A haven for coffee lovers
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A haven for coffee lovers

Iconsiam offers a plethora of cafes for those in need of a jolt of joe

A haven for coffee lovers
The cafe is designed by an award-winning Tokyo-based studio, and boasting a state-of-the-art roasting chamber centrepiece.

No reasons are ever needed for a person to pursue a good cup of coffee. And no coffee genres are better than others. What only matters is the coffee that suits and soothes you. For those who haven't found your caffeine match, let me introduce you to four visit-worthy coffee shops at the luxury Iconsiam complex.

A visit to the mega-sized mall, blessed with more than a dozen cafes of various genres, on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River always promises to leave coffee connoisseurs indulged, inspired and well caffeinated.

At this very minute no speciality coffee brand is more run-after by coffee enthusiasts in Bangkok than % Arabica.

It's very common to witness an extremely long, curving queue of customers outside its store, which opened on June 1.

The brand % Arabica (pronounced without the "%") is the brainchild of Kenneth Shoji, a UCLA graduate and well-versed coffee connoisseur.

Shoji opened his flagship cafe in Kyoto, Japan, in 2014, which quickly became a global sensation.

The Bangkok outlet, the first in Thailand, marks the brand's 58th outlet in the world and biggest in Southeast Asia.

The brand's % logo portrays two coffee cherries on a branch, and not a mathematical symbol.

The 250m² space, the visual work of an award-winning Tokyo-based design studio, boasts a minimalist yet illuminating interior with a state-of-the-art roasting chamber as the cafe's centrepiece.

Customers can always choose a roasting level for green coffee beans to match their preference.

According to the brand's representative, the period to enjoy the roasted coffee bean at its best is between the fourth and seventh day after roasting. The roasted beans should not be shipped by plane because air pressure will deteriorate quality. Thus the beans must be roasted locally.

The cafe menu is modest, offering espresso- and drip-based coffees and a few other drinks, namely matcha green tea latte, lemonade and drinking water.

Customers may choose whether they want blend or single origin coffee. The house blend is crafted with beans from multiple origins including Brazil and Ethiopia, and has a medium-dark roast character. Thanks to caramel and chocolatey notes, the blended coffee is perfect for latte.

Selections of single origin beans here are ever-changing and handpicked by Shoji to showcase the season's best harvests.

The beans are lightly roasted to demonstrate their natural flavour profile. Options currently available are from Peru, Ethiopia, Columbia and the brand's own farm in Kona, Hawaii.

An espresso shot is priced at 105 baht for a blend coffee and 120 baht for single origin. The popular latte costs 130-180 baht per cup.

The best time, though not always guaranteed, to avoid long queues are weekday mornings. Last order is 9pm so it's highly recommended that you be there at least an hour earlier to ensure your order is placed before the shop closes.

% Arabica is located on 1st floor of Iconsiam. Open daily 10am-9pm. Call 065-979-8100

Iced popcorn latte with caramel sauce.

Decked out with black marble, concrete and copper to represent the sleek character of CPS Chaps, CPS coffee is a first-step of the clothing brand to expand into a gastronomic venture.

Tucked beside its fashion boutique on the 1st floor of Iconsiam, the cafe offers a nice selection of coffee prepared with signature blends of coffee beans as well as other gourmet drinks and a few light bites.

From the coffee menu, worth having include Caramel Dirty (160 baht), a full-body coffee layered with house-made caramel sauce and thick milk froth; and popcorn latte (180 baht), an iced coffee latte topped with caramel popcorn.

The cafe's sleek interior represent the fashionable character of CPS Chaps clothing brand.

Signature Thai Tea x Cocoa (150 baht), a perfect marriage of bitter dark cocoa and ambrosial sweet Thai milk tea; and Chai Tea Rose (150 baht), a refreshingly fizzy concoction of Indian spiced tea, rose syrup and soda, are guaranteed to satisfy tea aficionados.

Sandwiches and bakery items are developed in house and are a collaboration with some of Thailand's famous chefs. Try butter croissant (100 baht), salmon sandwich (220 baht) and soft-baked cookies (90 baht).

A promotional discount of buy one get one free is offered for the drink menu until the end of June.

CPS Coffee is located on 1st floor of Iconsiam. Open daily 10am-9pm. Call 063-494-4035

Inspire Me MQDC doubles as a privilege lounge and a lifestyle cafe for public.

At first glance, Inspire Me MQDC may look like a high-end gallery with its own coffee bar.

Highly-invested in every detail from decor to product to service quality, the 290m² space is in fact a privilege lounge that also serves as a lifestyle cafe for the public.

A venture by real-estate developer Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC), Inspire Me is conceptualised to offer first-class hospitality intertwined with homely warmth.

The bar offers a large selection of speciality coffees, including nitro-pressed, syphoned, hand-dripped and Mavam espresso, the latter brewed by a 1 million baht Mavam coffee machine.

Variations of beans on offer are single origin beans from Thailand's Nan province and from Canta Don Tito Geisha, Panama.

The 'Wonder Four Tastes Of Thailand'.

Menu highlights include cold-brew Americano topped with coconut milk (150 baht); nitro-pressed oolong tea with rose syrup (150 baht); and cold brew coffee with orange juice (140 baht).

To complement your drink, a set called "Wonder Four Tastes Of Thailand" featuring assorted Thai snacks and desserts is a highlight of the season.

However, individual light bites such as soup, salad, pasta and pastries are also available. Prices range from 120 to 250 baht.

The lounge's main area comfortably accommodates 50 guests. A private meeting room can cater up to 15 guests.

Complimentary welcome drink and special discount are offered to all MQDC residents.

Inspire Me MQDC is located on 1st floor of Iconsiam. Open daily 10am-9pm. Call 02-006-0020

Twilight, a cold-brew espresso shot topped with fresh orange juice, peach syrup and soda.

A homegrown cafe brand born in Bangkok's far-flung residential district and now expanding to a few cities in Japan, Red Diamond since it was first launched three years ago has been much loved by coffee fans across the city.

A wholesome cafe experience curated by meticulously-trained baristas and enlivened by upbeat music and like-minded crowd is the key of success here.

Beans come from its own plantation as well as from various sources around the world. The selection ranges from various choices of single origin beans to light-roast blend of Kenya and Ethiopia beans; medium-roast blend of Thailand and Brazil beans; and light-medium roast blend of Guatemala, Columbia and Panama beans. To match with fine beans are first-rate brewing machines.

Among the most popular menus are Dirty Coffee (140 baht), an espresso shot on top of cold milk that exhibits a rich aroma, well-rounded flavour and balanced mouthfeel; and Twilight (180 baht), a cold-brew espresso shot topped with fresh orange juice, peach syrup and soda.

Another best seller is the Sex Bomb (140 baht), a concoction of house blend coffee and black cocoa with vanilla syrup; and Virgin Dirty (140 baht), a full glass of chocolate milk on top of an espresso shot with chocolate sauce garnish.

Red Diamond Cafe is located on ground floor of Iconsiam. Open daily 10am-9pm. Call 063-835-1956

A wholesome cafe experience curated by meticulously-trained baristas is Red Diamond's key of success.

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