Throughout my blogging journey, I’ve been blessed to have helpful friends who are more than happy to guide me when it comes to wine, fine dining and also coffee. I had a coffee phase back in 2010 where I wanted to learn as much as I could about coffee so I read plenty of books from renowned food authors and articles from coffee connoisseurs.
Looking back, I feel the way I wrote about coffee was somewhat contrived and to a certain extent, pretentious. I was describing what I read good coffee should taste like, rather than what I personally thought about the coffee. It wasn’t until two or three years back when I decided to write coffee the way I do now.
Honestly as a consumer, the COE bit doesn’t matter much to me. A barista may use a COE certified coffee beans but if they don’t make your coffee properly, it would taste like any other coffee at the end of the day. That said, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped appreciating coffee. I just choose not to overthink and overanalyse it, to fully enjoy the experience of a cuppa. ;)
Macallum Connoisseurs in Penang is one place I would recommend for a good cuppa when you’re up north. This isn’t just a spot for coffee, but a roastery and coffee academy as well. The place is huge, with plenty of seating space – though I wonder if the staff are able to cope when it’s a full house.
I can’t remember what beans they served that day, but I know it’s of the milder (fruitier) category. A sip of rif’s long black allowed me to manage my expectations when it came to the flat white – it was going to be muted in flavour with a strong milk note. And I was right.
I guess when it comes to milk-based coffee, the lighter beans don’t quite hack it for me. They are great on their own (black, pourover and syphon) but the milk tends to mask their flavour and aroma. So I suggest asking your barista what beans are available that day before deciding if you want a black coffee or a milk-based one.
That said, the long black rif ordered was quite good; it had a nice balance of fruitiness and acidity, with a delicate finish. It tasted even better when it cooled down slightly — that was when the floral and citrus notes were more pronounced.
Macallum Connoisseurs also offers syphon coffees and cold brew if I’m not mistaken – so if you’re feeling adventurous, let one of the nice baristas make a recommendation. We didn’t order any food here (because I was saving space for hawker food later on) though we did share a tiramisu (RM14). That was quite good so do give it a try.
All in, I like the ambiance and coffee here. Would definitely come back for coffee if I’m in Penang. A note though; I suspect it can be quite noisy come night time. We were there in the evening so things were less chaotic. ;)
Food: 7/10 (non halal)
Verdict: A place for good coffee in Penang.
No. 1, Gat Lebuh Macallum,
10300, Georgetown, Penang.
Tel: 04-261 3597, 011-1259 1459