Nobody does it better…

I guess all my friends would know jolly well that I am a coffee drinker and not a tea person and one thing I’ve noticed is that the coffee is somewhat different between Penang, KL and Sibu.

I found the coffee in Penang very black and sweet…

Penang kopi-o

…with some hint of the flavour of coffee which is more than I can say about KL coffee. In the capital, the coffee that I had had was black and sweet with a sourish tinge but somehow, I could not taste the coffee at all.

I do not know what they use to make the coffee in the coffee shops in the two cities, perhaps those ready-packed factory-made coffee powder…but I did not enjoy it at all and ordered each time more out of habit than anything else.

The coffee that I had at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the Penang International Airport was fine…

Coffee Bean coffee

…and also those that I had had at the hotels. I guess they must have those all-in-one coffee percolators that would grind the coffee beans and brew the fresh coffee to be served. They all tasted like…coffee, even the ultra-diluted one that I had on my MAS flight from KLIA to Sibu…

MAS coffee

…but they were all not “kao” enough, being so watered-down that they sadly lacked the “oomph” that I would seek in my coffee.

In my younger days, the coffee shop people in the town would sit on a stool outside their premises in the afternoon when business was relatively slower, roasting the coffee beans in one big black drum that they would keep turning round and round over an open fire, before grinding them into coffee powder. The fragrance would fill the whole neighbourhood, reaching far and wide. I do not seem to see them doing that anymore…but we can get the coffee powder freshly-ground from roasted coffee beans in your presence at a shop in the town.

Perhaps some of the coffee shops get their regular supply from that shop as well for the coffee at quite a number of them in the town is very nice…

Soon Hock's kopi-o-peng

Some, of course, will tell you that the best coffee may be found at a coffee shop in Sungai Merah and they would go all the way just to drink the coffee there. Personally, I do not mind as long as it is good enough which is more than I can say about the coffee in Penang or KL. But at the end of the day, I am pretty sure that I can safely declare that nobody does it better than the Ruby Restaurant here in Sibu…

Ruby kopi-o-peng

It is kopi-o or black coffee that has been whisked in a blender to get that extra body and a whole lot of froth – something along the same lines as teh tarek…except that this method is more sophisticated than the traditional way those mamak stalls use to make the tea. Thus, when served with ice in a tall glass, it actually looks like Guiness Stout. Just one sip and you will be able to tell why this one is simply THE best!