Tony Johor Kaki Travels for Food · Heritage · Culture · History

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Malaysian Coffee – My Favourite Kopitiams in Johor

Malaysian styled coffee is traditionally hand roasted with palm oil margarine in a large deep wok or a black cast iron drum over charcoal fire. I enjoyed many hours as a little boy watching coffee shop workers roast coffee beans by hand spinning the black cast iron drum behind coffee shops in old Singapore. That aroma of toasting coffee beans always transports me back to those blissful childhood days in an instant. In those impoverished days, we used to joke that catching the aroma is free of charge ☻

By the way, I have not seen that contraption for many years now. When I find one, I must definitely take a picture and post it here for all to see.

The roasted coffee beans are then grounded with a noisy motorised grinding machine that sputter, trembles and shakes when it does its work – as if protesting the hard roasted beans being poured down its throat by the worker. The machine coughs out the grounded coffee into a waiting aluminium basin.

Traditional coffee is prepared with those uniquely Malaysian tall, long throated steel kettles.

The grounded coffee is filtered through these conical coffee socks made of white cotton muslin.

It takes skillful hands and a love of coffee to brew a good coffee. Keeping the coffee grounds too long or too short in the sock makes or breaks the coffee.

That’s why, those ubiquitous trendy franchise coffee made by students part timing for pocket money just won't cut it for me.

Good Malaysian coffee is bitter, full bodied and robust. Its magical aroma reaches your nose and lifts your spirit, before your first sip. In Malaysia, coffee is popularly sweetened with a large dollop of condensed or evaporated milk.


Here are my favourite coffee shops (kopitiam in Hokkien) in Johor which I had the good fortune to visit. I will post others as I chance upon more good Malaysian coffee in Johor.

Kin Wah coffee shop @ 8, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru old town

Hwa Mui coffee shop @ 131, Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru old down town

Cawanmas - coffee chain with its roots in coffee bean roasting. Various branches in Johor.

Never waste your daily caffeine quota again on lousy coffee ☻

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