The maker and their method: Bangkok’s coffee scene

Our Interior Designer Elysia recently visited Thailand and in this Takeover Tuesday looks at the coffee culture in Bangkok and some of the interesting interior design features she discovered in the city’s numerous cafés.

Thailand is home to a booming coffee culture, with cafes popping up all over the country to cater to coffee lovers - coffee is taken seriously over here.

In recent years, Bangkok has seen the rise of a new wave of artisan and craft coffee shops. These independents offer a unique and personalised experience to coffee lovers, with their specialty blends, single-origin beans, and signature brews. From the cozy and intimate spaces of Akkrasi and Sarnies, to the more contemporary and stylish Milkbar and Gallery Drip Coffee, the variety of options caters to the different preferences of customers. Some of these new coffee shops have also teamed up with local producers and farmers to source their beans and promote sustainability and fair trade.

This trend reflects the growing interest and appreciation for quality coffee and the creativity and passion of the Thai coffee scene.

Coffee shop image
Specialist coffee and tea shops in Asia Pacific recorded 8% value growth between 2017 and 2022, reaching $26.9 billion

In Bangkok, coffee shops have taken the art of making coffee to a whole new level. The preparation of a cup of coffee has transcended beyond merely brewing beans; it has become a ritual and a form of meditation for baristas. When you walk into a coffee shop in Bangkok, you will find that the entire experience is different from what you're used to. From the careful selection of the beans to grinding and brewing, each step is carried out with precision and care. This attention to detail is then paired with a serene atmosphere and comforting aromas, creating a meditative experience for both the barista and the customer. Bangkok's coffee culture has elevated the preparation of coffee from a simple act to an art form, and it is an experience worth indulging in.

Along with the taste of the crafted and roasted coffee, customers also pay attention to the ambience these cafés offer, these places you could say are hand-picked by the coffee roaster themselves, merging a story with space and an artisan craft. Customers are encouraged to work, socialise, and relax. These new artisan and craft coffee shops in Bangkok are more than just places to grab a cup of coffee. Many have expanded their offerings to include gallery spaces or co-working areas, making them a hub for creativity and productivity. One example is Baan Saen Saep Brewing Co, located in a converted old publishing warehouse that has been transformed into a creative hub for young businesses, art events and social space.  Not only does it server up fantastic coffee but also features a rotating selection of art exhibits and hosts workshops and events. The coffee shop's airy, minimalist design centres around using the existing space features, incorporating a minimalistic menu, a friendly cat and utilizing a huge steel fame window for natural light. The antique furniture, rustic timbers, concrete floors contrast against the new shiny coffee machine and neon branding, showing that space is separate and to be enjoyed at one’s leisure.

coffee shop image

Moving onto an entirely different space in the new commercial shopping centre ICONSIM, the % coffee store stood out like a beacon of white among the shops it centres around a central coffee counter with seating around the edge. A central counter in a coffee shop has many benefits. Firstly, it allows customers to witness the making of their coffee, giving them assurance that the coffee is being prepared fresh. See the baristas working with blends and brewing methods intensified by the mirrored panelled ceiling. This interaction adds to the personalised experience for the customers. Additionally, a central counter design ensures a faster ordering process, leading to lower wait times and increased customer satisfaction. This layout also allows the coffee shop to operate efficiently and provide quality service at peak times. Overall, a central counter design in a coffee shop provides customers with a more engaging and enjoyable experience.

shopping centre image

The crafted coffee shops of Bangkok are exciting, artisan and designed around the maker and their method, from independents to well loved chains, it places the culture around coffee at the heart of each experience.

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