When I describe walking into a shop with three grinders and a Slayer sitting around, one could imagine I’m talking about some kind of torture chamber. But for those who know their espressos, they’ll know what I’m really talking about is coffee making equipment, and that such equipment is always a sign of good coffee.
Pacamara is the latest retail outlet for the Espresso Friend group who, true to their name, seem to have been pushing the gourmet coffee movement forward in Thailand for some time. Located in the trendy Rain Hill shopping plaza between Phrom Phong and Thong Lor (home to the likes of Wine Connection), this bite-sized coffee bar is proving that big things do indeed come in small packages.
And by big things, I mean mean big flavour. I tried the Roaster Blend as a macchiato, and the hallowed Slayer dealt out a powerful shot. Most decent origin or blend espressos I taste in Bangkok these days seem to follow a similar pattern, but this was somewhat unique: a strong initial bite with a very slight acidity, dropping away into a long, smooth chocolaty finish. The tasting notes for this blend mentioned milk chocolate, but I think this had more in common with dark chocolate, the initial bite, the slight bitterness. Not the best foam I’ve had in a macchiato, but I’ll be coming back for more of this.
The owners have obviously put a lot of time and effort into the space, and it really shines. The shop is decked out in retro kicks, sure to look great on instagram. My only reason for a ‘7’ for atmosphere is the size of the shop – I can imagine on a weekend it could get quite busy, and there wouldn’t be enough space to sit down, tune out, and really get to know their coffee intimately. Perhaps that’s my Melbourne background showing through – we have endless space – and maybe it’s not really of concern to your average Bangkokian.
From the taste of the coffee and the background of the business, it seems to me that the owners really take their roasting seriously, and their ‘coffee map’ of Bangkok shows a community spirit that indicates they’re in this for the love of coffee. It’s no surprise then that Pacamara offer educational cupping sessions on the weekends, to spread their knowledge. I will be purchasing some of their beans to try at home and will keep you posted 😉