The Pursuit Of Caffeine Kicks

The Pursuit Of Caffeine Kicks

To cure my zombie-like state in the morning, zap me awake from post-lunch stupor, or to simply indulge in some "aromatherapy", coffee is my daily must.
Veronica Phua
Veronica Phua

(Hosted) Thanks to an invitation from @theategroup, the stopover I did in the “birth continent” of coffee was via a flight of Arabica coffees. My guide was none other than @bachacoffeeofficial’s Training Manager Jules Samson (@jules05_sg). He provided an eye-opening education rich in history and production details of each variant with the benefit of an actual tasting. For eg. geography dictated why the beans, all from Africa, were produced via the “wet” as opposed to “dry” method.
When I sipped on the four types of Arabica beans, it dawned on me that coffee tasting had certain parallels with wine tasting. And by sipping (gulping is not encouraged) them in succession, I could really appreciate their unique characteristics.
My favourites turned out to be the first and the last of that flight. I wouldn’t mind waking up and smelling the “Bantu Secret” each morning as the full-bodied, delicate-in-acidity coffee which comes from the shores of Lake Kivu 1,500 metres above sea level, has notes of honey, brown sugar and dark chocolate notes. And the “Yirgacheffe” would make an ideal nightcap (yes, you read that right) because, surprise surprise, this easy-to-enjoy malty coffee with dry hay and berries in its notes, is decaffeinated!
For someone who tends to order the same few coffees whenever I visit #bachacoffeesg (hello “Three Volcanoes”), it was indeed fun and enlightening to venture out of my comfort zone to explore new aromas and flavours. The next time you are at @bachacoffeeofficial, I encourage you to go for at least two different types of coffee. And maybe slip in something you haven’t had before just for the heck of it. You might surprise yourself with a new favourite 😊

To me, the coffee here is very good. I prefer my Cappuccino made with the Nomad blend of Indonesian beans (it is exclusive to this cafe) as it has caramel notes and a mild citrus quality. Chocolate-lovers, you ought to give their Mocha a go.

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At first glance, it might seem weird to pay $5++ for a cup of Kopi C, a drink you can get for around $1 or slightly more at every coffeeshop in Singapore. But I think it is great that Asia-sourced, locally-roasted robusta coffee beans (the gentleman in charge of this part of the process is Dayat who was instrumental in setting up Kith Cafe and Dutch Colony Coffee Co.) that are brewed and served in our local style is being recognised for being special too.
There is no doubt @singaporecoffee_official has done a wonderful job with their branding. From the choice of location in the iconic Raffles Hotel Arcade to the look and feel of the space, from the smartly-uniformed team to every aspect of a customer’s engagement with the brand including menu design, as well as the preparation and service of their beverages, you can see and feel premiumness.
There is a section in Singapore Coffee’s menu called the “Grand Asia Collection” that might interest the serious coffee enthusiasts. It is devoted to a collection of exclusive poetic-sounding coffee blends (think “Jewel of Asia”, “Merlion Dance”) to be savoured via siphon or signature drip methods.
I had decided to order the Kopi Shake ($9++) for myself after seeing Hamdan take such pride in making it for another customer. The cold coffee, served in an elegant martini glass, was aromatic, rich and is laced with just the right amount of shaved chocolate for sweetness.
Besides the local styles of kopi, Singapore Coffee also does espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. For non-coffee drinkers, they offer a Chocolate Piccolo and a few types of tea that include Turmeric Ginger Latte, Red Chamomile, Fine Mint, Matcha Latte and Teh Tarik.

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What I’d give to have Wheeler’s Yard’s “Iced Chendol-presso Ball” this very minute.
That frozen sphere is a concentrated hit of intense, aromatic coffee and gula melaka, perfumed with pandan leaves to be released under the heat of warm milk. Being able to control the proportion of milk to flavoured espresso is a big plus for me because I prefer to taste more of the rich coffee.
A great drink to sip on anytime. But perhaps not too late at night unless for whatever reason, you need a powerful rush of caffeine to keep you awake.

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Think of this "Kopi" as a Venn diagram. One of the two circles represents our traditional Singapore coffee culture, the other, the Italian style. The part they intersect is where @kopi_more resides.
Mr. Tan, the genial owner of "Kopi More", a hawker stall in the lower level of Beach Road Hawker Centre, uses an espresso machine to pull his coffee. However, instead of following it with steamed milk, he adds evaporated and/or condensed milk in good ol' Singapore style. So what you get is the best of both worlds in a $1.50 cuppa.

Looking fabulous and tasting even more so is this Coconut Ice Coffee. Because they use the premium Italian brand of Kimbo, the coffee itself is full-bodied and fragrant. When drunk with the frozen coconut slushie, it tastes wonderfully refreshing and quite unlike any other cold coffees.
I consider this another must-try at newly-opened Penang Bagus on Tanjong Katong.

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With single origin espresso by Nylon Coffee and ice-cream created by Apiary, this affogato is bound to be bit more special. Also because VXX really brings it with that spiced milk and honeycomb crumble.

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Single origin from São Paolo, Brazil, given the platforms of mocha and cappuccino to sing. And sing it did, in all its nutty, chocolatey and nougat-y glory.

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Visually, this is undeniably impactful: snowy-white warm milk cascading over the almost-black frozen sphere of potent espresso. Fortunately, its taste is well up to par; delivering deep aroma, a full-bodied flavour and strong caffeine kick.

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Presentation is everything. Which is why an order of the Santa's Coffee martini in its distinct cocoa powder-coated glass ended up on our table. But it wasn't just the way it looked that we found pleasing. The cocktail itself was a very drinkable sweet, coffee-flavoured concoction of vodka, a real espresso shot, paprika smoked cream, sugar, cocoa powder and orange zest. If you are too full to have dessert, this is another blissful way to round off a meal here at FOC.

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Guys, look what I found! 😋 Brawn & Brains has recently launched a cold brew which uses their popular "Pen & Pencil" house blend and takes 18 hours to create. Smooth, thick and creamy, the coffee taste is strong and there is just a little sweetness. My money is on these bottles of silky caffeine flying off their refrigerator shelves.

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I happened to be desperately in need of caffeine at the time which led me to pick this up. The packaging's chic and smart but I didn't like the content much. My cappuccino was much too milky and I thought it tasted a little burnt. Regretted spending $6 for this. 😑

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