We’ve found a new coffee hideaway in historic Malacca, the birthplace of Malaya (the old name for Malaysia). Tucked away in a back lane between Jonker and Heeren Streets, Backlane Coffee is a secret sanctuary where you can your cuppa far from the madding crowd.
The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the café is the long, white-bricked bar with a dessert display and an espresso machine humming away. A vintage vinyl record player housed in a turquoise “suitcase” plays agreeably nostalgic tunes from the 70s. (“Get up and boogie”, anyone?)
Burlap sacks that once contained coffee beans are now stretched against black piping frames to remind customers Backlane Coffee is one of the rare places in Malacca to serve a decent flat white or short black. Yellow pendant lights dangle from the ceiling (itself a remarkable royal blue). Colourful dishes and cups make for cheerful dishware.
The walls of the café are adorned with antique items such as old-fashioned clocks and yellowed maps. Grab a seat nearest to the large windows facing the back lane; the natural sunlight will enliven your spirits and soothe your nerves. Time slows down here, happily so.
Soon the aroma of freshly brewed coffee will be enticing you; time to order a cup or two. The Backlane Coffee house blend is a gentle mix of Columbia, Java and Sumatra beans. Balanced but not overly full-bodied, this medium-dark roast is perfect for milk coffees such as a cappuccino or piccolo latte.
Fans of latte art ought to be suitably impressed with the delicate designs. Don’t miss the homemade cookie with every cuppa. In lieu of the traditional biscotti, this buttery cookie comes already stamped with the café’s name. Now that’s some delicious branding!
These “better-than-biscotti” bars aren’t the only baked delights available. Backlane Coffee offers freshly baked cakes, pastries and desserts. Their not-too-sweet teh tarik macaron has a subtle hint of coconut. The salted caramel tart is divine: the cream is salted with Ruby Salt and the meringue topping is made with gula Melaka (palm sugar).
If you stay long enough till after sunset – the café keeps rather late hours close to midnight on most days – you will be rewarded with an entirely different ambience as the sultry Malaccan heat is replaced with an evening cool. The café’s lights lend an almost otherworldly glow to the space, and you will be reluctant to leave at the end of the night.
129 Jalan Hang Jebat, Malacca, Malaysia
Sun-Thu 11am-11pm / Fri-Sat 11am-12am