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How common is it to be able to find good cappuccino in coffee shops in Thailand? Are coffee shops common in Thai cities at all?

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Be aware that cappuccino can have different meanings in different countries. In Belgium and France for example a Cappuccino can be coffee with whipped cream. If you want a "proper" cappuccino you need to ask for an Italian cappuccino or a cappuccino with steamed milk. –  andra Jan 20 '12 at 15:48
    
True. In New Zealand we always need to ask them not to add chocolate or cinnamon on our coffee... –  Arik Fraimovich Jan 20 '12 at 23:24
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Although nowhere near as ubiquitous as in the US, coffee shops are relatively common in major Thai cities, especially those with high tourist numbers (eg, Bangkok, Chang Mai). In addition to over 100 Starbucks stores around the country you'll also find countless McDonalds, many of which have "McCafe" and - depending on the area - many western style coffee shops serving your choice of various forms of espresso and drip coffees.

When ordering it's worth making sure that you're getting what you think you are. "Cappuccino" doesn't vary around the world as much as some other drinks, but there are slight variations between countries (and often between shops in the same counties!). Starbucks has the edge here in that they will almost always make the US version of a drink regardless of what country you're in.

Expect to pay about the same as what you would in the US, which means that your morning coffee could well be the most expensive thing you buy all day!

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For a start, Starbucks Thailand exists. So if you're desperate, at least you know you can get a recognisable drink and service at that. It's like McDonald's, as a tourist you don't usually want to have it, but at least you know what you're getting. And they do have cappuccinos ;)

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We heard really bad things about Starbucks' quality in the US, but when we tried their coffee in Australia and New Zealand is was actually between ok to even good. Hopefully they have similar quality in Thailand. Any idea about their prices? –  Arik Fraimovich Jan 20 '12 at 23:23
    
Fine, there are better coffee places but I do think a lot of the people railing against Starbucks Coffee are effing snobs. –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 21 '12 at 17:34
    
Starbucks are OK - but their prices are high and their calorie count is even higher - coffees go upto almost 800 Kcal - that's two full dinners in a cup! –  Wolf5370 Jun 14 '12 at 10:03
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There are many, many coffee places here at the moment. Thailand goes through full-on phases - last year there was the fish massage parlours (i.e. you put your feet in a tank full of fish that eat the dead skin) - it was such a good business for 5 minutes that every other shop became one (they were even in Tescos!) - now they are all but gone. Right now there are wall to wall coffee places, many are already falling away (expensive equipment and lush set-up can not hope to be covered in 40baht coffees from passing Thais and tourists - and too many places to charge more!) All the usual coffee types are available - although I find mostly the coffee used for espresso is a bit on the weak side compared to say France or Spain (where the best coffee is served IMHO).

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Cheers for the typos correction Ankur, typing to fast (or with my elbows) again :D –  Wolf5370 Jun 14 '12 at 11:01
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