Challenge: Write a cafe/ coffee review and round up without using hipster. This was a fun story that I pitched to Lifestyle Asia. If you’re into coffee and cafe’s (nowadays who isn’t?) then enjoy!
It’s tempting to label every café or artisanal coffee roaster popping up in Singapore as hipster. Charming décor, coffee art and freshly roasted beans imported from all over the world— they come standard with every cuppa joe served by your neighborhood barista.
But nowadays it’s not enough to satisfy café patrons with only their artisan caffeine fix enjoyed in Instagram-worthy indie cafes. They delight in experiences that understand their appreciation for high quality coffee and complement their lifestyle.
Luckily the specialty coffee movement in Singapore has introduced a cast of cafés for various personalities.LifestyleAsia Singapore has handpicked these characters worthy of your idyllic weekend afternoon of artisan coffee.
For the urban executive: Kith café
Kith is the all-around café to relax in, catch up with friends and people watch. Because the daily grind is so hectic, café goers will enjoy Kith for its no-frills experience. It’s all about the food, the company and of course the coffee.
What we tried: While the flat white traditionally has more coffee than milk, a proper blend doesn’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth. The flavor of the Kith Café flat white (S$4) is distinct because the espresso dominates while allowing the milk to breathe for a silky blend.
7 Rodyk Street, Watermark @ Robertson Quay #01-33, Singapore 238215, +65 6341 9407,www.kith.com.sg
For the curious cafénista: Chye Seng Huat Hardware
This hardware store turned coffee bar is serious about the art of coffee. The open island bar concept is a great place to observe the baristas in action who are tinkering with caffeinated concoctions. Customers can get lost in the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from the moment they step into the store. The Coffee Retail, The Retail, The Roastery and The Annex are also available for the cafénista to further satisfy their coffee curiosity and craving.
What we tried: Their espresso+milk drink (S$5.50) perfectly describes the ingredients of a delicious full-bodied and well-balanced café late that is not too sweet or milky. The milk blends the stronger espresso flavor in a way that doesn’t drown the drink.
150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563, +65 6396 0609, www.cshhcoffee.com
For the quintessential date: Stranger’s Reunion
If coffee shops are the perfect venues for love to manifest, then the sunny disposition of Stranger’s Reunion sets the right mood for coffee lovers: homey, warm, and welcoming. The cosy interiors are brightly lit and accented with flowers and art in yellow hues for a charming first impression.
What we tried: The golden ratio of milk and coffee is found in Magic (S$5.50), their signature drink. It’s a mixture of a double ristretto and milk. Despite the strong and short shot of espresso flavour typical of a ristretto, there was a savoury and salted caramel undertone that we loved.
37 Kampong Bahru Rd, Singapore 169356, +65 6222 4869, www.facebook.com/strangersreunion
For the discerning minimalist: The Plain
The Plain is an unassuming coffee sanctuary for those looking for an escape and yearning for some long overdue quiet time to reboot after a tiring week of work. The interiors stay true to its name, with simple furnishings and large communal tables that feel like a friend’s home.
What we tried: There’s a fine line between being too milky and bitter. While The Plain’s café latte (S$3.80) doesn’t overdose on the caffeine, it might be too milky for coffee drinkers who prefer a stronger taste
50 Craig Road, #01-01, Singapore 089688, +65 6225 4387, www.theplain.com.sg
For the laid-back adventurer: Wheeler’s Yard
What’s striking about Wheeler’s Yard is how it effortlessly marries the world of coffee and cycling. The outcome is a huge industrial warehouse turned spacious café cum in-house bicycle workshop. The exposed floor, mismatched tables and barrel chairs add to the do-it-yourself and down-to-earth charm. It’s a leisurely pit stop for cyclists and parents who are taking their family out for the weekend.
What we tried: The café latte (S$5) is bitter, even after adding sugar, so the ratio to milk and espresso still needs to be adjusted.
28 Lorong Ampas, Singapore 328781, +65 6254 9128, www.facebook.com/wheelersyard
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