Chiang Mai is a popular travel destination for both locals and expats, especially for those who love nature. But it’s actually coffee lovers who may be the most pleasantly surprised at how perfectly Chiang Mai captures the spirit they seek. Indeed, there are dozens of fine places to visit for a glass of rich, aromatic coffee in this beautiful city surrounded by mountains and trees. Here are some of the finest cafes in Chiang Mai for you to try on your visit.
Opening hours: 09:00-17:00
With its vintage interior, Graph Café feels just like home. The café also plays just the right songs to listen to, when you’re enjoying a refreshing cup of coffee. Although it has a remarkably comfortable atmosphere, the café is so small that it can fit only a few people at the same time. Yet even the small size has its own appeal; you will enjoy the café’s intimate ambience, as you take in the smell of coffee and the sound of steaming milk.
Opening hours: 07:00-18:00
Ristr8to is the definition of professionalism when it comes to coffee. The owner of this café spent a few years in Australia to gain experience in the coffee industry. When he came back, he opened Ristr8to to brew his own style of amazing coffee for locals and tourists alike. In 2017, he became World Latte Art Champion, and also joined some other prestigious competitions. Over the years, the café has turned into a tourist attraction, mainly due to the specialty coffee that it offers. If you’re a coffee-lover, you’ll be over the moon with all the options that you can choose from – with every sip feeling like perfection.
Cottontree Coffee Roasters
Opening hours: 08:00-16:00
In 2015, Cottontree Coffee Roasters was opened by a Thai couple named Fai and Ton. Their names translate into English as Cotton and Tree, respectively, giving the café a clever and unique name. The couple wanted to have a space for visitors to unwind and relax – and so they filled it with handmade furniture. Once you step in, you’ll also find high ceilings along with indoor plants. In fact, Cottontree has an almost industrial feel to it, with its wooden features and tones. Of course, we can’t forget about the coffee. Cottontree has a nice collection of signature drinks, including filter coffee and plenty of variations.
Akha Ama Café
Opening hours: 08:00-17:30
Another excellent and inventive place to visit is Akha Ama Café, which opened its doors for the first time in 2010. The café was named after the Akha tribe, and it also functions as a social enterprise. The owner wanted to help the tribe by selling their beans at a price that they are happy with – an initiative that has caused the café to attract far more customers in recent years. They offer a range of drinks to choose from, which are very reasonably priced. The décor might not blow your mind, but at Akha Ama, it’s all about the coffee – especially as it’s all grown in Thailand.
West of the city centre, No.39 is a hip glass-house café that is located alongside a pond. Take your time as you sit outside by the trees and the water, enjoying a cup of coffee with calm nature views around you. The café also has an indoor space that was converted from a Thai house, creating a homey atmosphere.
Opening hours: 07:00-22:30
Last but not least, if you’re staying at Centara’s own Khum Phaya Resort & Spa, you’ll find an excellent café just down the road, called MythTea. If you’re looking for a place to drink good roasted coffee without having to travel too far, this is the right place for you. MythTea serves tea as well as coffee, making it a perfect stop for every traveller looking for energy and refreshment.
Although Thailand may not be famous overseas for its coffee, cafes in Chiang Mai offer excellent quality in a relaxing environment. So start your day off with a nice cup of ice or hot coffee prepared just the way you like it, as you get ready for each day of exploration.