Signature Dishes
Espresso Latte
Review (2)
A grandfather of indy cafe in Bangkok that is still going strong.   Now with ‘amarista’ at the helm most time , Happy Espresso still delivers a surprisingly good coffee.  Highly recommend!Happy Espresso is among the pioneers in  the indy coffee circle in Bangkok years back. Previously known as Bangkok Espresso Lab, I had coffee here quite some time ago from the owner and was impressed by his coffee then.  The latest incarnation of Happy Espresso is the redecoration of the shop from a little corner that was dimly lit inside an advertising shop into a full blown café with lots of natural light from an expanse of window opening to the street opposite the historic circle, making the place much more comfortable to sit and enjoy the coffee.   But a major surprise here is its barista, known as “Amarista", a blend word of grandmother in Tae Chew (common Chinese in Thai) and barista, literally meaning grandma barista. The advent of Amarista to the coffee scene in Bangkok is somehow quite a stir to the industry’s status quo that is dominated by young generations. Is this just a gimmick or a joke? The cups of coffee don’t lie and it will tell you as is.  My first coffee here is cappuccino with Cento blend which is a Thai bean espresso blend as its base coffee. What I get is a nice traditional cup of cappuccino but it’s simply good. Milk is well frothed at the right temperature, ie not too hot, and really drinkable. While this does not top what Bubble Café delivers, it is very enjoyable to drink.  No, you won’t get the atrocious sour ‘yogurt like’ unsweetened milk drink here that seems to be a dime a dozen in Bangkok. The proportion of milk to coffee and the pull of espresso in the cup are good and it contributes immensely to this lovely cappuccino, a simple thing that is unbelievably hard to find during this coffee trip in Bangkok for me. Not bad at all for the start.  Next stop is espresso of Timeless blend, comprising Brazil Bobolink, El Salvador La Hondurita and Kenya Kiamabara with the tasting note of coco, nut and cheery. The espresso is pulled quite long but not overly long so you get a rather thin cup like what some third wavers love to show off their coffee. I only get some fruitiness and sweetness in the cup a la third wave style though I couldn’t get exactly what the writing about the tasting note said. Comparing to third wavers’ blend, this coffee is not those aggressive ‘in your face’ type but this incarnation of Timeless blend is interesting and easy to drink for third wave style of coffee. I enjoy drinking this coffee. The last cup I have here is filter coffee. I choose Walkure Bayreuth Porcelain for the brew method. Happy Espresso has been a major cheerleader for this contraption for quite some time and I don’t see it use widely anywhere else. For the coffee, I choose Guatemala. The cup that came out from Walkure Bayreuth Porcelain reminds me of what I get from much talked about Swiss Gold of yesteryears fame.  To sum it up, it is an easy cup. The cup doesn’t have a clean and clear tone of good drip and Aeropress I had in Hong Kong these days but this is not an undrinkable cup. With Guatemala, I get some smoky tone and a hint of darkish back. Judging from a rather simple brewing method a la Swiss Gold, I believe Walkure Bayreuth Porcelain is not quite ready for the prime time but is excellent for newbie who doesn’t want to belabor or get frustrated with time spent on the finicky brewing coffee like hand drip. It releases newb from the burden of learning to make coffee and allows customers to really get to the gist of drinking good coffee fast, similar to the benefit of Swiss Gold filter.  That, by itself, is a more than good enough reason to choose Walkure Bayreuth Porcelain if you are new to seriously good coffee.  In all, the coffee here is very good even the owner is not around to make your coffee. I have nothing but admiration on how Happy Espresso runs and trains their staff. If Amarista is a joke, her coffee shows that it is a cruel joke on quite a few barista at third wave cafés in Bangkok, particularly those who seem to or act as if they know something about coffee vs. cups of coffee they deliver. The cup of coffee doesn’t lie. Highly recommend! continue reading
(The above review is the personal opinion of a user which does not represent OpenRice's point of view.)