Local coffee beans in Sabah

Sabah coffee scene is growing, especially in Kota Kinabalu. Borneo Coffee Festival was recently held here and it was a good start in promoting good coffee to the people here.

I personally prefer grinding my coffee beans in the morning and making my morning cuppa with a french press. It beats instant coffee every time in terms of aroma and taste. The little extra effort is definitely worth it. This way of making coffee is also almost zero waste. I buy my coffee beans using my own container and after making coffee I compost the used coffee grounds.

On top of being zero waste, I also reduce my carbon footprint by buying locally grown beans. Here is a list of places where you can get them.

1. Sabarica - Fresh beans from the foothills of Mt Kinabalu. They support sustainable management of coffee plantations and help local farmers maximize their crop yields. You can buy their beans from their online shop or visit Relax Coffee Cafe.

2. Fu Wang Borneo Coffee - Freshly roasted Tenom coffee be…

Green living in Kota Kinabalu

For those of you who are starting out on your green journey or have been doing so but are new in town, here is a list of activities/groups that you can join for the betterment of our planet earth.

1. Beach clean ups - Kota Kinabalu has many beautiful beaches and islands. Unfortunately, rubbish do tend to get washed up on shore or get left behind by tourists. Trash Hero Borneo organises regular beach cleanups in the area. Follow their Facebook page to get alerts when one is coming up.

2. Recycling for charity - Tzu Chi sets up collection points every 4th Sunday of the month at various locations, visit their web page to find one near you. Money collected from selling the recyclable materials are used to help run their various charitable programs. They have a permanent recycling centre at Kolombong too, with location and opening hours on Google map.

3. E-waste collection - Sabah Computer Society organises E-waste collection campaigns periodically. You can send old electronic items, appli…

Sourdough bread in Kota Kinabalu

I recently acquired a taste for sourdough bread. Not many people make it here in Kota Kinabalu but it is catching on. For those who don't make their own bread, here is a list of places where you can get them:

1. Omma's Oven - A bakery/cafe at Lintas Plaza selling sourdough bread by the loaf or sliced up and served as part of their menu item. Loaves are delivered there in the afternoon. Not available on Mondays & Fridays.

2. City Veggie - A vegetarian restaurant which also sells sourdough bread by the loaf or half a loaf.

3. Mosaic Cafe - Cafe operated by Hyatt Regency Kinabalu which sells sourdough bread by the loaf. They also make their own ice cream in house!

4. Nook Cafe - Lovely cafe at Jalan Dewan which serves their breakfast with a choice of sourdough bread. They do not sell by the loaf though.

5. Adelphi & Co. - A higher end cafe which serves sourdough with their breakfast items.

6. German Bread & Pizza - Mr Vogel supplies bread to many supermarkets. Howeve…

How to save money in Malaysia

Here are a few tips on how I save money in Malaysia. Hope you find them useful. Do add on in the comments if you have more ideas for me.

Malaysia is considered a food heaven. One way to save money is to cook your own meals. However, not all of us can do that. A good way to save money while eating out is to cut out the drinks, especially alcoholic ones. Go for water, it's easy on the wallet and also the waistline. As for food, order what you can finish. Wasted food is wasted money.

Take public transport. I know it can be hard when the system in place is not fantastic. But Malaysian public transport has improved quite a bit. You can save on petrol, parking fees and tolls. For places that are not covered by public transport, take a Grab car instead. It is a lot cheaper than taxis.
If you do have to drive, there are many ways to stretch your petrol. Check out Simple Dollar's guide on how to practise good gas conservation habits.

Electricity and water cos…

Consumerism in Malaysia

I was pushed to write about this topic after reading about the "Protect our Pockets" campaign. Sometimes I do wonder, how did we get into such a mess. On weekends, you would see shopping malls packed with people. Everyone is there to buy, buy, buy.

Where I come from, most of my weekends are spent lounging around at home or with friends. Sharing a pot of freshly brewed coffee at home only costs less than RM1. That's almost free compared to the prices people pay at Starbucks. Whenever I walk past high end branded shops, I wonder how many of the people who shop there can really afford to buy those items.

I've been reading The Millionaire Next Door. It's quite and old book but the concepts are still applicable. If we were to live like real millionaires, we would be spending a lot less. It's about time we changed our mindsets. Being rich doesn't mean owning all the fine things that money can buy. If we lived below our means and be happy with what we have, then…

World Carfree Day - 22nd September

It's time to leave your cars at home! Over in Malaysia, rail companies are giving out free coupons. A total of 150,000 free one-way coupons on the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Monorail will be given out on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from Sept 22 in support of World Car Free Day. As typical Malaysian mentality goes, I doubt this will encourage new users. It is not big enough a carrot to lure car addicted citizens to take public transport, though it would be a nice little reward for existing users. 
What we need is a more efficient public transport system. Here is a typical itinerary of a highly efficient transit system (i.e. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, London): 
Walk to station: 5 min Wait for train: 0-15 min Ride to center: 10 min Change platforms: 1 min Wait for train: 0-15 min Ride to end: 10 min Walk to destination: 5 min Total: 31-61 min Average: 46 min
In contrast to our Malaysian transit:
Walk to station: 10-15 min (If you stay near one, otherwise you'll need to beg someon…

Pre-raya shopping rush

Tesco ran out of shopping carts so my fellow shoppers had to wait at the lifts and grab a cart once the lift doors open!