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Thread: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

  1. #1
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    A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ill be going back to Singapore in September, well the coffee scene is well dominated by the Starbucks, Coffeebeans, Spinelli etc and of course butter roasted (according to a friend) coffee. I dont remember a good cup of coffee there.

    Anyone tried a good one there?

    the sad thing is I can find good coffee roasters.... and Ive yet to put my hands on roasting :-/

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Unfortunately no Joerg

    I was there in February and the way I managed was to drink instant for the first week <ugh!>. That way the Starbucks I had there in the second week didnt taste too bad. In other words I was forced to lower my standards. I went to a p-lace called Clark Quay where there was a couple of streets with an international themeMIGHT have a place that serves drinkable coffee.

    You could also try one of the 6 star hotels there - have a high tea. They may serve a decent coffee but it might cost you $10 or more. My wife and I went to the Fullerton which is the old GPO refurbished. Worth a visit anyway.

  3. #3
    hazchem
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    hey Joerg. I havent been to Singapore for a while, but I do know that there was a long thread on coffeegeek about this subject.

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/worldregional/australasia/310510

    and a more recent one

    http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/worldregional/australasia/57728

    personally, Ive always gone for kopi when in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia. Mind you, that was before i developed a serious problem with espresso!

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by hazchem link=1215607795/0#2 date=1215609104
    personally, Ive always gone for kopi when in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia. Mind you, that was before i developed a serious problem with espresso!
    I agree, go the cultural route. I did manage to get a good espresso at ... Coffee Bean (?) but that was pure luck.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Hey Flynnaus & Hazchem,
    Thanks for the information. Just to quote Taoster on Coffeegreek:
    "I think Kopi is made using 100% robusta bean I had a laugh, very strong burnt flavoured beans. What you need to ask for are:

    Kopi ; with condensed milk
    kopi-o ; with sugar but black
    kopi-c ; with condensed milk and sugar
    kopi-gosong ; just black no sugar.
    Those coffee (kopi) cost about $A0.70 (can you believe it?). It is made from a hot coffee made by dipping ground coffee contained in a cloth strainer in hot water. This method is often found in this region.

    Well, I had a dream- that a CSer would run a cafe there, and solves all the hassles! ;)





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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    I was there recently.

    Check out Highlander Cafe. They are doing the right things with coffee. It is away from the shopping areas and malls, but so worth the trip. Passionate owners & staff. A taxi from orchard rd is about S$7, bus available too.

    Whitebait & Kale, Peaberry & Pretzel & Geek Terminal should be looked at too.

    It is possible to get decent shots from some of the Spinelli outlets, if one of their better baristas are behind the machine. It is too random though... like russian roulette with 5 out of 6 chambers filled with bullets!

    Before I found Highlander, my coffee in singapore was from Bakerzin (Illy) or the local kopi sweetened with condensed milk (developed a taste when working there years ago).

    My first trip there and I spent half the day drinking espresso, using their free internet and talking with staff & the geeks that came in.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by joerg link=1215607795/0#4 date=1215646569
    Hey Flynnaus & Hazchem,
    Thanks for the information. Just to quote Taoster on Coffeegreek:
    "I think Kopi is made using 100% robusta bean I had a laugh, very strong burnt flavoured beans. What you need to ask for are:

    Kopi ; with condensed milk
    kopi-o ; with sugar but black
    kopi-c ; with condensed milk and sugar
    kopi-gosong ; just black no sugar.
    Hehe. The last one literally means burnt coffee.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Hi all,

    Ill second the Highlander recommendation. Just had 5 cups there tonight and Im bouncing off the ceiling... keep it coming though.

    www.highlandercoffee.com

    Cheers!

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Travel to Singapore regularly - stay near Suntec and dont have the time to travel far - surrounded by the usual starbucks and others that cant make a good coffee. Did find one that have a proper machine, used real milk (many use UHT which gives it that unusual taste), made microfoam and generally knew what they were doing - it was the Gloria Geans in one of the large shopping centres around Suntec. Was significantly better than anything else in the area.
    Cant remember the name of the shopping centre - will see if I can hunt down a receipt.

  10. #10
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    Singapore - where to get great coffee?

    Im going to Singapore in a few weeks, and as I cant lug my VBM across without going over the airline weight limit :(, Id like to know if anyone knows of a great coffee spot for my morning fix (where I wont be inclined to jump behind the counter and make my own ;)).

