Beyond the chaotic streets of Mar Mikhael, away from the frenzied crowds and ear-splitting noise of the city lies an uncluttered café that is not to be missed. This relaxed space was created by two coffee enthusiasts and boy do they know their coffee!
Kalei started out as a micro-roastery which later expanded into a specialty coffee shop. The owners travel around the globe to countries that produce coffee, like Ethiopia and Colombia, visiting farms in order to buy the bean that is then roasted and freshly brewed here in Lebanon. Not only that but some of the coffees they offer like the Colombian variety are both certified organic and fair trade.
So you can enjoy the authentic coffee flavor and pat yourself on the back for supporting the environment and a better life for coffee farmers.
Their coffee packs are sold both as single bean origin and blends. They can be found in many shops and restaurants, as well as both their café and on their online shop, along with different types of coffee and tea equipment. The website also offers 3 coffee subscription packages, a brew guide, and plenty of information on the origins of the beans and interesting articles.
Tucked away in the backstreets of Mar Mikhael beyond the alleyways and abandoned buildings, finding Kalei is somewhat of a treasure hunt, and once you arrive, you are overwhelmed with a sense of calm.
The multi-level café has 3 seating areas, the garden (pet-friendly), indoor lounge and roof lounge. Calling the decor minimalist is an understatement, even the colors seem to be desaturated.
Time seems to slow down in Kalei, the atmosphere is laidback, making it the perfect escape inside Beirut for a relaxing breakfast, brunch or after work drink or you can just while away the hours with a nice hot brew and a good book.
Their menu offers a little something for everyone Freshly brewed coffee, tea, alcoholic drinks, light bites, and you can find their sweets neatly displayed at the counter inside.
We love Latte art, so obviously, we ordered the Latte it had a beautiful Lotus design, almost too perfect to disturb. The Affogato was the perfect pick me up, a scoop of Raspberry ice cream drowned in rich, hot espresso, it’s like coffee and dessert!
I feel it’s important I mention, we visited Kalei after brunch, with the sole intention of having some coffee but there we were on a lovely table by the entrance, a cool breeze, and it happened! A waiter walks past us with this inviting plate of smashed avocado toast topped with a fried egg and that was that! We just had to have it. It was simple, flavourful and delicious.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The atmosphere is relaxing, the food is solid and the coffee is excellent.
Open daily from 9am to 11pm
Check out their menu on Zomato