A welcome respite from the heat of Phnom Penh at midday. My coffee arrived with no discernible design attempted but I was happy to forgo the aesthetics and enjoy my first good coffee in days - rich, smooth (if not slightly too "flat" if that is such a thing!) and strong enough to get me back on my feet for the remainder of the day's sightseeing.
(This is a review of the outlet on street 214) Espresso was well-balanced, and the cafe latte was creamy and had great latte art. Very friendly wait staff and air-con and wifi! Perfect if you want to relax for an afternoon without returning to your hotel.
I visited another Brown Coffee and Bakery Outlet (214 - gmaps 11.561445,104.925796) this morning. They were running a 2 Group La Marzoc Gb/5 and I had them test it out on a single espresso. As expected, it was somewhat better than yesterday's Doppio but I will admit it's not a completely fare test given this is a different outlet on a different machine. Still, my conclusion is the same. Brown will give a fairly decent espresso in a comfortable setting and do it consistently across their outlets.
A small 3-cafe chain, Brown is very well branded and visibly successful. There cafes present a modern aesthetic, replete with big panes of glass, polished concrete and raw timber. It is a very comfortable, albeit sterile, experience that would fit comfortably alongside other well known chains. As I walked in the door the first thing I saw was the Golden La Marzoc staring at me. I seem to find these in the most unexpected places! The coffee was...okay. It certainly didn't yell chemicals and inexperience, but nor did it overly impress. I had a doppio, which is perhaps a challenging first test, and will check out an espresso later today, but I was left with mixed impressions. The aroma did not endear itself to me, reminding me of stale locker-room sweat. Unfortunate. In general the taste was forgettable. 20mins later and I can't remember what it tasted like. I'll reserve my final judgement until I've had a chance to try a single espresso and perhaps a piccolo, but I can confidently say that it has potential.
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