    Ill be staying at the Fairmont, 80 BrasBasah Road, Singapore.

    Thanks. Heres hoping...

    EDIT: thanks Mal for moving my post here: looks like Ill be cabbing my way down the street each morning to Highlander!

  11. #11
    Senior Member E-Gene's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    The shopping centre was probably either Millenia Walk, Marina Square or Raffles City.

    Yes, Highlander is definitely the best place in Singapore to have espresso coffee. Will vouch for them myself. In fact it is also the cheapest place to have a decent coffee in Singapore. Near Outram MRT station, opposite the Singapore General Hospital.

    They roast their own beans as well as sell domestic machines.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    It was marina square....
    not GREAT coffee, but GOOD for Singapore, and drinkable (esp for that first cup in the morning)

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Hey Intellidepth,
    Heres some information:
    Highlander is opened Mon to Sat 9am to 6pm
    Closed on Sun and Public Holidays
    49 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169362
    Coffee Bar Tel: +65 6223 7102

    John Ting (Spore 2008 Barista Championship top 3) works in Spinelli Coffee
    One Raffles Quay (North Tower) #B2-01
    1 Raffles Quay (S)048583


    Keith (Spore 2008 Barista Championship top 3) works at Whitebait & Kale
    #01-01, 1 Orchard Boulevard, Camden Medical Centre
    Singapore 248649
    Tel: 6563338697

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you need more information.


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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    1. Highlander Cafe

    2. Leos Espresso Bar @ Raffles Place

    3. Dimbulah @ Raffles Place (not sure if they are still there)

    4. Superfamous @ Raffles Place

    Quality on the second one depends. The third one used to be rather good but I havent tasted their coffee in a while.

    I cant find any good coffee around the City Hall area! Any one has got any recommendation on that?

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Saw this Sooma Coffeehouse, located along the shophouses besides Great Eastern Centre. They allow their customers to scribble on their walls, and seems that lots of Aussies left their mark. Most sang praises, claiming the coffeehouse serves the best Flat White in Singapore. Tried the Cappuccino, and must say its the best foamed milk Id in Singapore thus far.

    Sooma Coffeehouse
    3 Pickering Street #01-04
    Singapore 048660

    Tel: 62242559

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    After 5 days of asking cabbies to take us to Highlander Cafe, and receiving that puzzled look that cabbies rarely have, I ended up logging on to CS, getting the address, and we taxied up and down Kampong Bahru Road trying to find Highlander - no luck.

    Block 49 was mid-rise residential, and street number 49 appeared to be in the middle of parkland. We drove right up to the junction at the end of the road near a terminal, and sadly turned around and headed back to the hotel. Ive just googled it again - we must have been within a hundred metres of it and couldnt see it.

    :( Yes I too resorted to Starbucks iced coffee one humid rainy afternoon. Id resisted any coffee in Singapore to that point (but absorbed plenty of Singapore Slings *;)).

    After Starbucks, we also tried out Suntec Glora Jeans - the only place open before 10am in the shopping complex, and the coffee was good. The milk texture was good in one and thin and bubbly in the other. But very drinkable, not bitter. Noteworthily: the other guests at that time of the morning were all ex-pats.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Hi all, I understand the frustration hunting for a good cup of espresso in Singapore. Well I talk to the owner and he said that even taxi drivers lost their way getting to Highlander. Heres the map: http://www.highlandercoffee.com/contacts.html
    Also, on Kampong Bahru road, as a guide, once you passed the 7-11, the same row of shop houses where Highlander is, then youd have missed it. Hope you guys find your way there *:D

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    I basically travel the world for my job and while I certainly dont suggest Im a coffee "expert" I certainly get to try a LOT of different outlets. Due to training commitments (cycling) I hadnt been able to get Highlander for a few months, despite being up in Singapore regularly. Ive just arrived back from there and can say I was more than surprised, almost "shocked" at how the guys at Highlander are beginning to push the envelope in terms of quality. I should say that I have absolutely NO connection with the company, Im just another customer there getting his morning coffee. Having said that Im pretty keen to give credit, and its certainly due here.

