Coffee has increasingly become a staple in many people’s lives, and hence many coffee shops have sprung up in recent times to cater to the huge demand for this caffeinated beverage.
Although coffee is believed to originate from Africa, there has been a surge in famous coffee shops in Asia. In fact, some of the world’s most celebrated and well-loved coffee shops are located right here on this continent!
This list of 50 best coffee shops in Asia was compiled from submissions by a global community to Big 7 Travel, so you know that the coffee shops and cafes in this list are acknowledged by people all over the world.
P.S. We have a few coffee shops from Singapore that made the list – read to see whether your favourites made it to the top 50!
50. Coffee Culture (Mumbai, India)
India may be better known for its tea culture, but coffee also has its legion of fans, in part due to the existence of great coffee shops such as Coffee Culture.
One of the liveliest and colourful cafes in Mumbai, Coffee Culture has two outlets across Mumbai. It is the go-to for many, thanks to the quirky ambiance, polite service, and of course, fantastic coffee. Their frothy cappuccino is said to be a hit among customers, so be sure to order that when you pay this cafe a visit.
49. Bearded Bella (Singapore)
This adorable, unpretentious cafe was started by a pair of housemates, Regina Tay and Sarah Ling, who wanted to bring the vibrant and slow-paced cafe scene of Melbourne to Singapore.
Exactly how good is their coffee? For starters, Regina is the winner of the Singapore National Barista Championship in 2016, which shows you how seriously Bearded Bella takes their coffee.
48. Baby Revolver Espresso (Bali, Indonesia)
As the name implies, this cafe is pretty tiny with only a few tables and seats, but their coffee really packs a punch, so much so that they impress even the most cynical of coffee addicts.
The key to being named the best coffee in Bali? They source beans from local farmers and roast them to perfection on a vintage 5kg Diedrich roaster.
47. Felt Coffee (Seoul, South Korea)
Located in trendy Sinchon, Felt Coffee is every bit the minimalistic aesthetic that you want on your Instagram. It is so minimalistic, in fact, that there are only benches for you to sit down and sip on your coffee while enjoying the soft music in the background.
Despite the lack of furniture, it still draws a considerable crowd for its affordable and incredible coffee. You’ll fall in love with the sweet and creamy espresso that sets you back by only USD3.
46. Plus Nine Four (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Perched on a secluded spot in Colombo, this cafe is a hidden gem that can get really crowded during meal times, but still doesn’t lose its homely and peaceful feel no matter how packed it gets.
Iced coffee is said to be the usual order for Sri Lankans, and Plus Nine Four does this drink very well if you prefer your coffees less sweet. This is also one of the rare few cafes which food is just as amazing as its coffees, so be sure to stay and grab a bite with your cuppa.
45. Accro Coffee (Hong Kong)
As humble as this coffee shop may look, the ‘World Siphonist Champion’ sign on the door gives it all away. This cafe in Yuen Long is home to many award-winning baristas who pour their heart and soul (and best beans) into making every cup of coffee.
Their single-origin and blends are described as excellent by many customers, but if you’re in the mood for desserts, their cheesecake and waffles with Earl Grey cream are worth a shot.
44. Ella and the Blackbird (Manila, Philippines)
Ella and the Blackbird is famous among the students who study (or used to study!) around the area for its unpretentious vibes and coffee that packs a punch with the flavours that don’t taste too acidic.
Most people come here for their iced coffees, but if you prefer a hot cuppa, you’ll also love their hand brews and flat whites.
43. LiLo Coffee Roasters (Osaka, Japan)
As you may be able to tell by now, some of the best coffee shops around are not the biggest nor have the most elaborate of spaces, but it makes them even cosier and more endearing to their loyal customers.
LiLo Coffee Roasters is one such example: it might be small in size but it’s packed full of great coffee. You can take your pick from 18 single origin coffee beans, ranging from East Timor, Kenya, Ethiopia, to the Dominican Republic.
If you are interested to learn more about coffee, the friendly baristas are more than happy to chat with you and may even let you have a tasting session!
