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As well as being famous for its famous party culture, Koh Phangan is now an island of coffee shops and cafes. People are quite the connoisseur when it comes to coffee nowadays and that includes backpackers, tourists and ex-pats and so, rightly, the island has evolved to accommodate this. You will all come to have your favourites, depending on the different types of coffee, atmosphere and food that go along with the brown pick me up drinks. There are plenty of good quality coffee shops in all areas of the island as well as stalls selling the more thai-style sweet iced coffees so you can enjoy a caffeine hit whilst enjoying that lovely ‘cafe culture’ here in paradise.
You don't have to waste much time wandering the streets of Thailand to find iced coffees along with condensed milk, mini Nescafe espresso cans or a cappuccino straight up. A very big part of Thai life nowadays is the coffee scene.
Of course, if you're in one of the big tourist centres, you're never far from a Starbucks, the global nationwide chains are popping up across the country, even here on Koh Phangan we have two Amazon coffee shops now. But there are also some incredible independent cafés. Be sure to try the street vendors' freshly made, ice-cool coffees too!
Arabica beans are the spinner of wealth in Thailand now, however, the Robusta plant was, at first, the favoured bean. This is because, to set up crops, farmers must quickly clear large swaths of the rainforest. As the coffee community has evolved and been more differentiated the poorer quality, yet higher-yielding bean has fallen out of fashion.
The agriculture of Thailand today relies on the more exportable Arabica bean. The flavour of the bean is much cleaner, sweeter and more palatable than the Robusta. Larger companies started to exploit the land and farmers as the business began to expand. Thankfully, more and more individuals have begun to see the advantages of direct and equal trading. This suggests that more and more local producers earn a payment adequate for the job they do.
Since opening in December 2015, Bubba’s has been an instant hit with both tourists and locals (and trust us, the local ex-pats are hard to please!). Bubba’s is a well thought out cafe which has a warm feeling and serves amazing coffees which are the creation of owner and coffee master Robin along with beautiful breakfasts and lunches. As well as the original store in Baan Tai they now have a cafe in Haad Yao. All Bubba's coffee is organic and is produced in Chiang Mai's pleasant hills. The roaster selects and roasts the finest coffee beans to perfection. The coffee is delivered directly to Koh Phangan after the roasting process, so you can enjoy your fresh cup of coffee.
Situated close to Thong Sala Pier, Nira’s is possibly the most famous cafes on the island and has been established since 1985. Expect only the best freshly ground coffees and also a wide variety of delicious food using only the very best ingredients. A very popular place to sit, relax and enjoy breakfast with a coffee or brunch whilst watching the world go by close to the pier.
Luna in Baan Kai is the creation of a couple originally from Bangkok, this is where they learnt their coffee skills in one of the city’s coffee schools. The cafe has a cosmopolitan feel and is situated in a shipping container. They also offer Thai fusion food and lunches as well as quality arabica coffee.
Sweet Cafe is at the top of the road as you get off the boat at Thong Sala Pier and has been established since 2008. They offer a variety of coffee and is a perfect place for breakfast as they have their own German-style bakery on site.
Next door to The Handle Bar is Blue Top Coffee shop from the same owner and they have some of the strongest coffee you will taste, perfect for those coffee connoisseurs. They also serve yummy Danish food!
Dots Shop & Coffee is located on the main street of Thong Sala, next to the Bangkok Bank and 200m to the Thong Sala pier. Offering coffee, tea, lemonades and different kinds of desserts, they take pride in producing perfect coffees. Dots is also popular as a co-working space so bear this in mind if you want an attached office atmosphere to the cafe.
In 1998, American Michael and his Thai wife Sophie created 'A's Diner & Deli. They have been living on Koh Phangan for more than 30 years and have formed a long-term friendship with the island's residents. Michael oversees the day-to-day operation of the kitchen, ensuring that high-quality meals are served to perfection for all clients. By heading to the local fresh market each morning to hand-select the produce for the A's Popular Diner & Deli, Michael establishes good ties with his suppliers also. Hailed by some as “the island’s best coffee”, it really is a lovely place to enjoy a cup situated on the arty street of Krung Thai.
A lovely spot between Thongsala and Baan Tai on the main road. Their coffee is the finest around, and the consistency of the products, processing and presentation are truly taken care of. They also have food such as morning pancakes and poached eggs on toast.
They sell premium speciality coffee from local & quality bean imports. Homemade French bakery and breakfasts during the day. Large open plan space to enjoy your morning coffee.
A very popular place for french produce with lovely owners located opposite First Western Hospital. Their selection is great quality and you can take away or enjoy a coffee with a baguette inside. The only location in Koh Phangan where more than 40 foreign cheese and cold cut categories can be found. There are different choices available to eat on the spot or carry out. Bagels, panini, and the popular French baguette are accessible every day as well as delicious cakes and pastries.
Mimi’s has quickly become a lovely community cafe, thanks to Mimi herself! A lot of love goes into everything they do. They have built a relaxed, intimate room where you can enjoy fantastic coffee and a range of organic teas. Using the finest quality products, the sweets and lunch specials are all produced from scratch.
The World's End is situated directly across from the Pier in Chaloklum and is by far the most famous breakfast located in the area with a lovely community feel. The coffee served is strong enough to carry you through the day!
A popular choice for the Yoga crowd to sit and enjoy coffee whilst people-watching or discussing topics. Open since 2009 serving different types of coffee and breakfast.
Great place in Thong Sala with good quality Italian coffee in an airy space with comfortable seating and big windows to watch the town’s activities. Good for espresso lovers!
Owned by long-term island resident and baker of delicious cakes, Lea, her newly opened cafe is the second location and her own little community coffee and meal paradise. Enjoy a cup of coffee and some delicious food or famous cakes in a lovely garden atmosphere with cheerful ambience.
Located with Sunset Walk, Bliss gives you stunning ocean views in a well cared for environment with inside or outside seating. They serve coffee as well as brunch and is a fun spot for all members of the family. They have a friendly playground for kids and is also nice for sunset time for couples.
They are a family-owned cafe originally from Portugal with coffee from beans from Thailand and food made fresh.
A chain cafe found all across Thailand but worth mentioning. Located at the gasoline station in Baan Tai and now also opposite the Panthip market in Thong Sala, it’s like a Starbucks but different. Has good coffee but worth going independent in our opinion.
A cosy home-like cafe serving coffees along with breakfast and brunch. Lovely owners and milk alternatives such as almond milk for coffee.
An authentic French bakery. Julien's Bakery & Café is situated on the road to Chaloklum, 500 meters from the police station. Julien's Bakery and Café sells a French "café creme croissant" as in Paris, different unique pieces of bread, burgers, quiches, salads, handmade cookies and of course great coffee in a cute cafe-style atmosphere.
A long menu of coffees to chose from and also serving food, Footprints is also an ethical choice. This is their second cafe, the first being in Cambodia. Footprint Cafes provides visitors with a convenient, fun, inexpensive way to give back to the host communities by simply visiting the cafes. Located over the Sri Thanu lake with other events such as yoga.
All around the island you will see street vendors selling more traditional style Thai coffees which are usually iced! Find your favourite and keep going back to support the local community! The coffee is usually very sweet in tradition but you can ask for it black and without sugar to get it to your liking.
There are lots more places to get coffee on Koh Phangan but these are the main ones which are styled around our caffeine drink of choice! Pretty much every establishment will be able to provide you coffee and now there is hot competition with the coffee and cafe culture here that standards are just going up and up. Find your own favourite and enjoy!