    Some places I go to are quite arrogant when it comes to their product, despite the fact that it is often very ordinary. In stark contrast are the team at Highlander who are very modest about what they do and always interested in getting feedback. You certainly get the impression they file the opinion away and consider it carefully, a far cry from the dismissive attitude of some. The end result is they just keep getting better and better. When I first started going there I could safely say it was the best place in Singapore for coffee. Its gone from that to the best place in Asia. Crema Cafe in Hong Kong does a great job, and their latte art is stunning, but for whats in the cup Highlander takes it. I havent sat down and actually made a list, but off the top of my head Id say Highlander would probably now make the top 10 outlets Ive been to in the world, most certainly if consistency is considered. Trust me, thats saying something! Generally speaking the places Ive been to that Ive considered "better" have been because their product is "distinct" or somewhat unique. The trouble with this is that it opens up the possibility for individual preference and taste, so a characteristic that one person may find very appealing, another may be completely turned off by it. Im not sure that people will have an espresso at Highlander and go "wow!", its more understated, what Id call an "honest" shot, where its mild, balanced and extremely drinkable. Actually I think it perfectly reflects the personality of the owners. Just as importantly its exactly the same every time, and as anyone with any experience with this knows, getting consistency is often the most difficult part!

    Even though theyre a little way out from the main tourist shopping areas, dont forget in Singapore taxis are very cheap so getting there isnt the major hassle/expense we may expect if it were in, say Sydney. The only thing is its just a little hard to spot the shop but as you go around the bend in the road you should see it within the row of buildings. If youre in Singapore do yourself a favour and head out there then let us know what you think as Im always keen to compare what I consider a "good" outlet with what others think.

    Pete

  19. #19
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Hi all

    Im in Singapore and just paid a visit to Highlander this morning. I had no trouble getting there. Went via the SMRT (Metro train). Got off at Outram Park station - head towards the North east line platforms (purple) and exit via Exit G Go along New Bridge Road and there is a row of shops where Kampung Bahru Rd starts ( No 49 is about 1/2 way along a long row of shops opposite to the entrance road to Singapore Hospital on Kampung Bahru.

    Just use the map and instructions at the Highlander site.

    Wore my Coffeesnobs shirt and the brand was recognised. No discount though *:(
    I had a couple of lovely macchiatos there - the barista on duty was more than competent. Spoke to Phil the co-owner and had a look at the equipment on sale. He has a great shop with a good range of equipment, with the NS OScar just added to his stock - (good value for money machine) as well as the new MAHLKÖNIG grinder which is a pretty impressive machine. Havent heard of these before.

    They use a 3kg Diedrich roaster (same as Dudley) and roast twice week. Im not in the know enough to get into discussing roasting techniques and cupping with Phil but talked at length about the difficulty in providing specialty coffee in Singapore. He only had six SOs of green beans (ethipian, Costa Rican, Sumatran, Indian, Brazilian and I cant remember the 6th. Not a big range as they dont have the ability to bulk order beans to the capacity that Aussie coffee buying agencies have. Phile says he gets some customers buying green beans for home roasting purposes

    Bought a bag of the shop blend - SG$10 -which went down very well in my Aeropress. The Zass 175 is doing a good job, grinding a hopper full in about 2 mins.

    You simply must go out of your way to visit Highlander even if youre only passing through Singapore for the day.

    Anyway, off to Ha Noi next week for a few days. Hope to have at least one Vietnam cafe to add to this forum topic.
    *

  20. #20
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    A not so good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Follow up to the Singapore post and this advice goes without saying I guess. There are quite a few shops here in Singapore that are in the same vein as Starbucks - specialising in coffees that have more in common with milkshakes than espressos.

    Anyway, after wandering around one of the numerous shopping malls, my wife and I decided to sit down for a while. The only options were one of the said coffee franchises so we settled on one called Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, mainly because it wasnt called Starbucks or McCafe.

    We found a table and despite the obvious warning sign of a customer walking past with their order of two milk shake sized drinks covered in whipped cream, I walked to the counter and ordered. Trying to play it safe, I settled for two capps. "Single or double?" I was asked. Err - single. At $4.70 a single coffee seemed a little pricey until...

    I was directed to me order. Surely this was a mistake. On the tray were two large cups of coffee. Im talking HUGE. No, I was assured - that is what I ordered: two single cappuccinos.

    Already disappointed as I walked back to my booth, it got worse. The first sip confirmed my suspicion that the milk was over-textured and the coffee was very milky but, in about a 500mL cup, it was half foam (I wont dignify it with microfoam) and what little coffee taste remained tasted stale. The only positive was that I didnt order a double!

