Its the first weekend of the new year. And I bet some among you, especially those from outstation are still in their respective hometowns, making full use of the long weekend by just applying just one day leave from work on Friday. And if you are hoping for a place to catch up with friends, the sleepy town of Ipoh has more than 30 cafes mushrooming since last year. One might wonder is it enough to sustain the business? I was at one of them on the last Sunday of 2014. It was 9pm, the peak hour notably for youngsters to flock these cafe joints but.... there was just merely 3-4 tables occupied.
Could it be the place was less strategic. I have a tough time describing to my non-residing Ipohians as this place is neither facing the front road nor the back. It's at the side, just nearby Eu Yan Sang and a petshop at the rear corner row of shops. Okay, I will just tell you the name, since with apps like Waze, you most likely wont be lost. This randomly selected one out of the 30 over cafes for the yum char session is CoffeeTag. You will see a big "#" on their signboard.
So what makes coffee here so different than the rest of the 30 over cafes elsewhere? To do justice to CoffeeTag, I'm not really a cafe hunter myself, so I can't really benchmark it against the rest. Coffee art here is quite standard like the other cafes. This is the Capuccino (RM7.80). Do I need to elaborate much?
The Cafe Latte is also at the same price if I remember correctly. Well I did not keep the bill as I was not the person footing it. Well, these are the usual photos you see in a cafe blog post (and Facebook/instagram bombardment)
For non-coffee drinkers, they have a few range of teas from RM6 onwards. Rather than drinking something from a teabag, why not opt for the Hot Chocolate (RM9 if I am not mistaken). Ok it has been 3 photos of beverages posted and I wonder anyone of you reading would've spot a sense of dejavu. The coffee art, cups and saucers bring out a familiar feeling somewhere? Well, the "chief barista" is actually a young lad who was previously one of the trio of Bread.Espresso.Dessert (B.E.D)
And lastly, this is my drink, the Naughty (RM10). It is actually espresso with milk and Nutella! Interesting combination but the presence of Nutella was not well detected by the tastebuds, except for noticing swirls of the hazelnut cocoa spread on the walls of the glass. More for decor purpose. Or perhaps the espresso was kinda strong till it has mask the subtle hint of hazelnut-chocolatey aftertaste I expected it linger on my tongue/throat.
For the pastries, we tried the Apple Crumble Cheescake (couldn't remember its RM10 or RM12) and it turned out to be quite good. My friend must be a constant cafe goer in KL, hence she made the remark of "this version is well executed but it would be better if the cooked apples have a spicy aftertaste from cinnamon". Well, perhaps the dosage used was small, as some may not like the over-cloying taste of the spice. Choices of cakes are quite limited, just around 3 types only.
The Banana Puff (RM5.50) was somehow a bit disappointing. The filling was not memorable and the pastry was mere passable. You might want to skip this.
Probably being a personal favourite of mine, I might be biased in evaluating this. The Bread and Butter Pudding (RM8.50) is awesome! With a well baked exterior but soft and fluffy interior, the buttery presence was well felt. The vanilla ice cream worked magic not only with the custard sauce but the contrasting temperature of cold ice cream with warm bread pudding is just comfort food to cure the Sunday night blues...
Overall, there are hits and misses on the food and drinks we tried. Most items are above average but they are also far from being memorable. That is probably why I tried to skip these generic cafes. The coffees are almost the same everywhere and unless you are really a demanding coffee lover, you would've felt it is more of less the same. I mean, who the heck would pay near to RM20 for some siphon/French press whatsoever gourmet coffee (eyes staring at Espressolab). But if you are looking for a modern touch of interior design and cosy atmosphere for chit chatting, then give CoffeeTag a try, at least once :)