Friday, 14 March 2014
Faculty of Caffeine - Specialty Coffee in Johor Bahru
Today, I met up with my friend William Yap at the Faculty of Caffeine - Johor Bahru's newest café on JB's oldest street, Jalan Trus.
Stepping inside Faculty of Caffeine, we enter a small, quaint space blending the old and new that perhaps is the forerunner of the transformation of JB's oldest street - filled with youthful energy and aspiration yet well rooted in the city's rich heritage.
Faculty of Caffeine is the brainchild of two childhood buddies Vinc (left) and Edward. Vinc is an interior designer by training and Edward will be graduating from medical school soon.
Vinc and Edward shared a passion for coffee - dreaming and talking about having their own café for a long time. So when this old shop lot at Jalan Trus became available, the buddies jumped at the opportunity.
Vinc and Edward put their heart and soul into transforming this little space into the place of their dreams.
Everything inside Faculty of Caffeine has the talented owners' personal stamp. These artwork were done by Vinc and Edward.
The charming decor is an artful blend of the new and old.
All pleasingly blended together tastefully and in harmony.
I had one of these vintage wood and mesh food cabinets at home when I was a child, before refrigerators become the norm.
The premium La Marzocco espresso machine set on a Singer sewing machine that brides received as a prized wedding gift during my mother's time (1950s).
The menu at Faculty of Caffeine is simple - just premium coffee and all-day brunch.
Here's what we tried.
Faculty of Caffeine's English breakfast brunch set named "Generous Breakfast". There is demand in Johor Bahru for well prepared Western style breakfasts from the well travelled cosmopolitan set who had studied, worked or lived in the West.
Everything on the plate were made by the owners with a light touch. No excessive condiments like salt or sugar, so we were able to taste the natural flavours of the eggs, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Personally, I am not a big fan of garlic bread but this one by Faculty of Caffeine was very pleasing. Most average garlic bread have just a flat salty taste and are quite greasy as they are made with commercial garlic butter spread.
Faculty of Caffeine's garlic bread looked generic but it was one of the better ones that I have tasted for a long time. The slice of toasted French loaf had the right amount of crispiness and the olive oil, chopped fresh garlic and mozzarella cheese topping was a good balance of layers of savouriness (not sodium saltiness).
The Minty Beef Sandwich.
Between the soft and bouncy ciabatta bread were chopped beef bacon, button mushrooms, and caramelised onion.
I enjoyed the soft texture and blend of savoury flavours in this Minty Beef Sandwich.
Faculty of Caffeine uses 100% Arabica in their coffees. The coffees are strong with nice body as all are double shot espresso, yet they are not overwhelming. Just pleasant and easy to like, and fall in love with. It had none of the bitterness and acidity of average blended coffee that adds Robusta. I enjoyed my coffees at Faculty of Caffeine without needing to add any sugar at all.
We rounded up our session with chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream dessert made by Edward's mum. It was a nice blend of warm cake and cold ice cream; soft icy cream, moist spongy cake and crunchy nutty granola; sweet cake, vanilla and caramel.
psst.... tell you a secret quiet hangout in the pulsating heart of old town JB. This is the back portion of Faculty of Caffeine - a sanctuary of calm looking down at bustling Jalan Wong Ah Fook below. Hook up a lap top and with a good cuppa premium Arabica at hand - what more do I need for quiet time alone or a heart-to-heart with a good friend?
A picture of the youthful owners and crew before we leave.
I don't have the price breakdown as my buddy William kindly took the tab for our meal. Thanks, William.
Restaurant name: Faculty of Caffeine
Address: 106, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru (across the road from from the Johor Old Temple and beside Plaza Seni)
Hours: 11:00am to 10:00pm
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 13 Mar 2014
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