Dare to Enter - Phuket
Thailand/Phuket is a cultural adventure that is incredibly rewarding if you are prepared to let it wash over you. The streets are lined with electricity cables, dogs roaming everywhere and shop keepers ever inviting you for tailors, sunglasses, tuk tuks and much much, more. But the more you put in the more you get out, or in this case, the more you go in the better it gets.
Here are two cases in point.
The first was on day two of our trip, I had done all the recognisance on the coffee shop landscape and identified my target. It was perfect, we were heading to Surin beach for the day and this was close by, the Phuket Coffee Lab.. When our driver pulled over to the side of the road I thought it was to double check the map but actually we had arrived. The frontage was not like the online pictures, the red awning barely recognisable and a very uninviting front entrance made the family freeze for a moment as we questioned the wisdom of the choice. Never the less in we went and 'BANG' one step in and I knew my choice was warranted. Oh how I love seeing a roasting machine, it tells you 'experience lies here', as did the full coffee menu and the nothing but the coffee attitude that the place oozed.
The coffee tasted great, nutty and easy drinking, good for a mid morning cruise drink and well made. Be warned that this is strictly a coffee experience, even the choc frappe has coffee in it, so not for the non caffeinaters.
Case in point two, located close by the Boat Avenue shopping district of Choeng Thale near BangTao Bay, is this very unassuming place... Coffee Table Top. It almost looks like an abandoned shop when you first approach it, the door is awkwardly placed and the building a little uninviting.
But I beg you to be courageous and find the entrance and walk in, you wont be disappointed. We walked in to be greeted by incredible friendly and welcoming staff and the place was cosy and clean, I was still hesitant though as we were the only ones there. But I will go out on a limb for this one as it was easily the best coffee I had in the entire trip in Phuket .... totally worth it period!!
The point here is that great coffee does not always find you, you have to find it and in places you are unfamiliar with sometimes the journey to get it is as good as the coffee ..... Its all too easy to play safe and walk in to a western chain like a Starbucks or Coffee Club, and we did this too when we were just exhausted or wanted a treat (have you seen the coffee club shakes in Thailand?) But resist, be brave and seek out the true coffee lovers coffee, its worth it.