Coffee Shop Atmosphere and Flavor are Major Draws for Customers

Coffee shops are in abundance throughout Cambodia, with more opening their doors post-pandemic. Kiripost talks to coffee aficionados, particularly young Cambodians, to find out what fuels their coffee shop choice
A coffee shop in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A coffee shop in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Coffee shops have been cropping up across Cambodia during the last few years, with the atmosphere and quality of coffee beans being a major draw.

Heng Liessa, a year 4 student at the Department of International Studies, enjoys trying out new coffee shops in town. She said both the environment and flavor are reasons for her regular visits to a particular spot.

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“If it has a nice view, but the flavor isn’t good, I won’t go there again,” she said. “However, if the flavor and place are both good, I might frequently go there.”

Currently, she seldom visits coffee shops as she is busy with her studies. However, usually she spends between $30 and 40$ a month on coffee.

“I enjoy going to a coffee shop on weekends with my friends when I’m free from class,” the 21-year-old said. “Also, I like to drink an iced latte, and normally I might spend $3 for a cup of coffee.”

Khouch Khoyfong, a 22-year-old online teacher, said his favorite coffee shop drinks are cappuccino and mocha. Additionally, he said the environment is a reason for him to visit a coffee shop.

“For me, I concentrate on the environment,” he said. “Service is another reason for me going to coffee shops. If the staff are friendly, it is also a plus.”

As he visits a coffee shop at least once a week, Kaifong spends between $10 to $20 per month on coffee.

“I might pay roughly $2 for each cup of coffee,” he said. “Also, I’m currently visiting both local and international brands. It depends on the time and location.”

A coffee shop in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa
A coffee shop in Phnom Penh. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Like others, Institute of Foreign Languages student, Ly Dalin, ranked good flavor as important for enticing her to visit a coffee shop again. Additionally, as she drinks coffee five times per week, she spends more than $50 on coffee each month.

“If I cannot go to the coffee shop, I will order it [via an app]. So, even if the environment is not good, that’s okay for me,” she said. “I might pay around 7,500 riels for a cup of coffee.”

Nao Prornit, a Year 3 student at Institute of Foreign Languages, said that while both environment and taste are essential when picking a coffee shop, the flavor is more important. Also, an iced latte is his favorite drink.

“Sometimes, I go there for the view. Sometimes, I go there for its taste. If it tastes good, even if it’s far, I still go,” he said. “Service isn't as essential to me, as we have to serve ourselves at certain coffee places. However, they should make the consumer feel warm, so it will be better.”

He said that he will spend $60 per month on coffee if he visits a coffee shop four times a week. Furthermore, it makes no difference to the 20-year-old if the brand is local or international.

“I might pay $1.50 to $2 per cup of coffee. Also, the brand doesn’t matter. If it’s good, I’ll go there. However, I prefer to go to local ones,” he said. “Mostly, I go to Korn Cafe since it's tasty and a local brand."

Meanwhile, Pong Ratanak, who works in real estate, said he spends between $50 and $60 a month on coffee during his daily visits. In addition to taste, he visits a coffee shop for the service.

“If a coffee shop cannot provide a good service, I don’t think I will go there again,” he said. “I think that the service is important.”

He also urged people to support local brands.

“I prefer Coffee Plus, Brown, or Tube,” said the 22-year-old. “I think Coffee Plus is an international brand, whereas Tube and Brown are local brands. If we can support the local brands, it’s good.”

Ro Kimlong, an employee of a private company, said flavor is the main reason for him to buy coffee. However, his sense of taste is less relevant when he has to stay at coffee shops for work.

“If I buy coffee to consume at home or at work, I will consider the flavor. But If I need to stay at a coffee shop, I will consider the environment,” he said. “Even if the taste isn't good, I'll go because I like the place.”

Local brands are marked as his favorite as they are less expensive than international brand. In addition, he spends between $30 and $40 on coffee per month.

“I like to drink an iced latte and go there about two or three times per week,” he said. “Also, I might spend about 3,000 riels to 6,000 riels for a cup of coffee.”