Coffee in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai — where the warm hospitality of SE Asia meets the aesthetic innovation of the PNW
There isn't really a way to convey the quaint-ness of this tiny — fits 6 (American) people — cafe.
The staff put a great deal of care into the cute aesthetics, packaging, menus, and signage. There are vintage film cameras and Kinfolk magazines dotting the small shop, with reclaimed wood and shiplap walls. It made our PNW crew of 5 feel like we were in SE Portland and not SE Asia. The print material was so thoughtful and complex in both Thai & English. The drinks were phenomenal — while we didn't have anything traditional (the speciality drinks were definitely the boast of the shop) we enjoyed several different drinks with some containing activated charcoal, sweetened cream, rose water, and lime tonic to name a few. We came to learn later that this is one of 7 shops owned by a Chiang Mai restauranteur we run into later.
Fa (pictured above) is a LEGEND. Owner of surely the 7 coolest shops in SE Asia and genuinely one of the kindest human beings I've met. He actually sought out Sam on instagram, asking her to bring our crew by while we were in the area to visit his shop! We showed up a few days later unannounced and he made us feel so at home with a barrage of coffee concoctions and sweets (check out that matcha drizzle cake above !!!) The Barishotel is not only a Dutch-Worthy designed shop, it is also a beautiful boutique hotel with 2 rooms to let. Fa gave us a tour and we will definitely book one the next time we are in Chiang Mai — so cool!
Equator Coffee x Sudden
Sam & I have spent a good bit of time in Marin, CA visiting her family this past year, and a staple in that area is definitely Equator. They gave me a box of these instant vials they did in collaboration with Sudden for my travels to Thailand and they were a true life saver on a couple 10+ hour flights that *no one* should ever be forced to drink the gross airplane coffee on! There are several companies doing this instant vibe right now, but this is only one I've tried so far!
We didn't make it to every single shop on this map, but were filled in by local baristas and friends that have visited Chiang Mai before. If you think there is something missing, or something should be excluded — let me know!