Try the nitro coffee (and tea) at Bangsar’s Bean Reserve

Jeremy Chan’s latest cafe, Bean Reserve is a place to showcase his extended offerings. — Pix by Choo Choy May
Jeremy Chan’s latest cafe, Bean Reserve is a place to showcase his extended offerings. — Pix by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Sip on the latest in-trend drink that has hit our shores... nitrogen gas-infused coffee and tea at the newly minted Bean Reserve. Located in a well-hidden bungalow, this cosy cafe shares the space with The Co., a co-working company from Singapore.

Cafe hoppers, however, will be familiar with Bean Reserve’s owner Jeremy Chan who also owns Brewmen in Solaris Mont Kiara.

Bean Reserve’s Chai Latte.
Bean Reserve’s Chai Latte.

Compared to Brewmen’s dark wood interiors, Bean Reserve is the exact opposite as it’s blessed with natural light, which complements their white interior. According to Chan, he selected the name, as reserve is a place where precious goods such as gold, diamonds, money and other valuables are stored. For him, coffee is a precious item, hence the name, Bean Reserve.

Expect something different too with Bean Reserve’s offerings. “I don’t know why I started Bean Reserve... I guess the opportunity just came when we did an event for The Co. and I got to know the owners. They wanted to open a cafe and at that time, I was also looking for a space. Back in Brewmen, I was already roasting my own beans. Bean Reserve is the place for me to market other products I have,” said Chan.

He added that due to Brewmen’s space constraints, he couldn’t offer those products there. Also, Chan believes that the Bangsar crowd are more adventurous when it comes to new offerings and they would be more open to try new things.

Previously in Brewmen, Chan had introduced nitro coffee, where cold brew coffee is infused with nitrogen gas and pumped out from a special pressurised beer tap he had brought in from the USA. Chan figured out the mechanics of the nitrogen-infused drink and fixed it himself.

In terms of looks, nitro coffee can pass off as a pint of cold Guinness with its frothy creamy top and dark brown hue. Sip on it and you will discover the concoction goes down smoothly with none of the strong bitter aftertaste usually associated with coffee. The fizziness also gives it a close resemblance to Coca-Cola. “I’m not the first person to offer nitro coffee but my recipe is different from others. Instead of having black coffee, which I feel not many people can accept, I add a bit of honey so it is easier to drink,” said Chan.

There are three taps at Bean Reserve: one serves nitro coffee, one for nitro tea and the last one is for sparkling water. Nitro tea is definitely unheard of in Malaysia. Here, brewed tea is infused with nitrogen gas, which lightens up the flavour of the tea but makes it refreshing with a carbonated taste.

Currently, Bean Reserve serves the seasonal Earl Grey flavour, which looks similar to a tall glass of beer with its light golden hue and creamy foam on top. Chan uses the French-based Betjeman & Barton’s tea leaves to brew his tea. The tea trader has a retail outlet and tea house in Malaysia which opened in June.

Chan has also experimented with different flavours to see which ones go well with nitrogen. In the future, he will also introduce other teas such as green tea, rooibos as well as fruity and floral infusions. “I was inspired by Australian cafes that offer nitro tea. I know not everyone drinks coffee so I saw that there was a market for nitro tea,” he said.

In order to help people understand more, Bean Reserve will also provide descriptions for the beverages. Besides nitro coffee and tea, Chan also makes his own chai from scratch with a special mix of spices from India and tea leaves, instead of using the powdered mix. He noted that their chai latte is quite popular with his customers.

Bean Reserve also offers drinks like sparkling cold brew and sparkling chocolate. The sparkling cold brew is a mix of sparkling water and coffee, while the chocolate version is a combination of single-origin Colombian chocolate with sparkling water.

If you don’t like coffee, keep cool with the cereal milk soft serve ice-cream at Bean Reserve.
If you don’t like coffee, keep cool with the cereal milk soft serve ice-cream at Bean Reserve.

Other than that, Bean Reserve also serves soft serve ice-cream made in house. Their first flavour is cereal milk topped with crispy cereal, as inspired by Momofuku in New York. “My initial idea was to showcase my coffee and chocolate by offering them in soft serve form. I wanted to have espresso flavoured soft serve as well as chocolate flavoured soft serve. I will also be changing the flavours of the soft serve once in a while,” said Chan. For those looking for a bite to eat, they also serve light bites like pastries and sandwiches.

It also pays to follow Bean Reserve on Instagram (@beanreserve), as they will announce surprise or flash promotions on certain days where Bean Reserve will offer limited flavours of drinks or soft serve ice-cream. Expect to fork out between RM5 to RM15, when you dine at Bean Reserve. “I want to make it affordable so everyone can try. For the nitro coffee and nitro tea it is not a one-hit wonder. I want to be able to offer it continuously,” said Chan.

Bean Reserve
8, Lengkok Abdullah, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Open daily: 9am to 6.30pm.