With the boom in the number of posh places that serves top-quality coffee nowadays, it would be extremely difficult to break the ‘market’ to offer something different for a change. In my opinion, Black Bean Coffee does just that; stayed away from the usual norm of making the place look so lavish and concentrate on what is important: THE COFFEE.
Unlike all other establishments around who advertise themselves as offering the best Arabica beans from various coffee estates around the world, Black Bean Coffee does just the opposite. Arabica coffees are known for their quality and better taste and can only be grown in very specific high attitude cold climate areas, as opposed to robusta coffee (Read more about arabica vs robusta here). Liberica coffee is a different class of coffee from the arabica and the robusta (different plant characteristic). The liberica coffee originated from Africa and made its way to Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia.
Black Bean Coffee introduces Sarawak’s very own coffee called “Sarawak Liberica”, which originates from the hilly southern region of Sarawak from small scale Bidayuh and local chinese plantations. The coffee beans are brought to Kuching and then freshly (and passionately) roasted by the store owner himself, Mr. Chang (He has a roasterie just behind the shop), making Black Bean Coffee the place that serves the most fresh coffee, literally. It is in this context that I feel that labeling them as the Starbucks of Sarawak is only appropriate not to mention deserving. Tasting the flavour from the delicately but well-roasted Sarawak Liberica beans is all you need to agree with me.
Black Bean Coffee offers other coffee types such as the arabic and robusta from different parts of the world. As a first-timer to Black Bean Coffeee, and having never tried Sarawak’s own coffee beans, I was definitely curious and must try the Sarawak Liberica coffee. I ordered the Americano so that I can taste the bean’s natural flavour, without the milk and sugar contaminating the original taste. The first sip was… heavenly. The full aroma as the cup nears the nose was already an obvious indication on how exotic the flavour would be. Indeed it was sharp and strong. My friend who ordered the Ice Mocha using the Sarawak Liberica beans noticed that he was still feeling the effect of the coffee hours after we left!
Picture (left): I was curious about how the Sarawak Liberica taste, so that was my obvious choice of beans. Picture (right): Smooth and silky frothed milk prepared by the skilled ‘barista’ for the Cafe Latte complete with a cookie!
Black Bean Coffee is located at Ewe Hai Street (at the end of Carpenter Street). It’s quite easy to find. Just walk along Carpenter Street towards the temple and you will be able to spot Black Bean Coffee very easily at the end of the street. For the locals who know their way around Carpenter Street, its just opposite Life Cafe. Like any cities, parking is a pain, especially in this area of the city. My recommendation would be to park in Merdeka Mall and just walk down Carpenter Street (it’s a lovely stroll anyway)!
Please take note that Black Bean Coffee only operates during the day time (9.00am-6.00pm) and they do not open at night. They do not open on Sundays as well.
My happiness at Black Bean Coffee was short-lived! We were on quite a tight schedule so I only had the chance to try their Americano using the Sarawak Liberica beans. When I get the chance to go Kuching again, I would definitely want to drop by and savour the other flavours! Why go to those posh establishment and pay a monstrous price when you can have the BEST and MOST FRESH coffee in the Starbucks of Sarawak: Black Bean Coffee!