    I checked out some of the stock for sale: a range of blends and SOs. Looking at the label, Date of manufacture: June 2008 Expiry date: July 2009. I suppose I should give them a nod for at least including a label but I think its Singapore law.

    Anyway, a big thumbs down for this shop, and any other coffee shop my b-i-l recommends. I think I will stick to Highlander from now on.

  21. #21
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    I think you can see why theres no discount at Highlander; theyre already very cheap, irrespective of quality.

    The experience you had with the coffee chain would be fairly typical of Asia in general, its a market that is not very sophisticated when it comes to coffee (no disrespect intended btw), but I am quite certain that will change given time. Singapore in general has become very expensive in the past couple of years, my colleagues and I have certainly noticed it. Thats made even worse when comparing back to the A$; it was 0.9 for a long time but now 1 to 1. Its not unusual to pay over 5 bucks for a small coffee downtown or at the airport now, and thats just absurd in my books.

    Sadly Singapore needs places like Starbucks etc to get the population used to drinking coffee. Eventually a group of people will emerge that will begin to recognise quality and over time that group will grow. The same thing happened here in Australia. Here we had a small southern European population who were used to drinking espresso based coffee, Singapore has the ex-pat population.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Theres another place worth a try, its Wiener Kaffeehaus. You will be able to find the shop inside the hypermarket. Enjoy! ;)

    Coffee Roastery and Retail
    Carrefour Suntec City 1st Floor
    Tel: 65 9047 7305
    Fax: 65 6452 5815
    Email: coffee@wienerkaffeehaus.com.sg

    Operating Hours
    10.00am - 10.00pm Daily

  23. #23
    borat123
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F45504747485C5A290 link=1215607795/18#18 date=1236592345
    Im in Singapore and just paid a visit to Highlander this morning. I had no trouble getting there. Went via the SMRT (Metro train). Got off at Outram Park station - head towards the North east line platforms (purple) and exit via Exit G Go along New Bridge Road and there is a row of shops where Kampung Bahru Rd starts ( No 49 is about 1/2 way along a long row of shops opposite to the entrance road to Singapore Hospital on Kampung Bahru.

    Just use the map and instructions at the Highlander site.
    Well I was in Singapore last month for a couple of days, and thought Id give Highlander a visit too... * *Just to clarify the instructions above: *Exit G also says something about a police complex. * *Exit the train station and turn LEFT at the big intersection. * *Walk up the gentle slope, past the overpass and the hospital on your right. * There is also a big bus and car parking area. * *Where a another side road joins from the left cross at the lights and you will see a strip of old style shops & bars. * *Keep walking past the very friendly girls *;) standing outside the karaoke bars and you will shortly find the highlander. *

    By the time I found the shop, it was right on closing time, but Phil was more than happy to have a chat and show me around. *I tried a couple of shots of some Ethiopian and Brazillian beans (cant remember exactly which), and bought two bags and a plunger for the friends I was staying with.

    Great coffee and a friendly bunch. * Well worth the time to pay a visit, have a chat and try some of their coffee.

  24. #24
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F627F6C793C3F3E0D0 link=1215607795/22#22 date=1266225822
    Exit the train station and turn LEFT at the big intersection.
    If this is the intersection of New Bridge Road and Outram/Cantonment Roads, then turning left will head you towards Chinatown. But yes, head towards the hospital and keep it on your right. As I said in my OP, just check a map.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6F627F6C793C3F3E0D0 link=1215607795/22#22 date=1266225822
    Keep walking past the very friendly girlsWink standing outside the karaoke bars and you will shortly find the highlander.

    By the time I found the shop, it was right on closing time,
    I cant help getting the impression that you werent that successful in running the gauntlet of the Kampong Bahru bar girls and it was well before closing time when you set out ;D.
    My visits were in the morning and accompanied by my wife so I wasnt much of a target.

    Highlander is a must-see destination for any CSer visiting Singapore. One of the few establishments offering decent specialty coffee. I think I might try one of their cupping courses when I visit there next month

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 68627760606F7B7D0E0 link=1215607795/23#23 date=1266235089
    I cant help getting the impression that you werent that successful in running the gauntlet of the Kampong Bahru bar girls *
    Youre suspiciously knowledgeable about Kampong Bahru bar girls Flynn!

