I consider myself a coffee connoisseur, when I find a good cup of coffee I tend to go back to that place time and time again. I have been to multiple coffee shops in Bangkok and around the world with differing degrees of satisfaction. One place I do like, I wouldn’t say it’s my all time favourite by any means, but a place I like to go back to is UCC Oriental Coffee at Gateway Ekkamai.
UCC, stands for Ueshima Coffee Company and is a Japanese franchise that have a few shops set up in Bangkok. The Ueshima Coffee Company in Japan is a huge business that owns all stages of production from the coffee beans to the retail side and coffee shops themselves. It stands to reason that a good place to set up a Japanese coffee shop would be in the Ekkamai area, well known for being a haven for Japanese and Korean Expats.
The reason I like UCC is the sheer variety of products available, you will surely find a coffee that suits your taste. They have 5 different ways of making the coffee.
This is a kind of vacuum effect where a heat source is placed under some water, which moves up a tube into the coffee. It is stirred until it forms a paste. When the water is up inside the top tube the heat source is removed and the whole mixture moves back down to the second tube. This process allows the rich flavours of the coffee to really come through.
- Hand Drip
Commonly known as the pour over method. Hot water is poured over coffee beans in a filter and this moves down into a bottom vessel where the coffee is collected. Similar to the water drip method but it is done by hand.
- Water Drip
The most common form of coffee makers on the commercial market use this method. Water is heated and then sent through a tube to the coffee granules and is filtered into another vessel.
- French Press
This is where water and coffee beans are fused together in a container. The coffee granules and water dissolved together for about 5 minutes, a plunger is then slowly pushed down onto the coffee to filter the graduals before pouring the coffee.
A quick, high intensity burst of pure coffee.
My favourite is the Siphon method. It gives a very nice rich taste to the coffee that is hard to replicate using the other methods. Some people complain that this method leaves the coffee bitter, but I disagree, this really does make an excellent cup of coffee.
As well as the different methods of making coffee, UCC offers a range of specialty coffee. House blend, Brazilian, Columbian, Hawaiian and Blue Mountain. I have tried all of these coffees now and my favourite is still the house blend.
UCC not only caters for the coffee connoisseur, but it also provides the usual coffees you would see in any high street coffee shop. Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato etc. Furthermore, they offer a full range of iced coffees as well as juices, shakes and fruit drinks.
As well as coffee and drink, there is also quite an extensive food menu. As you would expect, a lot of it geared for the Japanese and Korean customers from well known Japanese curries to desserts. They do offer a good range of comfort food though for the western customer. I particularly enjoy the pork cutlet with fries, which comes with a small side salad. Being in Bangkok, they also offer some very spicy Thai salads, which I haven’t tried myself but I’m informed are well worth it.
One thing that will keep you going back to UCC for more, is the desserts! They have a fascinating array of desserts to suite all tastes. They all go exceptionally well with the coffee, I particularly like the blueberry cheesecake, with its rich cream and chocolate sauce.
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