Here’s a look at some of the latest additions to Singapore’s growing line-up of gourmet coffee destinations
The maturing appreciation of a fine cup of coffee among consumers here is rightly reflected in the growing array of choice cafes and roasteries coffeeholics and connoisseurs alike are now spoilt with. Because it’s not only about getting your hands on a well-pulled espresso or drip coffee, or about getting behind a more conscious cuppa joe (from bean to bar).
It’s a noble penchant for sure, but one that is increasingly met with the support of a new generation of discerning coffee drinkers, those who are just as appreciative of a hip place to hang out at. Some of our homegrown favourites include Gather (by the folks behind Punch), Apartment Coffee, Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee, Liberty Coffee, Chye Seng Huat Hardware, The Populus, Nylon Coffee, Highlander Coffee, Homeground Coffee Roasters and Common Man Coffee Roasters, to name a few. Here, though, are a few fresh options to add to your list.
Round Boy Roasters Coffee Bar and Roastery
Established in early 2018, this independent roastery launched its café space in January this year; it’s where a growing base of subscribers and coffee aficionados in search of quality roasts and the wide selection of beans can now swing by for a cuppa and conversation. Regulars enjoy being part of the community in which ideas and techniques on how to brew a better cup are openly shared. A good range of coffee machines, equipment and accessories are also available to budding home baristas and supported by workshops and one-on-one sessions to help them “get the best out of their purchase”, shares co-founder Yanfeng.
He adds: “Our Double Chocolate beans are a crowd-pleaser—served as a flat white, think of a rich, dark chocolate taste that lingers in your mouth.” It is also luscious and luxurious as an espresso, he notes, adding that their Dark Eclipse blend as a lungo is a more gentle shot that boasts an initial nuttiness followed by fruity notes of berries that linger “and gives you a sweet lingering taste in your mouth”. There’s also the Citrus Sunrise as a light filter brew that packs refreshing hints of lime and lemon peels, but it’s their Ethiopia Guji Hambele that “tops the charts for the filter lovers” who are amazed by its prominent notes of blueberries. It’s currently cosy space though expansion plans are on the minds of the owners. For now, though, “getting more benches so that our customers can soak up the Jalan Bukit Merah vibes while they enjoy their coffee would suffice”, affirms Yanfeng.
Round Boy Roasters Coffee Bar and Roastery is located at Jalan Bukit Merah, #01-1092 Block 146, S(160146).
Main Street Commissary
Also opened in January this year, this inviting space welcomes anyone looking to take their time with their favourite brew. A familiar range of coffee drinks are offered, including iced options that include a white cold brew. Working in collaboration with Bearded Bella—a small eatery and speciality coffee provider on Craig Road that roast their own beans—Main Street Commissary uses a house blend of 70 per cent Colombian and 30 per cent Honduras that they provide.
Going by traditional profiles, it sounds like an alluring combination of mild acidity and a medium body with a touch of sweetness that the former brings, and the darker caramel notes of the latter. The space is equally inviting with its minimalist design that pairs an unpretentious industrial air with the soft hues of light wood panels and shelves. The space also serves a salad bar complemented by fresh juices only seem to support its chic yet wholesome vibe. That’s not to say you can’t complete a meal here with a properly indulgent cake.
Main Street Commissary is located at 81 Rowell Rd, S(208014).
Prairie by Craftsmen
Fans of this local brand of speciality coffee also appreciate the fact that a sumptuous brunch signature can also be had at any of its five outlets. And its latest venture—launched in January—looks to make a bigger statement. Located at Cluny Court, the casual dining concept serves breakfast, lunch and dinner options that guest can enjoy indoors or at its capacious and attractive alfresco area that’s draped in natural light. This is also especially comforting if you plan to take advantage of its extended Happy Hour programme from 2pm to 8pm. Of course, a trip here is seldom without an intention to have a coffee.
And, as its name implies, they are well-crafted using a selection of single-origin beans. There’s a wide variety of styles to suit every mood or fancy—whether you crave a macchiato or a piccolo latte, or for that matter, a roasted almond latte. Flavoured coffee drinks are also available with hazelnut and salted caramel. Or you can explore outside the expected and have a coconut latte if it's more your vibe.
Prairie by Craftsmen is located at 501 Bukit Timah Rd, #01-05C Cluny Court, S(259760).
Cupping Room Coffee Roasters Singapore
Already a feted speciality coffee roastery in its native Hong Kong, the brand's Singapore outlet that opened with fairly little fanfare in October 2020 is also its first international outpost. Though the speciality coffee market here has grown rather quickly in the last eight years, any fan will affirm that there’s still room quality options. Interestingly enough, Cupping Room Singapore has a blend created with the local palate in mind or consumers who prefer a heavier roast and lower acidity.
There is just enough of the latter from the use of the Ethiopia Guji, which is blended with an equal amount of the Colombia Risaralda that lends notes of berries and vanilla on top of a deep chocolate flavour. If you want to try the lighter, fruitier house blend its Hong Kong fans prefer, have the Attaboy (50 per cent Los Naranjos, 25 per cent Bokasso Co-op and 25 per cent Sidama Ardi).
Cupping Room Coffee Roasters Singapore is located at 391 Orchard Road, #02-10A, Takashimaya, Ngee Ann City, S(238872).
This Instagram worthy space for the discerning coffee lover was opened in the first quarter of 2020 by Andrea Tan, Singapore’s first National Brewers’ Cup champion. But since much of the year was a blur for most, the café remains a fresh addition to the list of must-visit coffee havens. It’s also perfect for those who look forward to trying new flavour profiles, as their selection includes beans from as close by as Malaysia and Taiwan and as far away as Denmark.
There’s currently a blend from Colombia (La Falda) from its selection of single-origin beans in the spotlight. But if you feel like having filter coffee, the unique Costa Rica Sin Limites is recommended; the beans are processed using anaerobic fermentation, which helps yield a complex and uncommon flavour profile. We’re told to expect notes of cinnamon, red wine, dried cranberry, prune and roasted chestnut.
Lucid is located at 38 Hamilton Rd, S(209208).
Hidden in a relatively tranquil commune along Balestier Road, this newly launched destination for your speciality coffee fix is actually opened by seasoned purveyors Geisha Specialty Coffee, which has been operating out of its first café at Burlington Square since 2011. This decidedly airier location, located right beside Zhongshan Mall, begs visitors to linger; simply furnished, the space’s wall-to-ceiling windows let plenty of natural light in. The usual selection of espresso-based drinks and drip coffee is complemented by a small selection of local kopi (just black or with milk, really).
But anyone who recognises this brand will be looking to savour its range of Geisha coffee alongside a few other single-origin options. Top of this list is the Santa Teresa Geisha, made available through a partnership with the well-known coffee plantation, Finca Santa Teresa in Panama. This “honey processed Geisha” is said to yield a complex fruity flavour profile that’s balanced by hints of citrus. It’s a strong brew with an elegant, floral nose. There’s also the option to have it as a drip coffee.
Balance Coffee is located at 520 Balestier Road #01-08, VIIO@Balestier, S(329853).