42. Bean Brothers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Bean Brothers is a convenient coffee stop if you need a quick fix or a quiet place to enjoy your afternoon.
Their coffee is expertly home-roasted using beans sourced from all over the world. Their popular house blends have names like Black Suit (nutty) & Velvet White (fruity tea-like) and are made using high-quality Ethiopian, Brazilian & Guatemalan beans.
41. KafeVille (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Vietnam’s coffee scene is blooming, and the pioneer of it all is KafeVille.
Try coffees from Kenya, Ethiopia and Guatemala, if you’d like something more exotic than your normal brew. Or, treat yourself to a classic Vietnamese coffee from a traditional coffee drip (cà phê Phin) if you are up for a stronger dose of caffeine.
Address: Jalan PJU 3/50, Sunway Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
More information: Facebook
40. Caffe Themselves (Seoul, Korea)
To say that the cafe battle in the Jongno district is fierce is an understatement. Caffe Themselves has not only survived the test of time, but even flourished and made a name for itself as a school for baristas, as a lot of famous Korean baristas have trained here.
The size of the café is rather large for a specialty coffee shop (there are three storeys!) but you’ll find that it is always brimming with customers. Get a KRW2000 won discount when you take out your morning brew, and you’ll only be paying KRW2000 for a cup of coffee brewed by star baristas – sweet!
39. Winstons Coffee (Hong Kong)
Founded by three British men who could not find a good and friendly coffee shop in Hong Kong, they serve people from all walks of life all year-round with the best cups of Allpress coffees.
Can’t make it in the day for your caffeine shot? Don’t worry – this place turns into a cocktail bar at night where they serve their most famous drink – the Espresso Martini.
38. Yellow Crafts Home Brewing (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
Yellow Crafts Home Brewing is exactly as bright and airy as its name sounds. Instagrammable yellow architecture aside, this cafe in Chiang Mai draws crowds for its signature coffee and non-coffee drinks with soy milk that’s made daily in-house.
The cafe also takes its name very seriously: each concoction often includes surprising ingredients, such as crispy pumpkin slices, to add to the cafe’s signature pops of yellow. You’ll never feel blue in Yellow Crafts, that’s for sure!
37. Takamura Wine & Coffee Roasters (Osaka, Japan)
Housed in a two-story warehouse with a gleaming glass front is Takamura Wine & Coffee Roasters. Don’t be fooled by the shelf after shelf of wine bottles: this place takes coffee as seriously as it does with wine.
This place sets out to provide restaurants with not only top-shelf wine, but specialty coffee as well. The owners chose one of the most advanced roasting machines to make your brew – this is a smart roaster of which there’s only about 10 in Japan!
36. Café del Volcán (Shanghai, China)
This tiny specialty coffee boutique in Shanghai deals in single-origin whole bean coffees from growing regions like Ethiopia, Yunnan, Indonesia and Guatemala.
All coffees on offer are roasted on the premises and ground to order, and if you love your brew, you can buy the beans back and even get tips from the friendly baristas on how to make the same tasty brew at home!
35. Habitual (Manila, Philippines)
Habitual is an award-winning coffeehouse (they have been Aeropress Champions for several years running) that focuses on Third Wave-style brewing.
Coffee beans used in Habitual are grown in the Philippines, and every step is measured precisely for the most flavourful cup you need to start the day.
34. Knockbox Coffee Company (Hong Kong)
Run by lovers of coffee and coffee enthusiasts, Knockbox Coffee Company is the place to go in Hong Kong if you want to order specialty coffees, purchase well-roasted coffee beans and coffee making equipment.
Friday nights are when they host an amazing coffee community evening: that means unlimited specialty coffee – all night, from 6-10pm. The only downside is that you risk a sleepless night ahead.
33. Piu Piu Piu (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Dubbed the smallest cafe in Kuala Lumpur, its small space is no deterrent to the crowds who make their way here and even stand at the bar in order to have a sip of their coffee.