    ;)

    Now that the thread drift is complete, another vote for Highlander. Keep up the good work Phil & Cedric :)

  26. #26
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 76435A500405330 link=1215607795/24#24 date=1266252499
    Youre suspiciously knowledgeable about Kampong Bahru bar girls Flynn!
    Just putting two and two together, Epic ;). "Kampong Bahru bar girls" is a term I invented for the post, not one of familiarity. To tell you the truth, I have never experienced the evening hours in the area.

    The bars were closed when we walked past but, after reflecting on Borats experience, Im now certain that the women who were seen around the area were usually gainfully employed to help relieve travellers and locals alike of the burden and worry of carrying excessive amounts of local currency. The presence of my lovely wife ensured that I was not put in a position of proving that hypothesis (not that I would have been otherwise tempted).

    For those reading this with growing misapprehension, the area is quite safe and quite quiet. I found the ambience quite soothing with ample distractions for a budding CoffeeSnob.

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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 242E3B2C2C233731420 link=1215607795/25#25 date=1266268840
    For those reading this with growing misapprehension
    Quite right! Despite my best attempts, in 6 odd years of living there Id been unable to find an area of Singapore thats unsafe. Gave it my best shot though.

    Flynn: as Im sure you know, was just winding you up. :) Although...if youd mentioned Four Floors, Desker Road, Geylang or Changi Village you would have been BUSTED! Hahhaa

  28. #28
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C69707A2E2F190 link=1215607795/26#26 date=1266287199
    if youd mentioned Four Floors, Desker Road, Geylang or Changi Village you would have been BUSTED!Hahhaa
    Youre suspiciously knowledgeable about ...etc :P

    My B-I-L drove us through Geylang on the way to try some top quality durian. Lots of friendly girls there :o

  29. #29
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Quote Originally Posted by 272D382F2F203432410 link=1215607795/25#25 date=1266268840
    that the women who were seen around the area were usually gainfully employed to help relieve travellers and locals alike of the burden
    Yes, I think many a burden has been relieved there........ :D

    And I was in such a hurry to get to highlander before closing, I didnt have time to stop for a chat...

  30. #30
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Heres a coffee specialty shop that serves only coffee- nothing else. They are Papapalheta. They go by tipping, shows how confident they are with their specialty. They roast every Monday (& close on Monday). I say that they are giving Highlander a good run for their $$$. Two thumbs up for me! :D

    140 Bt Timah Road (7-8mins walk from Newton MRT)
    Singapore 229840
    Mobile- +6597990420

    Have a go mates!

  31. #31
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    [QUOTE=70455C560203350 link=1215607795/24#24 date=1266252499]
    Quote Originally Posted by 68627760606F7B7D0E0 link=1215607795/23#23 date=1266235089

    ;)

    Now that the thread drift is complete, another vote for Highlander. *Keep up the good work Phil & Cedric :)
    Ditto, we have just returned from Singapore and a visit to Highlander was well worth the effort, great coffee, Phil made a special aeropress Kenyan for my wife and I and gave me a tour of the roastery and training area, a most rewarding visit, took a bag of Brazil for the CCD in our room--keep up the passion Phil and Cedric ;) ;) :) :) :)

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    Hi,

    I am living in Singapore and would like to add to this conversation. We've progressed quite a lot in the past 2-3 years and there are quite a lot of speciality coffee places worth confiding if you ever visit our island. I'm in no way connected to any of these places!

    1. The everton/kampong bahru circuit of Highlander, Nylon coffee roasters and Strangers Reunion is worth trying if you're feeling like a coffee crawl. All 3 places are within 3 minutes of each other. Do a google search and see.
    Nylon is run by Dennis and jia min who used to be from papa palheta some time ago. Now they set up their own roastery and are one of the more progressive roasters that roast a bit lighter than most.
    http://www.ladyironchef.com/2012/06/...-everton-park/

    Strangers reunion was set up by Ryan Tan and a partner. Ryan was Singapore top barista for 2 years running. He was in Melbourne for a few years and worked at some of the well known cafes like st ali's and recently Axil roasters. Their house-made granola and yoghurt is superb!
    http://espresso.colinloh.com/2012/03...ngers-reunion/

    Highlander is an oldie but goodie and may seem a bit dated by their two neighbors but their baristas are very very consistent and excellent.
    http://www.therovingepicure.com/sing...lander-coffee/

