A coffee-shop morning without the traffic!
I had just finished drinking my first homemade cold brew of the morning when my wife came downstairs and suggested we go to a coffee shop. I looked at the freshly iced glass and figured I could handle getting out of the house. We loaded up our two-month-old and headed out. Honestly, I had pretty low expectations for the coffee shop but figured it would be nice to see a new place.
A true coffee shop on PhutthaMonthon Sai 2
We arrived at Seen on PhutthaMonthon Sai 2 around 9am. It was easy to find and had easy parking both pluses when you need a little more caffeine and have a baby to cart around. From the first moment of stepping into the air-conditioned space, I could tell this was a “coffee shop”. A few people in conversation around tables that took advantage of the large picture windows, a couple of busy baristas, and a chef going over the fantastic menu set the scene. This was not just your run of the mill shop that slops together some “espresso” and carnation sweetened condensed milk, this was a coffee shop that smelled like it knew coffee.
The first impression is all about the delightful deserts that lined the counter, but I was more interested in what was behind the counter. I spotted some gooseneck kettles and saw more than one hopper full of beans. This may be better than I thought, I thought to myself. I started off with an espresso and the barista asked if I wanted the premium or a normal shot, “premium of course”…though I was unsure what the premium would entail. I took a seat near the window that had a view of a green garden, got my son arranged in his stroller for his nap and awaited my second jolt of caffeine. Once again to my surprise and the surprise of my tongue I got a very unique shot of espresso.
The shot came with a nice reddish crema and a tasty pecan cookie. On first taste of the premium espresso, I was shocked by how sour the shot was. I was expecting a dark shot so this really threw me. I had never had an espresso shot like this and to be honest I am not sure I liked it. I talked with the barista who explained that the sour flavor was indeed intended. The beans used were a medium roast from Ethiopia which explains the fruity acidic punch I got. I finished the shot. I should have asked what beans were used for the shot before drinking because my expectations were just so opposite to what I got.
Something I really appreciated was that the barista took the time to explain the coffee and the flavors I should be tasting. Now that I’m more prepared for such a distinctive shot I think I would enjoy it more. I’m excited that Seen is so close to my house because I can try out new unique coffees and have someone who knows about them talk me through the tasting process. I look forward to my next premium shot.
Yes, this latte is pretty but more importantly it was really delicious. Drip coffee is more my go to, but sometimes a latte just hits the spot. The latte at Seen was served perfectly hot, not lukewarm like I have had some places. And of course, the barista did not ask if I want it sweet or not. The espresso’s rich flavor came through the creamy milk to create a very satisfying drink. I have drunk a lot of lattes and this is one I would come back for.
Pour Over (drip coffee)
So I may have overindulged, but I was so excited to be in a coffee shop that offered so many great ways to drink coffee. I had to order the pour over. A bit pricey, 150฿, but you do not find this often on the outskirts of Bangkok so I indulged. Rather than go through a description of the coffee, which was a light roast from Tanzania and very different from my medium-dark roasts at home, here is a video of Peeraprong brewing it up right.
After consuming way too much coffee in such a short time, I decided to take Ashur for a little stroll. Behind Seen they have garden or courtyard seating complete with statues and a fountain. Despite the heat, the plants shading the area, fans and a few drops of water from the fountain made the area very pleasant. As lunchtime approached, more people filled in to get their afternoon caffeine bump, and we decided it was time to go.
I would recommend Seen as a coffee shop that can offer a complete coffee drinking experience. From single origin espresso shots to well-prepared pour overs. Both baristas were knowledgeable and enjoyed sharing their knowledge with me. The environment was very nice and comfortable to sit and enjoy the space.