Piu Piu Piu’s founder, Unagi, believes that coffee connects people and makes them happy, which is why he sources himself the beans from local roasters Aim Coffee and uses them for his espresso, black coffee and white coffee drinks. He’s more than happy to chat with his customers, so feel free to strike up a conversation with him over his delectable coffee!
Address: Shop 4, G/F Rich Court, 213 Queen’s Rd W, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
More information: Instagram
32. Mesh Coffee (Seoul, South Korea)
Not a fan of bitter coffee? This coffee shop tucked in hipster Seongsu-dong will do just the trick for light-roast coffee lovers.
While some coffee shops do a flavourful, acidic brew, the ones from Mesh Coffee are all on the lighter side and tend to change on a seasonal basis. There is also a secret menu – be sure to ask the baristas about it!
31. The Local Coffee Stand (Tokyo, Japan)
Many coffee-lovers will have you know that this cafe is a must-visit when you are in the Shibuya area – or even if you are not, you should definitely come down to get a taste of their coffees
The Local Coffee Stand is a local coffee shop that opens really early, so you can start your day with fresh baked goods and delicious espresso. Even if you’re not feeling like a coffee here, they also make fantastic chai and matcha lattes.
30. Coco Veranda (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Chill in the veranda and make new friends over a cup of good coffee at Coco Veranda – that is exactly what the coffeehouse hopes you can do ini its relaxing interior.
Their specialty Créme Brulée Latte is said to be incredbly popular, with artisan beans also used for rich espressos and cold brews.
29. Fika Fika Cafe (Taipei, Taiwan)
An award-winning Scandinavian-style café that specialises in Nordic single-origin Aeropress-brewed coffees, Fika Fika Cafe will certainly remind you of IKEA’s homely and warm vibes.
They serve some interesting coffee options, so if you are confused and don’t know what to order, the top recommendation is the Rosetta-Laced Latte for a new latte experience.
28. 18 Grams (Hong Kong)
What was once a small premium espresso bar in the corner of Causeway Bay eventually grew into eight locations across Hong Kong, a testament to the coffee shop’s rapid growth and popularity among customers.
18 Grams roast their own signature blend and serves it a number of ways, so you can have your French press, Chemex, cold brew, and more!
27. Namusairo (Seoul, South Korea)
Tradition meets modernity in this popular cafe, which is built in a traditional hanok (Korean house) and serves a long list of hand-drip coffees. Namusairo has undoubtedly become a staple in Seoul’s cafe scene and has amassed a legion of loyal customers.
If it’s your first time ordering here, don’t worry – the friendly baristas are more than happy to help walk you through their menu and make a recommendation for you, so all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your coffee.
26. Curious Palette (Singapore)
Although Curious Palette is well-loved for its cafe fare and restaurant dishes, you cannot leave this cafe-restaurant without ordering at least one of their aromatic coffees.
The Flat White is a steady hit among customers for its creamy taste, as well as a balanced amount of acidity that won’t throw non-coffee drinkers off. Even if you don’t call yourself an expert in coffee, you’ll definitely appreciate the full flavour and smooth finish it serves.
25. Meraki Coffee Roasters (Male, The Maldives)
Meraki is the top (and original) specialty coffee roaster in the Maldives that you really need to get your daily coffee at.
The coffee menu houses four different beans that are all roasted on the island, and brewed to perfection by its detail-oriented baristas that pay close attention to one cup at a time. The result is a cup of coffee with extreme clarity and a flavourful kick.
24. Glitch Coffee & Roasters (Tokyo, Japan)
Glitch Coffee & Roasters is famous among the coffee-drinking crowd for its hand drip heavy brewing style, and became one of the most talked-about cafes among baristas when it first opened. Many tourists also design their itinerary around this cafe when they visit Tokyo, which shows you how iconic this cafe truly is.
The coffee here heavily leans towards light roast – their Guatemalan roast is perfect for a nice and light way to start the day.
