A rotating multiroaster approach with espresso drinks and manual brews. A record player kicking out classic soul. Mugs with mustaches. Antique grinders and old typewriters decorating the reclaimed wood and exposed brick walls. A partnership with an adjoining upscale salon.
These particular elements would sound right at home in Brooklyn, Portland or Los Angeles, but in this case they belong to Caffe Crema, which recently opened in the heart of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Crema is the coffee-focused project from restaurateur Elvin S., who also last year opened two Japanese restaurants (Bari-Uma and Kodawari Menya) in the city.
The cafe itself occupies a small space inside the Mont Kiara plaza, with indoor and open-air seating for customers to enjoy the house blend, composed of coffees from three individual producers in Brazil, and Indonesia, respectively. The cafe has also been carrying roasted coffees from Singapore’s Oriole Coffee, as well from Malaysian roaster The Roast Things.
Crema representative Xavier Mah recently told us that a large part of Crema’s business mission is outreach — furthering appreciation locally for the craft of coffee brewing. The baristas go so far as to give hands-on instruction on brewing fundamentals to the more curious customers.
“Specialty coffee is picking up rapidly in Malaysia, although there is still some need to educate our target demographic,” Mah says. “Coffee loving Malaysians are inculcating the culture among friends and acquaintances, and through the multiplier effect, more people are knowledgeable on what it takes to make a good cup of coffee.”