If there was ever any doubt that the millennial coffee joint should deliver much more than a cup of hot joe, it’s been put to rest by the debut of Common Man Coffee Roasters in Kuala Lumpur.
Located in the Taman Tun Dr Ismail neighbourhood, the light-filled café and commercial coffee roaster in the midst of a retail mall is the work of London- and Singapore-based Viewport Studio. The 1930s inspiration of the original Common Man in Singapore still looms large here, the designers channeling era-specific references including a geometric trellis for the retail wall, angular globe lamps, and polished brass tables, while retaining a sense of the South-East Asian locus by way of cane stools, walls sheathed in rattan, and fabric shot through with tropical motifs.
A corner of the café is styled as a barista academy which promises courses in latte art, and basic brewing and coffee skills. Those preferring a less cerebral alternative will settle in for an Australian-inspired menu that includes a sautéed kale and egg white scramble with lemon zest crumbs, and French toast paired with a berry compote and maple syrup.
The real star, of course, is the coffee – the majority of the green beans sourced through direct relationships – and ranges from fragrant house blends to single origin Ethiopian beans.