23. PPP Coffee (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
PPP Coffee was opened by none other than the founders of the famous Chye Seng Huat Hardware. However, rather than just a cafe, PPP Coffee positions itself as an independent coffee boutique specialising in roasting and purveying specialty coffee in Singapore and Malaysia. Hence, their stylish flagship store in KL is a combination of café, retail store and roastery, and they also have weekly coffee and cupping workshops.
Can’t travel to KL to try their coffee? You’ll be delighted to know that PPP Coffee has also opened a branch in Singapore’s Funan Mall!
22. KC Roasters (Mumbai, India)
If you are craving a flat white in Mumbai and want to find somewhere that does it really well, KC Roasters is the place to go.
The tiny cafe may be hidden in Chium Village Khar, but its reputation as one of the best places to grab coffee brings in steady hordes of customers. The small space (just three to four tables) makes this ideal for a cozy gathering with your close friends or a chat with the friendly baristas on coffee.
Their Ghana Iced Mocha and South Bombay Cold Coffee are also highly recommended for the times you need a refreshing drink in the hot weather.
21. Jiro Coffee Studio (Manila, Philippines)
Jiro Coffee Studio is one of the best places in Manila to hang out at if you appreciate a strong cup of coffee and delicious entrees. They source their beans ethically from all over the world, and even offer free tasting shots for those who are game!
20. NOC Roastery (Hong Kong)
NOC Roastery is named the best coffee shop in HongKong, and it’s easy to see why: the free unlimited WiFi, smooth coffee, and delectable pastries make for a winning combination. They offer some of the purest coffee that you will ever taste, and put a huge emphasis on sourcing the beans, roasting them carefully, and even finding the purest water possible.
Did we also mention that the interior has design elements that resemble a minimalistic Apple store? We’re sure you’ll be snapping lots of photos – both of your coffee and the store!
19. Nylon Coffee Roasters (Singapore)
Opened since 2012, Nylon Coffee Roasters has withstood the test of time and survived the intense competition in Singapore’s coffee scene, so it’s no surprise that they are the top-ranked Singapore coffee shop on this list.
Besides its elaborate roasting machines, Nylon also prides itself on its filter bar, believing that it showcases the ease at which coffee drinkers can brew similarly tasty cups at home using the same brewing methods. They have also made things easier for customers by using a ‘Black and White’ coffee menu – even if you are not familiar with terms such as ‘flat white’, you still know exactly what kind of espresso to milk ratio to expect in your order.
Nylon’s coffee choices are always changing based on seasonal availability, and they have offerings from numerous origins throughout the year, so you can surprise yourself with an unexpected blend every time you decide to have a cup of coffee at Nylon.
18. Metal Hands (Beijing, China)
Metal Hands is one of the first Nordic-inspired, hipster locations in Beijing to sip coffee at. Despite the boom in cafes all over the ciity, Metal Hands remains a top favourite for its quirky layout and great drinks, especially their nitrogen cold brew which will keep you cool when the weather gets hot.
Address: No.61 Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing China
17. Single Origin (Macau, China)
Macau isn’t just famous for its Portuguese egg tarts – the coffees from this cafe are also a strong draw that you need to know of.
Right in the heart of old Macau city is Single Origin, a pour-over and espresso bar where baristas get creative with single-origin beans from Brazil and Guatemala. Along with their Western-style sandwiches that make for a good quick lunch, they also serve a wide selection of coffee and great chiffon cakes. You are recommended to try their Earl Grey cake with their coffee for the perfect tea break.
Address: Rua de Abreu Nunes 19, Macau, China
More information: Facebook
16. Rufous Coffee (Taipei, Taiwan)
Rufous Coffee has been around for a decade, making it one of Taipei’s pioneering specialty coffee shops. Unlike its counterparts that are more famous for innovative drinks, Rufous chooses to focus instead on coffees made with single-origin beans.
That doesn’t mean its menu is lacking though: you will find an extensive (and rather expensive) menu that offers some of the highest-quality coffees you can find in Taipei. If you want to make a safe bet, just opt for the customer-favourite Panama Geisha – a smooth, fruity, silky tea-like beverage.
