Words by: Ashiya
Remember the time when Coffee was just coffee? We drank either an instant packet available on shelf, or a plain black coffee, perhaps splashed with milk or sugar. But the demand of the changing lifestyles and taste among us has ushered in unique flavors and blends of coffees from all over the world. Long gone are the days when our coffee shops served us with just regular coffees. Instead, coffee connoisseurs of our nation are serving us the best in the coffee business; with Specialty Coffee (coffee brewed from high quality coffee beans) winning over the market. With our coffee culture extending more towards the quality of the coffee over its quantity, new coffee places seem to be popping up every now and then, and today our capital city is brimming with a top-notch coffee culture.
We have plenty of popular coffee hangouts in town, but read on to see some of my favorite coffee bar / shop to enjoy that special sip.
(Palato meaning “palate” in italian)
Photo Credits: Palato Frostys
Once you step in this gorgeous establishment, it is impossible not to notice the charming (and comfortably spacious) interior decor with smooth cement flooring and walls, concrete tables, overhead hanging potted plants and lights which complement the warm ambience of the shop. This is a great place to write, or read a book while you absorb in the vibe of this homey and relaxing coffee shop.
Palato Frostys is visually appealing, but they are not all about Instagram-worthy interiors. They also serve freshly brewed coffee harvested mostly from Ethiopian regions, as Ethiopian coffee beans are well known for their heavy body with citrusy notes. If you are not a coffee person enjoy some of their artisan fruit teas made with dried organic fruits or an Ice-lemon tea served in a cute copper mug. During day time they also serve roasted beef and smoked turkey bacon sandwiches made in brioche bread which is baked in-house, along with fine-european gourmet desserts, cupcakes and savories. My personal favorite is the Chocolate Hazelnut and Chocolate Truffle which is a treat!
Meraki Coffee Roasters
Photo Credits: Meraki Coffee Roasters
An intimate modern rustic interior, exposed red bricks walls beautified with potted plants, vintage trinkets, comforting ambience and a genuinely inviting environment. Meraki’s passion for coffee is infectious and their baristas know what they are doing.
The founder of Meraki, Mabrouq has paid a very special attention to make sure Meraki is a place which would “create a community of people who appreciate coffee”, hence the intimate tables. The stools at the bar lets you enjoy a coffee on your own, while watching baristas in action.
Meraki serves freshly brewed specialty coffee brewed from coffee beans harvested from all over the world including beans from Ethiopia, brazil, columbia, kenya ,El Salvador or Guatemala all depending on the coffee harvest season. These beans are roasted in-house. Your coffee will come with a glass of sparkling water and a coffee card that shares the story of the farm where the coffee beans came from.
The Civil Coffee Society
Credits: The Civil Coffee Society
The Civil Coffee Society Escape the chaos of Fareedee Magu and enter The Civil Coffee Society – a stylish, chic café where you’re certain to be greeted by the wonderful aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the welcoming smiles of their baristas. The decor is simple and elegant; their pastries and cakes freshly baked with exquisite care and incredible attention to detail. It is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon with your laptop or your best friend, savoring a hand crafted sandwich and a delicious almond croissant followed by a refined brew, all while soaking up the peaceful ambience. The large windows allow in plenty of natural light, and the wooden interiors coupled with the addition of greenery in the various nooks and corners of the café gives the entire place a very natural, homely feel. Their specialty is coffee – sourcing the best quality beans from different regions of the globe, most of it roasted with care and precision by Civil Roasters, others imported from notable international roasters. Home brewers will rejoice to learn that a selection of beans roasted by Civil Roasters are available here.
Photo Credits: Jazz Cafe
Jazz Café : Having just celebrated their sixth anniversary, Jazz Café still retains its original charm with its constant stream of jazz music, excellent coffee and amazing food. With a reputation as Malé’s favorite hangout spot, Jazz Café is the place that introduced specialty coffee to our capital, giving rise to the trend that is now increasing in popularity. They’ve constantly kept at it since their inception; expanding their space upstairs to accommodate more people, introducing the most delectable gelato, consistently serving us delicious food and brewing up amazing coffees. The food options are varied with many options to suit your tastes, the most famous dishes being their lasagna and beef burger (both rumored to be the best in town), and we hear much chatter about an earl grey crème brûlée that is to die for. Their interior consists of rich, dark wood, quirky lights and jazzy paintings hung on the walls, adding to the vibrant atmosphere that is almost always buzzing with lively conversations. They often host local musicians on their stage, the entire joint coming alive on such nights of much needed recreation. Although Jazz Café seems a bit out of the way in terms of location, it has become the go-to place for many of us.
Photo Credits : Odegalla Cafe
While walking in Ameenee Magu, during anytime of the day, it is hard not to notice Odegalla Coffee, with its name boldly displayed across the restaurant and the front veranda featuring a wooden deck with chairs and tables and a canopy of green vines adorned with lights. It’s all very beautiful, especially during night. The restaurant which also spreads over to one floor upstairs has a quite charming rustic interior when you step inside.
This place is not all about the coffee though, they also serve a full menu of variety of local and international food options, but the main spotlight is on coffee. They serve specialty coffee which is brewed from Brazilian coffee beans roasted by a local roaster. Brazilian coffee beans are known for their heavy body with milk chocolate, hazel nut and caramel notes and a hint of orange acidity.
While you are at Odegalla, do not miss some their well-known local delicacies served during evening tea: The most popular being the delicious Masroshi which will be served hot and is bigger than regular ones and also if you still have room give their kanamadhu cake a try too. You will not be disappointed.