It seems as if a new independent coffee shop pops up daily on this tiny island. So, who brews the best cup o’ joe? I turned to my dear friend Yann, blogger, mother, and coffee connoisseur, to share her picks with you.
o o o o o
I love my coffees. Ever since I tasted my first cup of artisanal coffee, I have never looked back. I prefer brews made by the baristas of independent cafes to those from the multinational coffee chains.
It’s a pastime of my little family to check out new cafes that have been sprouting on our island nation. We have tasted quite a few cups of java; these are the joints that we find ourselves returning to again and again.
My tastebuds have Smitten Coffee and Tea House (60 Robertson Quay, #01-11) to thank for the education I have received in java tasting. This was where I drained my first cup of artisanal coffee, all the while thinking, this isn’t like the latte that I am used to having at Starbucks. Using beans faithfully brewed by proprietor Darren himself, the cuppa that you get at Smitten is smooth and robust with a hint of cocoa. I love the unpretentious and rustic set up of the café. And the owners certainly have a discerning taste in magazines (think Frankie, Lula and O Comely).
Darren has also ventured into the CBD area with his latest outing, homebodies (60A Boat Quay). With its large windows overlooking the Singapore River and the Marina Bay Sands, homebodies is truly as its name suggests: a homely, cosy little space for busy urbanites to take a breather. The little space consists of two large communal tables and bar stools at the windows and at the coffee counter. We were there on a rainy Saturday afternoon and it was the perfect refuge from the dreary grey skies. Lulling jazz music was playing in the background as we indulged in a cup of Smitten brew and a hotdog—wagyu for him and kurobuta for me.
Weekend brunch has become something of a ritual for our family of three. It’s a time for us to unwind and share our love for food—hey, we are Singaporeans afterall—with our little man. We find ourselves at Chock Full of Beans (4 Changi Village Road, #01-2090) on a regular basis. The service is top-notch and the brunch menu is hearty and delicious. The coffee is decent and comes with adorable, whimsical latte art that promises to bring a smile.
Being “easterners,” we were very glad to see the opening of Penny University (402 East Coast Road) in the Katong area. It’s an interesting space. There is a mix of single tables, bar stools along the coffee counter, booths, and a communal table. The furniture is a mishmash of wooden pieces and the dim lighting serves to make one feel unhurried and at leisure. The menu is limited but the café is good at what it does serve. Enjoy a delectable slice of pie (we liked the pecan pie as well as the s’mores) or a cupcake from local bakery Windowsill Pies alongside your brew.
Speaking of Windowsill Pies, we checked them out at their shop, Windowsill in the Woods (78 Horne Road). After tucking into a lunch that can only be described as “interesting” (pasta with octopus and chicken heart, anyone?), we proceeded to devour their Strawberry Lemon Tart. It was just the perfect balance of tangy and, well, tart. It’s a lovely place to while away the afternoon, especially if you get the table by the window.
o o o o o
Where do you get your caffeine fix?
(Additional credits: Photographs by Yann; photo layout via Pugly Pixel.)