15. The Cabana Design Studio & Café (Vientienne, Laos)
The Cabana Design Studio & Café is a humble cafe filled with green foliage and well-lit spaces, making this extremely popular among locals and tourists looking for a blissful afternoon.
They are most famous for their espresso-based coffees, so feel free to take your pick from ristretto, latte, cappuccino, macchiato, or just an amazing espresso. Be sure to also check out their cold brews, either straight-up or with milk – the perfect way to cool down in the sweltering Laos heat.
14. Easy Cafe (Yangon, Myanmar)
Myanmar is slowing building its reputation among coffee connoisseurs, and the best place to appreciate the country’s coffee culture is none other than Easy Cafe.
The cozy cafe is paving the way for specialty coffee in the city with their well-loved Australian-style flat whites, slow drips, and pour-overs. They source their beans locally from organic farmers, which are then roasted by Gentleman Coffee Roasters. Their food is also a must-try if you have extra space in your stomach: the rice bowls and carrot cake are said to be amazing.
13. The Roastery by Nozy Coffee Cafe (Tokyo, Japan)
Roastery By Nozy Coffee attracts hundreds of customers daily, partly due to the fact that they are located in vibrant Harajuku, but mostly because they serve freshly-brewed coffee and delicious treats.
The baristas are well-trained and informed about the beans, speak relatively good English, and are more than happy to provide useful information about any beans on the menu. The menu is also pared down to the essentials, so you just need to pick from three different coffee items and then bean origins (Mexico or Equador).
12. Seniman Coffee Studio (Bali, Indonesia)
Seniman is more than just another coffee shop in Indonesia: they are also a green bean processor, coffee exporter, roaster, designer, maker, explorer, that is proudly based in Indonesia. The boutique cafe roasts all their own beans on-site, so every brew here tastes incredibly fresh and refined.
The coffee service at Seniman has everything from espresso-based drinks to siphon coffee. If you’re feeling hungry, take your pick from Indonesian delights like soto ayam, as well as full English breakfast sets.
11. Third Wave Coffee Roasters (Bangalore, India)
Launched in 2016, Third Wave Coffee Roasters has been making locally-sourced artisanal coffee accessible to the public, one cup at a time. They have many branches across the country and are designed to be intimate spaces for local consumers to learn more about coffee.
Try their handcrafted manual brews such as exotic Vietnamese Shakerato that blends cinnamon with condensed milk, and La Vie En Rose, the coffee that combines the delicate notes of rose water with organic honey and cardamom. Their classics are also expertly done and sure to leave you wishing for another cup.
10. The Little Red Fox Espresso (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
This Australian-owned and Cambodian-managed coffee store combines the best of both worlds, and is a true gem in Siem Reap that you cannot miss.
They are one of the first cafes in Siem Reap to take action towards lowering its daily carbon footprint and sharing the knowledge on how to go green and clean: that includes using commercial biodegradable waste bags, as well as brewing only organic and chemical-free beans from Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand.
9. Giyanti Coffee Roastery (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Giyanti is a vintage coffee shop owned by a coffee enthusiast named Hendrik Halianto – he takes his coffee so seriously that he even sets strict restrictions in his cafe. For example, no smoking is allowed here as the smoke from the cigarettes could degrade the quality of the coffee beans.
Their hot cappuccino is said to be the best that you can find in Indonesia, but if you need an iced option to cool you down in the heat, their iced lattes will do just the trick as well.
8. Anthracite Coffee (Seoul, Korea)
No Korean cafe is complete without industrial-chic vibes and Instagrammable interior, but what makes this one truly special is the complete sensorial experience you get before you even get your cuppa. Roasting of the coffee beans (imported from high-quality suppliers) takes place right behind the counter, so you can indulge in the amazing aroma from the roasting of the coffee beans.
Anthracite specialises in pour-over filter coffee which it makes using its beans imported from various countries. The different blends all have interesting names, and some of the signatures include Rainha (Brazil), Banko (Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia), Los Naranjos (Colombia), and Challem (Kenya). Their espresso drinks are made with a unique butter trio fat blend, and definitely worth a try.
