A short blog post to cover off a couple of cafes we have visited recently in the futile attempt to find a coffee that betters the one I can make at home on my newly imported from Australia via Isaan coffee machine. Luckily one of the cafes is in the main garden area of Chiang Mai so I can combine two of my favourite activities, coffee and flowers – the latter covered in a separate blog post HERE.

Baa Baa Black Cafe

This is a small out of the way cafe in the Mae Rim, or outskirts, area of Chiang Mai. It is well written up in a number of blogs and also needless to say Trip Advisor.

The brick road leading to the cafe.

The brick road leading to the cafe, which is set well back from the street as you can see.

The main building.

The main building.

I had read about it previously and thought it was worth a visit but we actually found the cafe by mistake when looking for another coffee place in Mae Rim.

Inside quite stylish.

Inside quite stylish.

Better than average Thai cafe presentation.

Better than average Thai cafe presentation.

Interesting.

Interesting.

Other reviewers like in this blog HERE  had drinks and food and rated it highly. I only had a cafe latte and Gaun had a beer, being later in the afternoon. On the day we went I can only give the coffee 5/10. It was 50% froth and nothing special. I guess it always depends on who is making the coffee, but a good cafe will always manage to produce a consistent result and Baa Baa didn’t so it doesn’t get my tick of approval.

Another fail on my coffee quest.

Another fail on my coffee quest. I should have stuck with the Singha beer.

Pleasant grounds and seating areas.

Pleasant grounds and seating areas but not outstanding.

Shady spots.

Shady spots.

Other people have written about having access to the lake, which I think belongs to the Mae Rim Lagoon Hotel which shares the driveway, but it was off limits the day we went. Maybe a once only or a new policy.

I would like to say that I will give Baa Baa another try but with so many options in Chiang Mai if it doesn’t meet standards the first time I doubt that a return visit will be made.

GPS: N18 54.756 E098 55.739

Panmai Coffee

This is the cafe situated in the middle of the large garden centre. It is a recent addition to the area and has been built on a small plot set in-between two nurseries, so it is surrounded by greenery as you’d expect. There is a tiny outside area serviced by fans and a small inside seating area all tastefully decorated. They have a selection of cakes and brownies and the usual range of hot and cold drinks.

The entranceway to the street.

The entranceway to the street.

I was interested in the roof as I investigate all options for my house build in Si Bun Ruang. Note that they have actually used insulation moulded to the sheeting. Insulation is a bit of a mystery to many Thais so it is good to see it being used here.

The counter with cool cake cabinet on the left.

The counter with cool cake cabinet on the left.

Looking towards the back of the cafe. The outside area on the left.

Looking towards the back of the cafe. The outside area on the left.

Comfy seating available for longer stays.

Comfy seating available for longer stays.

Outside in the garden.

Outside in the garden.

Enjoy.

Gaun having an Thai iced green tea, which is recommended.

Iced coffee today.

Iced coffee this day.

I have tried a Cafe Latte “ron” or “lon” = hot and although it could have been hotter it wasn’t too bad. A 7/10 if the temperature had been right. This is the sort of place where as long as the drinks aren’t too dreadful you don’t mind spending time because of the relaxing location.

UPDATE 30 September 2014

After a long absence I tried this cafe again the other day. The same barista is working there. Although the coffee wasn’t hot enough, and I blame myself for not asking for it “lon muck muck” or very hot, the flavour and presentation for excellent. The location is one of the best I have been to. So relaxing. 8/10.

I found another cafe in this area when we were here on Sunday. It was closed but I will investigate and report back. P.S. Now covered in this post HERE

Thanks for reading.