Cafe Review, part 1

One of the only negatives of living way out in the jungle is that we don’t have internet to our house. That means we spend a lot of time in town at coffee shops using the internet when we have to.

I’ll review some of the coffee shops we go to based on a few different criteria – beverages (including pricing), comfort/atmosphere, and internet quality. Since we’re in Surat, just assume that all places have extremely friendly staff unless otherwise noted. These are all mostly subjective, but feedback is always welcome.

IMPRESSION(S)

This is a favorite of Thida teachers not just because of its convenient location between the two Thidas, but because the owner New is really friendly and speaks English fluently due to his time living in the US. He’ll go out of his way to make you whatever you want if he has the ingredients. The fruit smoothies, teas, and other milk drinks are really tasty. According to my official coffee taster, his is one of the best in town and I agree.

It’s spacious and comfortable, especially the big couches in the back. The only thing is that it’s pretty bright and feels a little sterile. The internet is nice and fast.

The negatives are that he charges you if you plug your computer in – maybe due to an agreement he has with the hotel he rents it from. Also, it closes pretty early – 7pm weeknights and 4pm weekends. Still, it’s probably my favorite place in town.
Ask for David’s Special if you like a blended Oreo drink with caramel.

**NEWS FLASH** – He will be closing his doors at the end of Feb 2014. 😦

CAFE BLYTHE

Cafe Blythe is located right near the market on Karun Rat between Don Nok and Wat Pho. It’s on Rat Bum Rung Soi 1.
The coffee there is really good also, as confirmed by my coffee taster. It’s a little more expensive than average, though. It’s a small location, but is really nicely decorated and has a separate room to the side if you need even more quiet than it already offers. The owners are extremely friendly and Boat speaks English really well also. The internet quality is also good enough to not notice any problems.

It’s open until 7pm as well, which is early enough to prevent us from going here during the week. Yes, it’s named after the dolls.

NINE COFFEE

Nine Coffee is located on Chalokrat, in the opposite direction to the stadium and Big House from Amphur Rd. It’s open until 9pm, which is really good if you have to get some work done. The drinks there are OK, but the coffee leaves a lot to be desired. They’re a little expensive as well, as evidenced by the prices of the food. The desserts there are tasty, however. The interior is large and comfortable, and it also has a nice outdoor area which many coffee shops around here lack. The seats inside are large and soft. The internet quality is generally pretty good as well. Despite the average coffee, we go there often, mainly because the internet is dependable and they’re open relatively late.

COFFEE MILK

This is a new cafe that is attached to the “Under the Bridge” Isaan restaurant on the far side of the river. It’s owned by the same people, who are really friendly. The drinks are alright – nothing special. The coffee is average, so I usually get the iced green tea latte. Unfortunately they don’t make hot green tea lattes for some reason.

The internet is hit or miss, but they are more than happy to reset the router for you, and it works fine afterwards. Being attached to the Isaan restaurant, I’ve seen people eat meals in there, which is a plus. It also seems to be a work in progress, so hopefully there will be some seating on the riverside patio soon, though the view certainly doesn’t hurt right now.

They’re also open pretty late – 10pm – so it’s really useful for people on the far side of the bridge that need to get work done.

Obviously, this is all just one man’s opinion. But it helps to have a catalogue of cafes to visit, in case you need one. Let me know what you guys think. I’ll post about 4 more next time.

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