    2. Papa palheta has closed down! This was probably the one place that rejuvenated the specialty coffee movement in Singapore. They have closed their papa palheta outlet in e newton area but have opened two places in the meantime. Loysels Toy in kampong bugis and Chye Seng Huat Hardware (gotta love the name) in Tyrwhitt Road. if any place is to be recommended, I would say Chye seng Huat hardware is the place
    to try. It's the most ambitious and largest place in Singapore yet devoted to the coffee bean.

    http://www.ladyironchef.com/2011/03/...alheta-coffee/
    http://storyofoursummers.blogspot.sg...-hardware.html


    3. liberty coffee is another great place to try when they open. You have to follow them on Facebook as Terence the owner only opens his doors once in a while and they mostly roast and supply to F&B outlets in Singapore. I really like his approach to coffee as he blends something that he personally would like to drink and nothing too "out there"
    http://amasou-umasou.blogspot.sg/201...ty-coffee.html

    4. Lots of other coffee places to try. jewel coffee, coffee smith, strangers@work are places in the financial district. Smitten coffee and tea, Toby's estate, sq11,kith cafe are by the Robertson quay area.
    http://www.ladyironchef.com/2012/08/...fee-singapore/
    http://www.ladyironchef.com/2012/10/...bar-singapore/
    http://365days2play.com/2012/06/18/j...t-shenton-way/


    Alan
    Last edited by Allywee; 17th December 2012 at 08:56 PM.
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  33. #33
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    A good list here! Thanks, Alan.

    I was in Singapore two weeks ago and can personally vouch for Smitten Tea and Coffee and Toby's Estate Singapore, both in the Robertson Quay area. I didn't get to sample any of the other establishments on Alan's list on this trip.

    Smitten is in the breezeway under the Gallery Hotel at 'The Quayside'. There's a Geisen roaster at the back of the shop, a Mirage Veloce triple lever on the counter, and staff who know how to use it well. A young girl with orange hair pulled the best espresso I've had in quite a while - sweet, fruity and full-bodied, no hint of bitterness. The shop is closed one day a week (Monday or Tuesday) and opens at 10am, but the Mirage is not properly warmed up until 10.30am. Really excellent espresso and flat white, served efficiently and expeditiously. The range of coffee paraphernalia includes Pullman tampers and VST filter baskets. I didn't sample the tea, but if I'm back and have more time I'd like to try it. Food includes a range of attractive looking cakes and other foods, but I was there for the coffee.

    Toby's Estate is 250m further up river, directly across the river from the Riverview Hotel. It's a larger establishment with a larger roaster inside the front door, but I didn't take note of the brand. Again, excellent espresso and flat white, not quite so expeditious but worth the wait. Open and ready for orders at 7.30am. A range of coffee paraphernalia is available. Toby's appeared to have a wider range of food, but I didn't eat in either establishment.

    Service and coffee was excellent in both establishments. If I'm back in that area of Singapore again, I would not be sorry to partake of coffee in either establishment. Others in my party were equally impressed.

    I tracked down both shops using the Beanhunter app, but be aware that Smitten may be shown on the wrong side of the river.

  34. #34
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    timely tipoffs, we're heading there at the end of Feb, the Singapore coffee culture has really taken off since my last visit--can't wait to check if out

  35. #35
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    just came back from singapore and coincidentally went to almost all on alans list! (except liberty... was unfortunately busy on the one day they opened in the few weeks i was there!) and they're all worth trying!

    by far my favourite was nylon - the most consistent and closest to the liking of my taste buds... though they milk didnt quite do it for me (fortunately i'm more of an espresso/filter person). turns out the volume they churn out doesn't quite justify buying fresh milk.
    tobys estate, kith and smitten (great tea too!) were great too
    chye seng huat, strangers reunion, forty hands and tiong baru bakery lacked a little in consistency but more than made up for it with great food offerings!

    happy cafe hopping in singapore! =)

  36. #36
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    Hi Guys,
    glad the little update was useful to you all.

    a little clarification to @timdimdom, all the places i listed use fresh milk as far as i know. the two popular brands of milk that are used in singapore cafes seem to be either Greenfields (shipped fresh from indonesia daily) and Meiji milk (trucked overland from thailand daily) my own preference is for meiji but im not too fussed.

    If asked to make recommendations, i would point you guys either to Nylon Coffee (coffees only!) or Chye Seng Huat Hardware. The unique thing the CSHH offers is their annex sessions which cost about $23 (i think) and need to be booked in advance. This is where you get the full attention of their senior barista's who do a coffee menu of 3 drinks and food pairings. currently they are the only ones that offer such an experience in singapore. quite a fun thing to do even if you're not majorly into coffee as they talk you through the brew process, let you smell the dry and wet grounds etc. the experimental menu also changes every now and then depending on their in-house mad scientist's fancy

    enjoy!

