Gates lock at 3pm, Curfew is unchanged.

Coffee Curfew! Now that’s something I am cursed with. As much as I love coffee, drinking it after 3pm at any given local time would have me counting stars and trust me, I could count all the way up to Pluto. I don’t drink as much as I post, but I do select premium coffee.

Now Premium Coffee is subjective. My taste calls for local flavours with a hint of a soul; and if this can be enjoyed by the vast in terms of cost, that’s another class, that’s perfection.

The quest for the perfect cuppa started in 2015. This was the year that I slept the least.  I missed my slumber, but I sure made lots of online friends in Prague. These were Network and Security folks mainly.  Before you get ideas, I am a salaried employee, working for a 24x7 global serviced MNC. These friends are my IT colleagues, and I was practically pleading for the change-request and system security approvals.

The place where it all began, Hanoi, Paris of the east. Just about 400 days ago.  Vietnamese coffee was such a treat and sprinkle it with a few good fellow travellers, then there you get your song. I’ll tell you about that another time.

The fascination for local coffee itself, however, started years before that. Quite accidentally, in a boutique café in Empire Tower (Kuala Lumpur). It was in 2006 where I had met up with a friend after a lousy project day.  Curiously and out of self-sympathy, I asked for the ‘Poor Man’s Coffee’ that was listed. Well, what more can I say, it did live up to its name. The price of that coffee had me more miserable for the rest of the month. The taste - good that it got wanting to try more.


Now back to my premium Coffee classification. Here’s what I look for, the 7-point match in no particular order

  • Soul
  • Flavour
  • Character
  • Sweetness
  • Attention
  • Are locals drinking it
  • Is it on par with the cost of living, i.e., affordable - Local coffee should be an option rather than a privilege.

With that, I leave you with a shot taken at a café in Gurney Drive (Penang).  The city is still asleep while we enjoyed being one of their first few customers for 2017!  Four nice young coffee baristas and one Americano to see me all the way through the storm to Delphi.

Here’s to a great 2017 Coffee Search!