Kita Coffee, Fahrenheit 88

April 8, 2019

Familiar faces in a fresh place: Fahrenheit 88's Kita Coffee is tucked inside a mall, but it feels as much a community space as a cafe, living up to its tagline, 'The Place That Belongs To Us,' with a cheerful warmth that flows naturally from its team - Kita's lead founder Rain, her brother Yuen Ren, and their mentor Masahiro, who also run Artelier Coffee across the road in Pavilion.

The trio rank among KL's most respected baristas, so their capability with coffee is a certainty - multiple single-origin, multi-roaster varieties are available, from espresso-based beverages (starting at RM11 for a hot long black) to pour-overs (RM15-RM35); the menu enthusiastically describes the latter as 'crafted with hands and heart,' so it's worth exploring the possibilities - perhaps an Ethiopian heirloom, with beans sourced from Tokyo's Glitch Coffee & Roasters.

Beyond coffee, Kita also promises hot chocolate (by Korte Chocolate), green tea (by Matcha Hero) and healthy tea such as hawthorn-honeysuckle blends (by Flower & Herb Fusion). But the highlight of these might be Japanese tea by Komichi Tea, sourced from a single farm in Toyota city, Aichi Prefecture. We loved the fukamushi (deep-steamed) sencha, yielding three cups served at different intervals, with each cup conveying its own soulful level of fragrance and sweetness (RM17). Be it coffee or tea, rest assured the Kita crew will make the effort to explain the experience and guide you on enjoying every sip.

Hot meals emerge in the form of customisable, comfort-food Potato Bowls by PotatoNaa (RM13 each) - choose a base (mashed potatoes with three toppings, French fries with one topping, or Japanese rice with two toppings), then a sauce (red, cream or Japanese curry) and finally, the meat-free toppings (we had tenkasu deep-fried batter bits, edamame and boiled eggs; other options include cucumber, sweet corn, broccoli, tomatoes, grated cheese or kimchi).

Japanese roll cakes are expected to be rolled out soon too; the tiramisu flavour is pleasingly creamy, with the clear kick of caffeine. Pots of herbs cultivated at the sunlit back of the cafe might also eventually be destined for the kitchen - a nod to the Lee siblings' parents, who've worked on farms in Ipoh.

All in all, Kita is a lovely sanctuary, especially for everyone seeking to escape the stresses of the city centre.

Kita Coffee

D7, First Floor, Fahrenheit 88, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. 

Venue is very hidden, so check Kita Coffee's Instagram page - instagram.com/kitacoffee_my - for directions. Open 12pm-7pm; closed Thursdays.

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