Beautiful Chiang Mai, Thailand, is known for its ornate temples and laid-back atmosphere. But, as millions of tourists visit the northern Thai hot spot each year, bits of Western culture find their way into the local landscape. The bustling coffee shop is one such piece of home that has found a niche in Chiang Mai. The menu of any coffee shop will likely feature a mixture of the foods and drinks you’re used to and the most common local offerings. If you’re planning on visiting a Chiang Mai coffee shop, try ordering these 7 drinks for a great experience.
Top 7 Drinks to Order in a Chiang Mai Coffee Shop
Even though you’re living in a new place, you don’t have to miss out on all of your favorite drinks from your former home. Northern Thailand grows some fine tea and coffee. Many coffee shops in Chiang Mai pride themselves on offering a blend of their traditional beverages together with the types of coffee drinks you’re used to.
That said, don’t be afraid to try new drinks local to the area. Thai cuisine offers some of the most exotic, enticing flavors in the world.
1. Thai Iced Tea
Thai iced tea is a local delicacy in Chiang Mai. It’s a strong brew usually made from Ceylon tea or another local tea variety. It’s then seasoned with a mix of spices, including orange blossom, tamarind, and star anise. Then the blend is sweetened with condensed milk and sugar.
It’s served cold over ice, sometimes with a little extra coconut milk or evaporated milk poured over on top.
A cup of Thai iced tea is refreshing, sweet, and totally unique. If you’re in a Chiang Mai coffee shop, be sure to check this one out.
Once a purely Italian treat, the fame of the cappuccino has spread around the world, including to Thailand. This drink is usually made with two piping hot shots of espresso and steamed milk foam to top it off.
Traditionally, an Italian cappuccino is meant to be enjoyed during breakfast with a warm pastry. For some Chiang Mai style flavor, try a traditional Thai breakfast dish. Most cafes will also serve Western-style food, so you may be able to order an omelet, breakfast cake, or a full breakfast platter, too.
For a true taste of home, try an Americano. This coffee option reportedly got its name when American WWII soldiers started diluting their strong European espresso with hot water to make it taste more like the drip coffee they remembered from back home.
For a great Americano, look for a shop that serves a double shot of espresso mixed with hot water. You can request milk or cream if you prefer, but for the best early morning jolt, try drinking it black.
A strong American is a perfect addition to a busy day in Chiang Mai. Tour the city’s collection of ancient temples, visit the local arts and cultural museums, or trek through one of the several natural parks. Armed with an Americano, there’s no place you can’t go.
If an Americano sounds a bit too harsh, order a latte instead. This classic is made with espresso and warm milk. The milk could be steamed, but it is never foamed—that style is reserved for cappuccinos only.
A warm latte is a perfect start to a day full of shopping in Chiang Mai’s famous local markets. It can put a little extra pep in your step if you’re planning on staying up for the night bazaar, too.
5. Iced Coffee
Ice-cold coffee is a great solution when you need your caffeine kick on a hot day. Most coffee shops in Chiang Mai will offer all of their hot coffee drinks in a cold variety. That means you could order an iced cappuccino, an iced Americano, or even an iced latte. The possibilities are endless.
An iced coffee can be a refreshing drink to take along to a trip to the local zoo. If you haven’t made the trip yet, Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium is an impressive stretch of land home to a variety of exotic animals. It’s worth a visit.
A cool, refreshing smoothie can be a great pick-me-up after a day spent hiking through the foothills surrounding Chiang Mai. Thailand is home to a variety of fresh, exotic fruit, so your options are endless.
In addition to fresh, local fruit, many Thai smoothies include a bit of extra kick. Yours may have coconut milk or coconut oil mixed in to add some savory flavor. Many coffee shops will include some spices for an extra zing, like fresh ginger.
Check out the smoothie options at your local Chiang Mai coffee shop. Look for a cafe that blends their fruit fresh and offers a variety of choices that hit will the sweet spot on a hot day.
7. Hot Tea by the Pot
A hot cup of tea is a welcome drink at any time, but if you’re visiting a Chiang Mai coffee shop with friends in tow, consider ordering a pot to share. Sharing a hot pot of tea with a group of friends is a great communal tradition that can build warmth and foster deeper friendship.
In fact, communal meals are a big part of local Thai culture. Food is usually served in family portions, with each diner trying out a few bites of each dish. A hot pot of tea is the perfect complement to this type of community spirit.
Not only that, tea offers plenty of benefits for your health, too. Hot tea can perk up your alertness, lower your stress levels, and even reduce your risk of cancer.
Look for a coffee shop that offers a variety of high-quality loose leaf tea to share with your friends.
Visit the Bon Bon Cafe for an Authentic Chiang Mai Experience
At the Bon Bon Cafe, we offer a mix of traditional Thai drinks and Western coffees. We have a full food menu and daily specials, too. We maintain a relaxed atmosphere and even offer free WiFi for our customers.
We’re located in southern Chiang Mai in Don Pin village. Pay us a visit and try our delicious drinks for yourself.