Mellowcup Cafe

Special thanks to Mellowcup Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

It has been a year since my previous visit to Mellowcup Cafe. While the café continues to serve specialty coffee, there are more brewing options now. Also with the arrival of a new kitchen crew, the food menu has been revamped substantially.
The house blend is used for most espresso drinks. As for artisan coffee, Mellowcup Cafe uses single origin beans supplied by Blooms, who has Hong Kong artist Moses Chan (陈豪) as its brand ambassador. Besides coffee, Blooms also supplies Mellowcup Cafe with English tea.
The Signature Coffee (带我走, RM14.00) consists of espresso with milk. Meanwhile, cocoa powder on top gives the appearance of tiramisu. Thanks to the presence of milk, the drink carries honey-like aroma and is very easy on the lips. The Signature Coffee is served chilled by default but the hot version is also available.
Cold drip coffee (冰滴咖啡), also known as Dutch ice coffee, uses an entirely different approach to extract coffee from beans. The setup begins with ice at the top chamber. As it melts, cold water drips into a jar of ground coffee underneath. While seeping through coffee grinds, cold water dissolves hydrophilic substances like sugars and, to a lesser degree, hydrophobic ones like oils. The solution passes through a paper filter and collects in the chamber below.
While an espresso machine takes advantage of high pressure and temperature to extract coffee, the cold drip method is painstakingly slow (around 10 hours per batch) because the setup relies on the force of gravity. Compared to espresso, cold drip coffee has substantially less caffeine and is generally a clearer brew.
Cold drip coffee requires beans from Africa because they have higher sugar content. It is necessary to use single origin beans for this extraction method to prevent the flavor from being too complex. Medium-light roast is ideal for this. Unlike espresso, cold drip coffee is typically kept refrigerated for days to allow its sugars to ferment. In fact if one keeps it long enough, the coffee may even develop wine-like aroma.
The finished product, Fresh & Tasty Coffee (沁入心啡, RM18.00), is sold in bottles of roughly 2 cups each. The foamy layer on top is produced by shaking coffee and ice in a cocktail shaker. The flavor of cold drip coffee is characterized by sweet fruitiness with a hint of berry-like tanginess. After several refreshing sips, I recommend adding a little milk to enjoy a different coffee experience.

The food menu has noticeably improved since my previous visit. For example, Herbs In Ocean (RM28.80) is balanced in terms of taste. This seafood pasta also contains generous amounts of mussels, shrimps and squid. Tomato sauce is slightly spicy but is still soothing to my palate. Finally, the dish is garnished with edible flowers for aesthetic appeal.
Another popular dish is Spaghetti Carbonara With Hot Spring Egg (RM21.80). As though the homemade sauce isn't rich enough, a runny egg makes it even creamier. Contributing to flavor and mouthfeel respectively are delectable turkey bacon and juicy shimeji mushrooms. The generous sprinkle of cheese is simply icing on the cake.
If you are an avid coffee connoisseur, Mellowcup Cafe is one of the few cafés that you must pay a visit in Penang. While the vast majority of specialty coffeehouses do not place much emphasis on food, Mellowcup Cafe is a rare instance which does - and does surprisingly well.

Name: Mellowcup Cafe
Address: 11-G-4, New Bob Centre, Jalan Gottlieb, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-937-3213
Business hours: 11:00am-10:00pm (Sunday), 10:00am-11:00pm (Tuesday-Thursday), 10:00am-12:00am (Friday-Saturday), closed on Mondays
Coordinates: 5.43202 N, 100.30185 E
Directions: From Jalan Bagan Jermal, drive towards Penang Botanic Gardens. With Penang Chinese Girls' High School on the right, turn left and drive in front of the row of shops. New Bob Centre is a commercial building further down. Mellowcup Cafe is one of the shops at the ground level, several shops away from Sa Rang Chae. Street parking is available.

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