VIKASA COFFEE : LOVE IN A CUP
Let’s be honest here, in pre-covid times, Vikasa’s coffee wasn’t something you eagerly raced for after your morning yoga class. It was basic store-purchased coffee, brewed by baristas without special training, using a basic boncafe machine. The end result was coffee that tasted very bitter or burnt – basically how coffee tastes at most hotels and cafes that aren’t specialised coffee shops. It was drinkable of course, yet it wasn’t savoured the way your morning coffee should be savoured.
Whilst we were closed during the covid shutdown, a specialty coffee shop and roasters called Flo opened up on the island. Owned by a Samui local, Khun Bank, Flo brought consistently delicious coffee to Samui for the very first time, utilising beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia and Guatemala, as well as local beans from Northern Thailand.
Consequently, Kosta, Niki and Michael became Flo regulars and Michael no longer needed to get his stash of coffee beans sent to him from his Mum in Melbourne as the Flo coffee was on par with the renowned Melbourne coffee scene.
When Vikasa was slated for re-opening, Kosta, Niki and Michael knew they wanted to serve that quality of coffee in the Vikasa Life Cafe and delight guests with a beautiful morning coffee that would remind them of home.
Head Chef Boris returned to Samui and together with Kosta, Niki and Michael, they went through a long intensive tasting process with Bank. During this process, beans from all over the world were roasted and blended together to form different blends with different tastes. Over time these options were whittled down until we arrived at the perfect “Vikasa blend.”
The “Vikasa blend” is a combination of beans from Brazil – which provide the chocolatey, sweet nutty base tasting notes – and beans from Chiang Rai in Thailand – which provide a little acidity to counterbalance the sweetness, as well as some unique and interesting notes of orange and pomelo.
The “Vikasa blend” works perfectly for black espresso based coffees as well as milk varieties such as lattes and flat whites. Importantly, it also pairs beautifully with popular plant- based milk alternatives such as soy, oat, almond and coconut milk. This was an important consideration and a large part of the testing process due to the preference of many Vikasa guests for non-dairy brews.
Shortly after reopening, the “Vikasa blend” was introduced at the Life Cafe and the positive response was immediate. People began raving about our coffee and we quickly built up a reputation amongst Samui locals as the best place on the island for amazing coffee, coupled of course with the most amazing view.
Over time, Bank also helped us expertly train our baristas, source a new grinder and coffee machine, recommend a water source with the correct mineral make-up for coffee brewing and many other variables we weren’t even aware of that were important for great tasting coffee.
Now, after a year of testing and refinement, we are supremely confident in the quality and consistency of our coffee. Just to give you an insight, in a standard pre-covid month we would sell around 300 coffees. In December 2022 alone, we sold 2,000 coffees.
We continue to work with Bank on maintaining and improving the quality of our coffee and we also have new ideas in the pipeline such as filter coffee sachets for the Vikasa in-room mini-bars.
Good news for both visitors and locals – we also sell the “Vikasa blend” coffee beans in bags in our retail store and they are coming soon to our online shop.
If you had reservations about being able to enjoy great coffee on your yoga retreat, rest assured, we’ve got you covered.
Find out more about our food philosophy and Vikasa Life Cafe here.