There is a saying which goes ‘I don’t need an inspirational quote, what I need is a freaking cup of coffee’.
Indeed, many, especially journalists, essentially survive on coffee and whisper it softly, cigarettes (although thankfully, that awful habit is no longer allowed inside offices and restaurants).
Coffee, however, is thriving all over the world, especially in the Klang Valley where a new cafe seems to pop up every other week or so. One such outlet, which has been operating in Plaza Mont Kiara since April is What’s On Tap, “a specialty coffee shop that offers a complete sensory experience through its clever cafe design and curated range of speciality coffee”.
A family-owned business – Eric Chung is the head barista and founder while his older brother Andrew, who runs a renovation and interior design business, designed the strikingly white and minimal interior of the cafe.
To paraphrase Robert Duvall’s character Lt Col Bill Kilgore in ‘Apocalypse Now’, “I love the smell of coffee in the morning”. And that is just what you get when you walk into What’s On Tap which is designed to ignite all five senses – the smell of coffee roasting, the visuals of machinery and art, the sounds of coffee shop activity, and the taste and touch of a cup of coffee.
Eric, the younger of the siblings by seven years, said: “We aim to minimise the gap between coffee drinkers and the coffee-making experience. Here, you get an unobstructed view of the whole coffee-brewing process over the counter.
“This makes it so that you’re not just taking away a cup of coffee, but an entire experience along with it.”
He also revealed What’s On Tap hopes to become the first outlet to have locally brewed specialty coffee.
“There are many local coffee growers in Malaysia and we are liaising with someone who is growing specialty grade coffee. Hopefully somewhere down the road, we can start roasting the coffee and we can serve Malaysian specialty grade coffee,” said the 32-year-old barista.
“I believe we will be the first to do this. I think the coffee farmers are roasting the beans themselves and probably selling them but in limited supply. We will be the first to serve it in a ‘cafe’.
“We will definitely shout it loud and proud when we do so as we are a local business and we want to support other local businesses as well.”
Eric said that was also the reason they engaged local brand Pestle & Mortar to design What’s On Tap merchandise.
“We try to support the local community where we can. But having said that, our equipment is imported.
“Other specialty coffee shops depend on a famous barista or someone who has won competitions to be the front of the business. We are using lots of machines to make the coffee and we can assure you every single cup of coffee is up to world standard.”
For the uninitiated, specialty coffee refers to the process from farmer to cup using single-origin coffee, the way the coffee is roasted and how it is extracted.
The bean which scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale by the Specialty Coffee Association will be classified “specialty”.
With What’s On Tap’s concept of having specialty coffee on tap, you can be assured every order of your ‘hug in a mug’ will be of world-class standard.