Reimagine Black Liquid: 103 Coffee celebrates 8 years with a fresh look & new perspectives

September 17, 2022

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If you've been exploring KL's cafes for the last decade, you've likely visited 103 Coffee, which introduced speciality coffee to Sri Petaling in 2014.

103 Coffee marked its eighth anniversary in August 2022, but its celebrations began even earlier this year.

If you've returned to 103 Coffee in the past four months, you've noticed plenty of changes. 

The cafe launched a first floor with a striking look in May, with lots of leaves and light. Its street level has now been overhauled too.

The rebranding includes a new logo, new menu and new energy, all meant to connect more profoundly with KL's coffee enthusiasts.

'Reimagine Black Liquid' is 103 Coffee's latest vision, a promise to push the boundaries for how we consider coffee - so far, it's a smash with customers; when we checked in here on a recent weekday afternoon, both levels were buzzing with liveliness.

Read on for our encounter with 103 Coffee's latest offerings, plus an interview with Irvine Quek, 103 Coffee's accomplished head of branding and marketing. Irvine is only 24, but he has already been a barista for eight years, winning the World Latte Art Championship in 2018 and World Latte Art Battle in 2019.

Watch our video on 103 Coffee's latest evolution here!

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EDKL: How has 103 Coffee evolved and changed since its start? 

Irvine: A lot of things have changed - from a small cafe that serves coffee from suppliers, to having our own roastery; from serving simple cafe food to having an extensive dining menu. 

But one thing that never changed is our passion towards customer service. 

I believe that’s the thing that keeps us going, because all the changes and evolutions are meant to serve our customers better. 

EDKL: What are 103 Coffee’s main strengths - what should customers expect of the current 103 Coffee when they visit? 

Irvine: Definitely, our barista quality. All these years we've been focusing a lot on barista training and we always encourage our baristas to compete in competitions, from national to international. 

We have multiple champion baristas who are passionately working in 103. What they do on a daily basis is to make sure each cup of coffee that we serve is up to the competition standard - from a latte to filter coffee to our creative coffees. 

EDKL: How does 103 Coffee make its coffee distinctive  and unique to satisfy customers? 

Irvine: The foundation is the key, from sourcing quality green beans and creating the right roasting profile base for our customers' palate, to providing professional training to increase the quality of our servings. 

We always come out with a better way to educate the market about speciality coffee - for example, by having info cards while serving, offering different types of origins and having creative drinks to get more people interested in speciality coffee. 

EDKL: Why did 103 Coffee decide to refurbish its space?

Irvine: To keep our brand relevant to the market. Beside products and services, I think an Instagrammable interior and good-looking branding are some of the most important things to build more fans and create word of mouth. 

I’m glad that people love the new 103 - cheers to the new beginning. 

EDKL: How is the coffee consumer market in KL changing - what are the trends for coffee drinkers, and how does 103 Coffee try to keep up with these developments?

Irvine: I would say we’re at a situation of "interior (design) war" - but this is the trend, it comes and it goes. 

At the end of the day, educating the market about speciality coffee and creating different approaches are the key to being the leader in the market. 

I can see that the scene and culture are getting better and better in Malaysia. I would say it's the effort that all the cafes put in that helps the market to be more mature.

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By now, 103 Coffee's reinvigorated space is instantly recognisable to cafe lovers in Sri Petaling and beyond. Upstairs, the wide window lets in natural sunshine for a cheerful charm, while downstairs, 103 Coffee keeps things raw and rustic for a casual, fuss-free experience.

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If it's true that the workers are the heart of every cafe, 103 Coffee is bursting with heart - its baristas are young but clearly dedicated to their craft, pulling and pouring with professional polish and patience. Some of Malaysia's best future baristas are being born here!

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To celebrate its milestone, 103 Coffee recently hosted an exclusive coffee tasting bar, showcasing a special selection of its anniversary coffees. These comprised the following:

Weekend Getaway: Matas de Minas (Brazil) + Carmo de MInas (Brazil) - fruity, nutty
City Sunlight: Yirgacheffe (Ethiopia) + Sidamo, Bensa (Ethiopia) - watermelon, berries
Daydream: Matas de Minas (Brazil) - navel orange with dark chocolate and cookies
Nature Stroll: Yirgacheffe (Ethiopia) - melon and strawberry with floral notes
In The Zone: Narino (Colombia) - dark berries, mandarin orange, cacao
Sweet Escape: Pijao (Colombia) - jasmine, strawberry, peach


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We love 103's creative coffees, which balance together impressive medleys of ingredients.

If you're here early in the morning, Sunrise is the way to start your day - a blend of espresso with milk, Earl Grey, tea caramel, fresh cream and orange zest, this lives up to its name. Just like the dawn, it's rejuvenating - pleasurably perky in taste, captivatingy creamy in texture.

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Molly is another intriguing invention - this Oriental-inspired aromatic coffee comprises cold brew with osmanthus, white peach and jasmine tea, for a floral bloom with nectarous notes.


B.O.I. is even more imaginative: This brings together cold brew coffee in two forms - liquid and foam, one tangy, the other sweet. Honey plum cold brew is layered with mango apple cold brew nitro foam and plum powder, for a triumphant tropical thirst-quencher. This could be our current favourite at 103 Coffee!

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Being the home of a world latte art champion, 103 Coffee infuses intricate skill into every latte. This looks visually too good to sip - but it's a thrill for the taste buds till the final slurp!

Here's to eight years and many more for 103 Coffee!

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103 Coffee
103, Jalan Radin Bagus, Bandar Baru Sri Petaling, 57000 Kuala Lumpur. 
Daily, 8am-9:30pm. Tel: 012-519-7103
Instagram: 103coffee_official