quarter and a little hard to find. However, it was a worthwhile adventure. Oh and the coffee is off the hook!!


3. The Caffinet

The Caffinet was a great little find in the heart of the Old Quarter in Hanoi.

During my stay in Hanoi, it was the best of all of our cafes we visited.

Not only were the lovely staff at The Caffinet helpful and accommodating, but they were also passionate about their specialty coffee.

They use primarily source coffee beans from the local coffee growing region of Da Lat in the South of Vietnam in addition to other local regions close to Hanoi.

The cafe had an excellent atmosphere that made it easy for us to work from their upstairs location away from the hustle.

The Caffinet had a broad range of brewing toys and techniques including traditional Vietnamese brewing styles, popular pour overs and their own version of specialty egg coffee which I will talk about later in the article.

I highly recommend going to The Caffenit and checking it out.



4. GẤU Coffee & Bakery and GẤU Coffee Roasters

Gau Coffee has two locations within Hanoi. One outside the old quarter and the other on 33 Hang Be road 

The first was considerably far from the old city. I never realized that there were two branches of Gau coffee.

I believed that the first was the only one that existed.

Upon discovering the second location in the old quarter of Hanoi, I quickly became acquainted with its young and passionate barista, Sang.

Sang was a very friendly guy who loved his craft.

He was accommodating enough to allow me to try many different types of coffee which he brewed using the Aeropress.

I had the pleasure of trying many Vietnamese specialty blends which did have some interesting characteristics.

One of the aspects of the coffee business is the friends that you make.

It was an absolute pleasure meeting Sang from Gau Coffee Roasters. He has great vision.

There is a space in the cafe that he’s going to use to supply specialty paste trees in addition to his specialty coffee.

I highly recommend heading to Specialty Coffee Roasters Cafe to say hi to Sang. Try the excellent coffee that he brews.

Do not get confused by Gau Coffee’s two locations.

Google will direct you to the cafe that is out of the old quarter so. Both locations have been marked on my Specialty Coffee Map.

I also recommend checking out the cafe location further out. However, if you have little time, I would suggest just visiting out the Cafe Roastery location in the old quarter.



5. Haka Coffee

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to visit Haka in Hanoi, although it was in the old city.

It was in the heart of a busy area, and it was a tiny hole in the wall.

On the day visited I was also looking for a cafe to work from and Haka too busy that particular day and didn’t cater for those who are digital nomads or those who work from cafes.

The cafe was also full of cigarette locals smoking inside which I don’t mind to a certain extent but the intent for the day was to work and I couldn’t work under those conditions.

Smoking is still part of Vietnamese culture and some cafes will still allow people to freely smoke.

Depending on the type of cafe it is, this can take away the sensory experience with specialty coffee.

Therefore Haka wasn’t the ideal place to have coffee and to work from for me at the time. That may be different for you however.

From the outside looking in, they did have Pour over kettles, but I didn’t have an opportunity to take a good look at their coffee bean menu.

I do intend on returning to Hanoi later this year and will update this section of the post when I purely go for coffee.


Other Coffee Roasters of Hanoi

KOK Coffee Roasting House

We heard on the Grapevine that there was a coffee roaster in Hanoi that didn’t have a cafe or shop front.

We decided to visit it. You’ll find KOK Coffee Roasting House is tucked away in the Tay Ho district of Hanoi, on the West Lake.

Although there were closed gates at KOK Roasters, Sang was nice enough to let us in and give us a private tour of his roasting facility.

He even brewed us one of his locally roasted Vietnamese beans.

His beans are available at here. He features many varieties from around Vietnam and the world.


Coffee Notes: The Traditional Coffee of Vietnam

Egg Coffee

Drinking coffee in Hanoi is an interesting cultural experience.

Coffee was introduced in Hanoi Vietnam with in the 1950s when they faced a milk shortage.

I didn’t go to any of the traditional egg coffee shops while I was there because I spent most of my time in specialty coffee shops in Hanoi.

However, I decided to try one of these coffees on the one of the days I was working from The Caffinet.

It consisted of espresso coffee at the bottom and a foam of meringue at the top, it’s hard to describe.

I must say it was delicious, not something I would have every day but still quite tasty.

Traditional Vietnamese Drip Coffee

The last time I had the traditional Vietnamese style drip coffee was in 2012.

At that time I admit to liking it even though wasn’t as much into coffee as I am today.

Deciding to give the traditional drip coffee a try was a unique experience.

Although the coffee had sweetened condensed milk, I could not go past the overwhelming bitterness and thick mud-like consistency of traditional Vietnamese style coffee.

Unfortunately, I could not finish it!


My final thoughts of the Specialty coffee scene in Hanoi, though it in its infancy, there is increasing demand from the likes of more educated, hipster Vietnamese locals and those wanting to explore coffee.

It’s on the verge of booming and becoming an interesting place for specialty coffee in the future.

I look forward to returning to Hanoi to see how much the coffee scene has boomed upon my next visit.

Have you been to Hanoi lately or a local in search for specialty coffee shops?

If you have managed to find an amazing coffee shop in the middle of the bustling Metropolis of Hanoi, please share your findings Below in the comments.

Vermillion Cafe | Kyoto Japan

Vermillion Cafe

Kyoto Japan


Really loved the owner and barista of Vermillion cafe.. Positioned perfectly for the foot traffic from Fushimi Inari and Araki Shrine’s. Great place to enjoy the scenery from the shrine hike..


Hey there, it’s Tim again with another episode of Coffee Geek TV. I’m here at a new cafe called Vermillion in the Fushimi Inari shrine in Japan. If you’re doing a bit of sightseeing and want to grab something, this is a brilliant espresso bar.

They use the beans from the Weekender’s Cafe, which you may know from my last video. You know that you’re going to get super quality beans and reasonably priced coffee. If you’re in the area, come and check it out. Tim again, from Coffee Geek TV. Peace out.



Pin It on Pinterest