A wise person once described artisan coffee roasting as a marriage of science and sensibility. The entire process involves going above and beyond throughout every delivery stage — from the initial carefully-regulated farming conditions to the meticulousness with which beans are then roasted to perfection.

In the past few years or so, Penang’s coffee scene has taken off. However, a few of the top picks and usual haunts seemed to have closed their doors temporarily during the pandemic, but here’s to hoping they’ll be back on their feet soon. In the meantime, these are some of the best coffee spots in Penang — and they’re coffee lover approved!

Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Company

Founded by coffee enthusiasts, this repurposed warehouse of 8000 sq ft is an academy, roastery, cafe, and restaurant all rolled into one! Retaining its industrial factory roots of bare, rustic furnishings and exposed ceiling plumbing, this huge coffeehouse and restaurant is a great place to sample their in-house roasted coffee beans, from a mixed menu of staples to frequently rotated single-origin and house blends.

They even offer barista, brewing, and latte art courses, along with packets of their blends and filter coffees for you to enjoy at home — truly serious coffee connoisseurs passionate about what they do. Offering a delicious selection of breakfast and main meal items, Macallum Connoisseurs is the perfect place to pair a fresh cup of brew with matcha red bean pancakes or a plate of their truffle pasta carbonara.

Address: 1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, 10300 George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday, 9am to 6pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am to 9pm

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Constant Gardener Coffee

This tiny family-owned, multi-roasters coffee shop serves Penangites with speciality coffees, single-origin hot chocolates, beautiful infusion teas, and more. Their seasonal menu offers different beans from all over the world, and customers can sample them all through their Espresso Tasters Menu.

Humble, passionate, and genuine, this cafe has been at the forefront of reducing cost pass-throughs and lending a helping hand to fellow cafes throughout the pandemic and recent inflations. They even held vaccination incentives and gave out 10 free coffees for those who were fully vaccinated. Alternative milk swaps here come at no extra cost too! This coffee house has a strong following of regulars, and it is not hard to see why.

Address: 9 Lebuh Light, Ground Floor, Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce Building, 10200 George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Daily, 9am to 8pm

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Ome by Spacebar Coffee

Tucked away in a little corner of a little lane called Lorong Toh Aka, Ome peeks out with its leafy green entrance and charming rustic interiors, perfect for aesthetic pictures. A compact cafe with limited seating space for only 18 pax at a time, this zen oasis is definitely worth stopping by if you’re lucky enough to grab a seat.

Speciality coffee is their forte, serving robust seasonal finds on top of the extra smooth default offerings. Hot food is not offered here, but their homemade cakes and bread counter has received rave reviews, with the olive oil zucchini bread being the bestseller. It comes with a sprinkle of sea salt and a whirl of Crème Fraiche, making this the perfect savoury complement to the artisanal coffee experience.

Address: 1 Lorong Toh Aka, 10100 George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 7:30am to 4pm

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The Alley

Not to be confused with the famous bubble tea chain, The Alley is nestled somewhere in the heart of George Town. It bears the old Chinese business signboard ‘Kedai Gaharu Keat Seng’ and can only be found if you investigate with a closer look.

Recently obtaining second place in the Malaysia Brewers Cup 2022, you know they take their coffee seriously. These baristas are enthusiastic about their craft right from the onset when introducing their selection of coffees.

Not just a spot for coffee lovers, The Alley is also famous for its delectable churros, which are heavenly. Crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside, this sport easily serves the best churros in town.

Address: 5 Stewart Lane, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Daily, 10am to 6pm

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Norm Micro Roastery

Coffee enthusiasts and cafe-hopping Instagrammers alike will love this place. With high ceilings, minimalistic furnishings, raw walls with skylights shining through the roof, there’s everything to love about this light and airy coffee joint. Norm Micro Roastery incorporates a zen garden concept, and the area is filled with grey pebbles, curved seating, tall trees, and small shrubs.

Two beautiful white coffee machines occupy centre stage on the barista counter. Combining the concept of a coffee roaster and cafe, they serve espresso-based beverages and hand-brewed speciality beans. Their food menu also attracts large crowds, with the signature item being a flavourful prawn and pumpkin risotto.

Address: 13 Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10300 George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday, 8am to 6pm; Friday & Saturday, 8am to 10pm

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Kopi Hutan

Tucked away at the top of Penang Hill in the Monkey Cup Garden, Kopi Hutan is a charming and refreshing space secluded by a scenic curation of orchids, plants, and trees. It is well worth a stop if you happen to be spending the day at Penang Hill and need a coffee breather, and at 730 metres above sea level, this has to be the highest cafe in Penang.

The recommended beverage here is Kopi Hutan — an aromatic blend of five roasts from different countries. The other types of coffee on the menu are brewed from Arabica and Saudi-Arabian beans. Freshly-baked cakes and sandwiches are also on the menu, albeit in a limited selection.

Address: Penang Hill, George Town, Penang
Operating hours: Daily, 9am to 5pm

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Ang Ang’s Roastery

Spanning a current total of six outlets across the island and mainland, Ang Ang’s Roastery is well known for brewing great quality coffee. It has a constantly rotating artisan selection of drip coffees, and all of its outlets have the same clean, pleasing aesthetic. A practical cafe with a nostalgic vibe, this is a great place to catch up with friends and get work done.

Address: 46 Jalan Arumugam Pillai, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang
Operating hours: Daily, 10am to 12am

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