Craft Origin, named as an homage to craftsmanship that underlies everything, is a quiet cafe tucked away in TTDI. Founded by barista Melson Lee, who has a wealth of experience in the industry, Craft Origin’s mission is simple: to serve up good drinks, food, and service from the heart.
Although Craft Origin has developed a reputation for its coffee, tea fans will also love this place. Melson has a rich range of other teas – both permanent and seasonal – available for you to choose from. A must-try is the Sakura Rose Tea (RM10), an entire rose flower that’s steeped lightly in hot water. But if you’re not sure what to pick, the baristas will be happy to recommend something for you!
After a quick chat, Melson selected a jar of Longjing Oolong for me from his seasonal tea collection and meticulously weighed out the delicate slim leaves. The leaves go into a little pot for brewing before being poured out into an accompanying tea cup.
Longjing or Dragon Well Tea, made from pan-roasted young tea leaves, is one of the most prized Chinese teas, with a refreshing bright flavour and mildly astringent aftertaste. The first sip of the clear, golden liquor was so fortifying and satisfying on that rainy morning, and felt all the more satisfying because of the the dainty cerulean porcelain cup that held it.
Next up, coffee! The Salted Caramel Latte (RM12) is one of the cafe’s most popular drinks, so I had to try that. Here, milky coffee meets homemade caramel without being overbearingly sweet. But although it wasn’t too sweet, the taste of the caramel overpowered the coffee in a way I – a notorious drinker of pitch black coffee – didn’t like as much as I thought I would.
Then I tried what I came for: an Artisanal Hand Brewed Coffee (RM16)! Craft Origin uses a rotating staple of coffee beans, sourced from all over the world by Malaysian coffee suppliers but roasted in-house so you always get a fresh batch, as well as a range of brewing methods. Once again, if you don’t have a preferred method, a chat with the friendly baristas will help you find something you like. As a charming personalised touch, they’ll also select the the best drinking vessel to go with your blend of choice. (It does make a difference, trust me!) Once again, Melson and his trained baristas brewed my drip Ethiopian coffee with scientific precision and care. Like their teas, you can expect the bean blends to change seasonally so every visit will be an experience to remember!
And if you’re looking for a bite alongside your drinks, Craft Origin has a small but hearty food menu. I tried the Fish & Chips, an extremely generous serving of battered white fish fillets and waffle fries served with a small dish of mushy peas and hand-made garlic aioli.
While the batter was perfectly crisp and light, I wasn’t much a fan of the choice of fish, which was watery and soft, with very little in the way of taste or texture. The waffle fries are also an interesting take on the traditional stick fries, but I thought they was a tad too heavy to really shine. Still, heavy eaters or fans of fried foods will adore this dish, which is a steal at RM20.
What I really did like, however, was the French Toast! Two fluffy pieces of bread, coated in glorious caramelised egg batter and cornflakes for an amazing crunch, served drizzled with caramel sauce, burnished bananas, nuts and berries. It’s a textural delight, beautifully punctuated with the fresh juicy tang of the berries. I could have eaten plates of this! And at RM15, you absolutely could.
True to its name, the spirit of craftsmanship certainly underscores everything in this quaint cafe. With its decent prices, well-made drinks, and friendly, personalised service, Craft Origin delivers a delightfully charming experience that I’d happily recommend to all my tea and coffee-loving friends! And I’ll definitely be back for that French Toast.
A: No.9, Jalan Rahim Kajai 13, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
T: 012-689 6841