The city offers an interesting specialty coffee culture. It’s a blend of traditional and futuristic, forward-thinking highlights. It combines traditional Asian coffee preparing rituals that are inspired by the Buddhist tea ceremony with various modern aspects. A lot of inspiration comes from Australia’s unique coffee culture. Coffee-lovers in Singapore are dynamic and creative, but also associate coffee with insight and meditation.
The New Black,
the coffee shop is located in Singapore’s business district. They prepare outstanding coffee drinks using exceptional beans from the world’s best roasters. They even employ a specialist who travels around the world to search for excellent coffee roasters. The New Black is a modern place with a unique fresh & smart atmosphere highlighting bright colors and transparency. Their menu is displayed on iPads. Only credit cards and no cash payments are accepted.
The cafe and roastery Toby’s Estate is named after its globally-minded Australian founder Toby Smith, who also runs coffee shops in Australia, the Philippines, and New York. Toby’s Estate offers coffee bean from various origins, but also grows and processes its own beans at the award-winning Finca Santa Teresa in Santa Clara, Panama. The coffee shop in Singapore is a refurbished warehouse, next to the picturesque river. It’s an airy space with high ceilings and a long wooden, communal table in the middle of the room. Coffee-lovers can also sit right at the bar and watch the baristas prepare the drinks.
VXX Cooperative is another outstanding coffee shop that brews excellent coffees using local beans from Nylon Coffee Roasters, but also from various well-known international roasters such as Tim Wendelboe (Norway), Cloud Catcher Roastery (Malaysia) or Koppi (Sweden). It’s a spacious coffee shop with not many tables. I like their counter a lot. It reminds me of a kitchen table, where you can sit and speak with the baristas. In fact, the baristas are not hidden behind their coffee equipment. They are on the floor, interacting with their guests.
While I was travelling around South-East Asia many coffee lovers in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam told me to visit Nylon when I am in Singapore. Nylon is a wonderful coffee shop and roaster that is located in an apartment building complex. It’s a small, minimalistic and artful place with attention to small details. The team is passionate and friendly. They continually work toward moving Singapore’s specialty coffee scene forward.
Another excellent coffee shop and roaster is Papa Palheta. It’s a larger and more commercial place with big terrace and and an interesting counter conception. The bar is a circuit and the guests can sit anywhere around it. Papa Palheta has a separate cupping room where costumes can taste the various coffee beans they are selling.
The Common Man Coffee Roasters is a popular coffee shop and roaster in the central business district. It’s their mission to serve excellent coffee and food to common people and they are doing a great job. The Common Man is usually busy, especially around lunch time. The place is fast-paced and dynamic like the metropolis Singapore itself. The interior design is unusual and shows a lot of imagination and depth. A colorful wooden rooster is standing on a large communal table as a focal point. Symbolism is a significant aspect of traditional Chinese feng shui. The rooster drives away negative energy, especially when its mouth open. The Common Man’s rooster is bright and colorful and its mouth is wide open! The same company has another location in Singapore called Forty Hands. It’s located in a less crowded residential area.
Another really good coffee spot is also Populus coffee & food co. The store has a nice modern design and good own roasted coffee.
One more exceptional coffee shop and roaster is Oriole Coffee. The coffee shop is located within a shopping center and very popular among locals. But not as well known internationally. Their coffee brews are one of the best I had in Singapore. Locals enjoy their special coffee cocktail ‘Lemonica’, a citrus-based Flat White.