A Coffee Lover's Guide to Chiang Mai's Local Cafés
For some people, coffee is the fuel that makes their personal world go round, and for many, bliss is sitting in their favourite little café sipping away at the perfectly brewed espresso. No matter what your relationship is with coffee, we have some great recommendations for you whenever you are in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is well-known for its artistic character and everything we are about to share with you demonstrates the craftsmanship, design, creativity, and authenticity that Chiang Mai has to offer.
Mao Coffee (Drunk on Coffee)
In the local Northern dialect, the standard Thai term ‘mao coffee' or 'drunk on coffee', might be translated as 'hug mao', which can also mean “to admire”, so it basically means “to be admired” by coffee (maybe too much to the point that you get drunk from it). Just like its name suggests, you might indeed find yourself a little 'Mao' after some of these beverages, as the menu includes items made with Kahlúa i - so don't get coffee drunk!
The unique selling point of this café is that you mix your own coffee. The coffee is served in a set that consists of a small bottle of coffee, a bottle of milk; and a glass of ice. You can mix it whichever way you like - an iced latte or an iced flat white - it's totally up to you.
The café is designed in the Lanna style, with spacious outdoor seating as well as an air-conditioned indoor area.
The Baristro at Ping River
This minimalist café is located by the Ping River, which is one of the main rivers, along with the Wang, Yom, and Nan rivers, that flow into the Chao Phraya River. You can choose to sit inside or dwell on the history and beauty of the river outside.
A must-try menu item here is the Black Latte. The highlight is the frosted chocolate around the rim of the glass. Even better , have the salted caramel cheesecake to go with it. Images (https://www.bkkmenu.com/eat/we-recommend/the-baristro-at-ping-river.html)
Kopi is an old Chinese word for coffee, and it’s not just any kind of coffee. A Thai or Thai-Chinese person thinks of kopi, as strong black coffee that is mixed with either condensed milk or sugar.
This café is located in a wooden house that was built over a hundred years ago.It's appointed with retro style decorations and furniture. Just like a mini-museum of goodies from years gone by, you will see toys, old advertisement posters, and many popular household goods from the past.
There is no latte, flat-white, or cappuccino here, but rather just hot and cold kopi with other traditional drinks worth trying along with the homemade toast smothered with butter, sugar, and condensed milk.
With 80's music playing in the background, coupled with their retro menu and surroundings, you will definitely feel a twinge of nostalgia.
Although this is not a café per se, it is nonetheless well worth visiting for those who love coffee. The Coffeenery is known as the biggest coffee education centre in Asia. You can take a tour and see how beans grow, learn how to roast coffee beans, and find out how to make the perfect cup of coffee. The coffee beans grown here are 100% organic and many of them are exported to Japan and other countries.
If you are thinking of starting your own coffee business, the Coffeenery is a must as they also act as a supplier to original coffee equipment manufacturers, and can supply on-demand.