7. Yardstick (Manila, The Philippines)
Even if you are a coffee snob who has high standards in the caffeinated beverage and won’t settle for anything less, Yardstick in Manila will have no difficulty ticking all the right boxes.
They always offer three espresso options, with rotating single origins on Aeropress. Their take on the popular (and adventurously profiled) Ethiopia Suke Quto, layered in floral sweetness, as well as their Legazpi Blend, a balanced stand-by espresso, are both well-loved options.
Yardstick also has a quirky open layout, where customers can actually walk around the baristas and sit behind the bar and interact with them as they work. If you have the time, we recommend that you sign up for their workshops and training programs on how to taste specialty coffee, home-brewing methods, and espresso fundamentals.
6. La Viet (Da Lat, Vietnam)
Located right in the heart of the coffee-growing region of Da Lat, La Viet is a coffee shop, farm, and factory all in one. The industrial-vibed building is surrounded by coffee plants, so you can not only sip the fresh brews on offer at a table but also go on a tour of the facility and have the coffee production process explained to you.
The incredible 5-star rating on TripAdvisor from more than 370 happy customers is more than enough to convince us that this is the top coffee shop in Vietnam, but if you remain skeptical, the only way to find out is by making a trip here yourself and trying their popular pour-overs, slow drips, and creamy lattes.
5. VCR (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
VCR is well-frequented by discerning coffee drinkers and brunch lovers for its spacious setup, delightful coffee, including single-origin beans and unique blends.
Highly recommended is its brew of Tanzanian Karatu coffee beans – the body is well-balanced with a pleasant lingering flavour. Even if you are not keen on a caffeinated drink that day, you won’t be disappointed by their hot chocolate that’s made with quality Valrhona cocoa.
4. Rocket Coffeebar S.12 (Bangkok, Thailand)
The coffee style here takes inspiration from the original founders’ Nordic roots, so you can have artisanal coffee from carefully selected small-batch roasted beans, then prepared with a Synesso Hydra espresso machine.
Rocket Coffeebar’s slow drips, espressos, and creative cold brews (with fresh lychee!) are top customer favourites, and are best paired with hearty pastries and brunch offerings.
3. The Workshop (Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam)
The top three coffee shops in Asia would definitely include one from Vietnam, which is home to the strong and flavourful drip. However, what makes The Workshop a little different is that instead of the usual Vietnamese coffee, the coffee here is all about the third wave, which leans closer towards the coffees you will find in, say, Melbourne.
The beans used are sourced from around the world as well as from local producers, brewed any number of ways : think espresso, V60 pour-over, Chemex, and Aeropress. Flavour profiles are listed for each bean, along with the suggested brewing methods. For those who have absolutely no clue, not to fret – just approach an of the friendly baristas and they’ll be more than happy to make a recommendation.
2. Mel Coffee Roasters (Osaka, Japan)
The founder of Mel Coffee Roasters, Fumimoto-san, was inspired by the coffee in Melbourne, and set up his own shop after many rounds of trial and error on a coffee machine he bought to practise his brewing skills.
The coffee produced here is said to be a sophisticated integration of Australian light roast and the specific taste preference of the western area of Japan. Fumimoto-san’s technique has been highly evaluated by experts and has been invited to judge major competitions such as Japan Brewers Cup and Japan Hand Drip Championship, so you know the coffee you get from here comes from a skilled professional and true coffee connoisseur.
1. Simple Kaffa (Taipei, Taiwan)
Home of 2016’s World Barista Champion Berg Wu and one of the best coffee bars in the Taiwanese capital Taipei, Simple Kaffa is an indisputable winner when it comes to a list of the best cafes in Asia. Wu believes that making coffee is just like magic, so it’s little surprise that his coffees taste so magical as well.
At Simple Kaffa all filter coffees are prepared using the Clever Dripper, while espresso-based drinks come out of a GB/5. They are also well-known for their exquisite matcha roll, so make sure you have a bite of that sweet goodness alongside your strong and addictive brew!