Le Café du Sablon, Brussels

Named after a 15th-century Gothic church, this café is heavenly

The bright and cheerful Le Café du Sablon along rue de la Régence has an enviable view of Eglise Notre-Dame du Sablon just opposite. Dedicated to Our Blessed Lady of Sablon, the 15th-century Catholic church has a Brabantine Gothic exterior and two Baroque-style chapels. The café that bears its name is far less ornate but also a haven of sorts, albeit for coffee aficionados.

Run by François Lafontaine, owner of Café de la Presse, one of the earliest hipster cafés in Brussels, Le Café du Sablon’s focus is on slow-brewed coffee. Lafontaine’s dedication to quality beans is evident with the inclusion of a small indoor roaster, something not every Belgian coffee shop has.

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Fuglen, Tokyo

A wave of Nordic cool in Japan

Looking for a blast of Nordic cool in Tokyo? Hailing from Oslo, Fuglen (which means “the bird” in Norwegian) is a stylish blend of coffee bar by day and a cocktail bar by night. Located in a small alley near Yoyogi Park, Fuglen Tokyo is decorated with vintage furniture – every piece is for sale!

Night owls may wish to drop by in the evenings for the cocktail menu developed by champion bartender Halvor Digernes and the unusual mix of both Japanese and Norwegian craft beers. (Digernes is the co-owner of Fuglen, together with vintage design expert Einar Kleppe Holthe and Peppe Trulsen, who runs one of the oldest coffee companies in Oslo, Stockfleths.)

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Alpha Brew Coffee, Kuala Lumpur

One of Malaysia’s friendliest baristas opens his first café

Here’s an exciting new opening for you: Michael Tan, the friendly barista behind the bar of Kuala Lumpur’s RAW Coffee (now defunct) and Singapore’s Common Man Coffee Roasters, has returned with his own café.

Called Alpha Brew Coffee, Tan plans to serve his style of coffee — which means awesome conversation alongside a good cuppa — influenced by his years of training with Kiwi-born Michael Wilson (RAW Coffee and Artisan Roast) and Perth native Harry Grover (Common Man Coffee Roasters and 40 Hands).

Head on over for some great coffee with big smiles!

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