When RAW Coffee left the Wisma Equity building, it promised to relocate to a bigger venue within a couple of weeks. Sure enough, it popped up along Jalan Damai as RGB & The Bean Hive. RGB stands for ‘Roast, Grind, Brew’, but could also stand for ‘Rather Good Beans’.
A new venture headed by Li from RAW and her two partners Mei Sian and Josephine, the bungalow-turned-café is a stone’s throw away from The Intermark in a residential area. Probably so as to blend in with the surrounding houses, its nondescript white façade doesn’t do much to attract new customers, so you’d be understandably hesitant about going in. But step through its doors and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee will be more than enough to convince you to stay. The ambience and cosy furnishing provide the extra touch to make you feel right at home.
In a section behind the counter, a red Diedrich roaster stands silent, except for a particular day or two in a week when Susan does the roasting. The team still practices micro roastery, carrying on the RAW tradition of doing things in small batches – 5kg per roast, as opposed to the standard commercial amount of 60kg. The beans shrink around 20 percent by the end of the process, so supply is precious, and the ten-day wait for the oil to mature means interested buyers will have to get in line early.
For those who simply want to enjoy the coffee in-house, take it black (RM5), so that you can taste the complexity of the naked flavours retained by the light-roast process. A cool window seat goes well with it, though any spot in the airy and comfortably spaced vicinity will equally suffice.
If you’re prolonging your visit, order up a healthy meal or a dessert. Meat-free food is the rule at RGB, offering vegetarian and vegan dishes like eggplant pesto (RM18), a burger with a broccoli-and-cheese patty (RM18) as well as old favourites from RAW Coffee, including the pumpkin soup (RM5 as a side/RM15 with bread and salad), egg frittata (RM18) and a ‘BLT’ made of tempeh, lettuce and tomato in a coconut-oil wrap (RM15).
Moving into the quarters that used to belong to Basil Leaf Restaurant four years ago, the café is breathing life back into the street; it’s been quite some time since the area saw much activity. Indeed, the buzz of Jalan Damai died off at the behest of DBKL after they received complaints about the noise from the then-mushrooming restaurants and cafés, not to mention the traffic jam caused by the sloppy parking habits of inconsiderate customers. Now the area is quiet again, which means people who plan to get to RGB & The Bean Hive on foot will have to stay extra alert, but once you’re in a preferred spot with a good read, you won’t need to take heed of your surroundings for a while.