espressamente illy

6:44 PM Sian Mei Yeoh 0 Comments

my love for coffee probably had similar beginnings like everyone else - the need for caffeine in order to survive the day! lol

however, my affection for coffee simmered into passion with each bitter sip, enhanced by the creaminess of foamed milk. 

i've never really knew that so much went into making an excellent cup of latte (or any expresso based drinks, for that matter) until i attended a coffee appreciation class by illy. it happened to be the spark that ignited {mw}'s addiction to coffee and also where we were introduced to espressamente illy!

espressamente illy, pavilion
there are two espressamente illy's in malaysia, both located in the heart of kl. one in pavilion and the other in bangsar village one (bv1).  i kinda love and hate knowing that there is ONLY two - sad panda because the lack of convenience and having to go all the way down to kl just for my favorite cup of coffee but relieved because i already go there way too often than i should and i can't afford the frequent visits!
 

timeout kuala lumpur's testament to illy's awesomeness came in the way of awarding the bragging rights as the best place for coffee in the 2011 food awards.

my thoughts :: the coffee here speaks for itself.
 
judging by the number visits i've accumulated over the past two months - (i'm embarassed to admit but) about six times and i don't even live in KL...it's gotta mean something. the petite and cheery illy cafe in pavilion is illuminated by the streams of light through the glass windows and offers a patio for those who prefers outdoor seating (but extremely limited seating during rainy days). on the other hand, bv1 cafe is indoor where the walls are splashed in the signature shades of red and grey and are adorned with black&white photos to pair with the dark furnitur.

espressamente illy, bangsar village 1

decor of the cafe in bangsar village one

their menu offers a few varieties - the warm, the chilled and the liquor.  illy also offers food choices including salads, sandwiches and pastries for the hungry bellies. but let's focus on the drinks, shall we?



caffe calda {hot coffee} :: caffe latte | a single espresso topped with a large measure of emulsified milk (rm11)


my go-to espresso drink has always been latte - mainly because i love to taste the espresso at its purest form (after espresso shots, that is...but i don't drink those cos they are too intense). it's always a treat whenever i order a drink here at illy because i'm always looking forward to seeing what beautiful foam art they are bound to impress me with.


what i love about their lattes is the balance of the bitterness and creaminess -- just the perfect ratio of both. the bitterness was evident but not to the point it overwhelms. unfortunately, my first visit was a bit of a disappointment because the bitter aftertaste was so prominent that it turned both {mw} and my heads towards the barista to see if he was having a bad day (we learned that 50% deliciousness depends on the barista's mood that day..lol)


with the exception of my first time, the lattes have been consistently creamy smooth with notes of bitter and whispers of tartness of the espresso. due to its simplicity, a minor slip up would be obvious. the lattes at illy are just phenomenal!


caffe calda {hot coffee} :: caffe fondente | a single espresso served with chocolate and topped with emulsified milk (rm12)



illy's take on mocha that made it on my top 10 eats of 2012. it's essentially latte but with a splash of  delicious rich chocolate. first, like you do with every coffee beverage, start off with savoring the fragrant, rich aroma of the beans that hits the nose.  then combine it with the sensation of your tastebuds when the slight richness and sweetness of the chocolate danced with the bitterness of the espresso and finally made whole by the creamy and warm, foamed milk. the combination of the three different flavor profiles performed a lovely symphony for the tastebuds.


i'd recommend this for chocolate and latte lovers alike. and for those who would like to begin a relationship with espresso and loves hot chocolate, this is the perfect drink as an introduction to the wonders of coffee. my favoritest espresso based drink, thus far.


caffe calda {hot coffee} :: cioccolata calda | delicious italian hot chocolate (rm13)


{mw} was not up for caffeine during one of our visits. and she was also curious how their hot chocolate would fare. her comment was it was too heavy on the milk alongside with the weak chocolate flavor made this a no go for her. her ultimate comment was :: stick to coffee at illy! lol. oh, she tried a sip of my cafe fondente and definitely had a case of drink envy! lol. 


caffe calda {hot coffee} :: mugaccino | a single espresso topped with warm emulsified milk (rm11)


similar to the latte, this cappuccino by illy had the similar makings of an excellent mug of coffee - perfectly pressed espresso and foamy, warm milk. however, the slight difference in taste was the cappuccino was slightly less creamy and the bitterness was more apparent. still lovely but i gotta to give it to the lattes. i had a friend, {mnw} who commented the taste was light yet strong in flavor - perfection.


cakes :: red velvet slice (rm15)


i'm always on the lookout for a delicious red velvet slice since it is my favorite type of cupcake. plus {mw} has never had one before so i figured this was a good pick to try. while illy excels at coffee making, not the same can be said for their red velvet cake baking. the cake lacked the cocoa flavor and was really too sweet for my liking. one saving grace was that it was moist. the cream cheese frosting had a prominent cream cheese flavor but i didn't like the texture of it. and it could definitely do without the red frosting decoration on top of the cake.


as we were sharing our slice of red velvet, we noticed a server placing a slice of tiramisu on the next table. i was like "omg! tiramisu - my favorite-st dessert ever!" with a semi-frown at the red velvet, i was lamenting to {mw} that i didn't even realize illy had that since it wasn't on the cake display case! i sooooo NEED to get back there to see how it compares against the best slice i had thus far.

if you ever order these drinks to go, don't forget to appreciate the barrista's artistic expression using foam! i was rather surprised when i opened the cap and saw the intricate foam artwork! you'd imagine that they wouldn't bother with it since it's concealed in a cup but omg, they do! :) pretty, isn't it? ^^



however, one thing i've yet to try are the cold versions (well, also the liquor ones but i think i may pass on those)  i've had a couple of friends whom i recommended illy to and one of them ordered the frappe al caffe - which is the blended sweetened version of latte.

photo courtesy of {sfm} from instagram

{sfm} mentioned that she loved that the ice latte has no ice but just chilled and thought it was yummy.

i suppose i should try the cold ones on my own. since i am a creature of habit, i enjoy the warm ones immensely even though the weather here is hot & humid... so evidently, i tend to gravitate to things that i know are awesomely yummylicious.


that's probably also the reason behind the inevitable sighting of me making a beeline towards espressamente illy so often for a glass of addictive caffeine loaded creaminess :) it's currently reigning as my favorite coffee place to go. caffeine cravings? give espressamente illy a shot and maybe you'd find your favorite cuppa joe here :)


espressamente illy | locations
{pavilion}
jalan bukit bintang
kuala lumpur
tel: 03-2141 0028

{yummy-ness | 4 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | caffe latte or caffe fondente}

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


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