  37. #37
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    my mistake. volume didnt justify greenfields due to a minimum order amount was what the couple alluded to when we had a chat. =)

  38. #38
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    A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    Seems like the coffee scene is in a booming stage seeing some Facebook posts of my friends back there. Anyone or an updated list of places to go? Am going to Singapore next week and planning to do a cafe crawl

  39. #39
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    A good cup of coffee in Singapore

    An update... My favourite top 2 is Toby's Estate and Nylon.

  40. #40
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by brokenvase View Post
    An update... My favourite top 2 is Toby's Estate and Nylon.
    On our recent visit I ventured to Nylon, great coffee from passionate crew, lovely Kalita pourover, then proceeded to Stranger's Reunion for some great service and a killer flat white, while in the area dropped in to Highlander for a Yirg aeropress brew and a chat.
    Enjoyed a cold brew at Oriol on Orchard Rd, brunch at Tobys at Robertson Quay, great vibe with riverside setting and heaps of Yirg Guji OCR sitting near the roaster!!
    Ran out of time to visit the rest on my list but that's a good excuse to return some time soon

  41. #41
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    I hated Toby's in Singapore, in fact I have always got a boring, bland and uninteresting filter coffee from Toby's. Maybe their espressos are different but I don't think I'll ever bother again.

    Nylon was by far my favourite, best espresso. I also enjoyed Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Jewel coffee wasn't too shabby either. Oriole was a bit overpriced but it was nice, they also have public cuppings if you're into that. Stranger's Reunion peeved me off with their 10% service charge (I know its a singaporean thing, but it didn't bother me as much as it did there). Highlander was cool, though it confused me why they had all these flavoured coffee products but all was revealed when a massive tourist group stopped by. Smitten near Toby's was quite enjoyable and was the only place I saw a bona vita kettle!

    I'll be honest the filter coffee in Singapore isn't up to scratch yet, but their scene is definitely developing and you can get a good espresso.

  42. #42
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    A couple more for visitors to Singapore... I visit every month and the specialty scene is growing rapidly.

    63 Celsius under Asia Square in the Marina Bay District.. They use beans from Nylon and made me two excellent lattes on their Strada. Food is good too.

    A bit out of the way but worth a visit is 40 Hands in Tiong Bahru. Hip little area but hard to get to unless you're driving.

    One I'm yet to try is Common Man, a Roaster set up by the crew from 40 Hands and 5 Senses I believe. I buy their beans here in KL (at Urbean in Avenue K if anyone is interested) and the blend suits my morning latte fix nicely. Common Man is at 22 Martin Road and I'll check it out when I'm in Singers next month.

  43. #43
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    Sarnies on Telok Ayer Road is also a gem worth checking out.

  44. #44
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    Thought I would add my two cents for anyone travelling to Singapore. Recently visited a coffee joint called Tolidos' Espresso Nook and found it to be excellent.
    462 Crawford Lane, #01-63
    Singapore

  45. #45
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    Hi all

    just flying out of Singapore and had coffee yesterday which would be drinkable to the sbobbers if they happen to be in Singapore . Common man coffee at 22 martins road in the robinsons quay area was pretty bloody damn good. Roasting lessons also andbarista training too completed here if you want that also . The food was good too real good . Now onto Sri Lanka for 2 weeks , missing my coffee machine but loving the holiday.
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  46. #46
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    Ronin gets my vote - they're using Genovese coffee from Melb and Bonsoy so I was able to get a very good soy latte without it tasting wierd (OK, so I might have almost cried and drank 3!)
    As a plus, the french toast was the best I've ever had, and the scrambled eggs on toast were amazing. This place would stack up in Melb/Syd (no sign out front either, easy enough to find though) so definitely worth a visit...

  47. #47
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    Ronin is one of my regulars when in Singapore - 40 hands and Chye Seng Huat Hardware coffee are also on my list of places worthy of spending money on a cup or three.

    Nylon Coffee Roasters (across the road from the Pinnacle@Duxton) is also worth checking out.

    Z...

  48. #48
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    Dutch Colony Coffee Co
    Address: 113 Frankel Ave, Singapore 458230
    well worth a visit!!



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