Coffee

Coffee

Featuring The Lokal, Oriole Coffee + Bar (Somerset), Knockhouse Cafe, Sarnies (Telok Ayer), Brotherbird Coffeehouse (Bugis), PUNCH, Two Men Bagel House (Novena), Lunar Coffee Brewers, Korio, Maxi Coffee Bar
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗪𝗵𝗶𝘁𝗲 ($𝟯.𝟵𝟬): there’s a good, rather intense boldness that hits you immediately, its edges taken off by a slight sweetness from the milk, finishing with chocolatey but fruity notes as well. Wonderful balance of boldness and acidity, and one of the few iced whites I’ve had that beautifully straddles the balance between boldness and acidity, showcasing both polarising flavour profiles. It dilutes really REALLY fast though haha so down this quick friends.

Their 𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 ($𝟮.𝟵𝟬) however was really acidic. Not the most acidic I’ve tasted for sure and there’s still a nice underlying boldness and bitterness, but the acidity is very prominent and clearly the dominating profile.

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Typical of Sarnies’ brews, this was a very bold number with wonderful chocolate notes and roastiness evident from the get go. The nuttiness of the oat beautifully complements that and comes through prominently especially towards the end. There’s also that lovely, dairy sorta lingering sweetness and creaminess you’d expect of a white cold brew, but light on the palate. I’m a big fan of how the bitterness from the coffee lingers, which I understand might be a touch overpowering for some but I myself love — y’all know I like it really strong and black 😉

Now, I’m not a fan of putting alcohol into anything — like, really anything. Not my desserts, not my juices (when I do have whiskey I like mine neat or on the rocks), and certainly not in my coffee. So when Fangkoasked me to try their bottled whiskey coffee drinks, I was more than a little apprehensive. I admit to flinching even before the drinks hit my tongue…only to suddenly widen my eyes in surprise. And if you know me and how small my eyes are, trust me they went 👀 These, were bloody fantastic. The Mr Haku (latte with hakushu) was insanely creamy, with the whiskey fragrance kicking in right at the start but melding into a very mellow sort of sweetness that’s distinctive of Japanese whiskeys. The alcohol’s discernible for sure, but it’s not overwhelming and was super easy to drink. The Lady Val, made with Kavalan classic, was a lot stronger, sweeter, and also nuttier. I love my Kavalan and I’ll tell y’all its sweet, smooth yet smoky profile truly shines in this drink. One sip and I was like “oh this is DEFINITELY Kavalan”. I’d say their Mr Haku’s like a very neat spiked cold brew, while Lady Val’s for the alcoholics who gotta pretend they drink coffee too 🙃

We swung by ONDA on their opening day and had a go at their La Rosita, an iced Cuban coffee with milk and caramel, and were mega astounded with how delicious it was. Super bold, nutty, smooth and strong brew, very creamy, with but just a touch of sweetness from the caramel. Personal I’d have liked the caramel to come across stronger cause it dilutes into this very subtle earthy sorta sweetness in the background, but I’ve got no beef with how it is at the mo. We finished this in no time at all.

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Our Iced Black had some boldness and acidity yes kudos to them, but in exceedingly muted notes. Overall it tasted very flat and oddly a little lukewarm?

Their Mount Sweden I thought sounded really promising, with a frozen espresso “mountain”, milk, coconut milk, gula melaka, and coffee jelly. But it turned out a lot less impressive 🙃 It could’ve been a fabulous drink if I could actually taste the coffee, but it took waaaaaay too long to melt. Which might have been salvageable with some patience — if it were the only frozen component in the drink. In order to prop up that frozen espresso mountain so it looks aesthetically pleasing, there were toooons of ice cubes placed beneath. Which also makes it harder for the espresso to melt + by the time it does every other component just tastes diluted. Down to the individual components: I could taste the gula melaka but it wasn’t punchy and sorta tasted like a syrup instead. Would’ve liked it to be more aggressive. Coffee jelly’s not bad, and I like the balance of milk to syrup there’s not too much of either. On the whole, it’s still a fail for me. It could taste decent at the first sip, but if I’m waiting for the espresso to melt and all I get in the end is some watered down milk and sweetener then…nah bruh.

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I don’t have much to share about either cause I took a tiny sip and remember them to be very decent though nothing outstanding — the black had a mild acidity and a good nuttiness — but I had to share this photo cause of their Cold Brew with Smoked Maple and Oat Milk that I DON’T (unfortunately) have a photo of. Now that drink, my friends, is one you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. Whether you’re a caffeine addict or not. It’s such an amazingly complex drink with so many nuances, it’d be an absolute sin to not try it. It’s considerably creamy seeing how they used oat milk, with the distinctive nuttiness of the oat milk shining through. But what’s so amazing is that the smokiness from the maple really really comes through at the end, and complements the oat milk so so well.

We caught a 1-for-1 promo while we were there (hence the crazy amount of caffeine here), but as much as I wanted to love all the drinks we got...I really didn’t.
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𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗞𝗼𝗽𝗶 𝗖: exceedingly diluted, it basically tasted like my coffee sat there for half an hour. Let me clarify that anyone who’s eaten with me know I take my photos in a couple of seconds — I can’t be bothered with bringing my food to some abrupt corner — so this definitely wasn’t a result of the coffee sitting out for long.
𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝘂𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲: tastes almost exactly like bux’s toffee nut latte lol I was shooketh. The syrup’s discernible but not overly sweet, and coffee was very bold and nutty as well so this was a really enjoyable drink.
𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝗲𝗮 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝘁 𝗖𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗹 𝗟𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲: perhaps it’s cause their syrups aren’t overly sweet, the salt came across reeeeeally strong here — a little too much in fact. I could taste the nutty earthy sorta caramel profile, but I didn’t get much sweetness so this really turned out to be a slightly odd drink.
𝗜𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗕𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝗦𝗲𝘀𝗮𝗺𝗲 𝗞𝗼𝗽𝗶: oooh I actually loved this the most. It tasted like muah chee/sesame paste but kopi-fied. Super nutty and flavourful, and I loved that there was actual grounded sesame seeds in the drink!
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If anything, I found that Coffee Break’s drinks diluted really really quickly, with the Black Sesame flavour being the only exception. Still they’ve got a fab range of drinks and I’d say give em a try anyway; perhaps the hot beverages would fare a lot better.

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For some reason every time I see an iced latte with like a really dark, syrupy espresso, I always think “Ooooh how amazing would that be if it were a gula melaka latte.” So when I spied a Gula Melaka Latte on @fangkocoffee’s menu my inner weirdo did a celebratory dance. Verdict: not bad, really not too bad at all! I love that there’s a good bitterness and boldness to the drink, the coffee clear and discernible, with a caramel, nutty sorta sweetness coming through from the palm sugar. I do wish for the earthy, toffee-like flavour of the gula melaka to shine through more; but this is tasty as it is and I’m happy to have at least fulfil my dream of tasting a gula melaka latte.

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Honestly I thought Fahrenheit Coffee was a rather pretty and chill space, but the slightly confusing spa-mix-french-mix-r&b playlist had us like wuuuuut 😶 The coffee though: very very decent! We had their Iced Black and Hot White, both of which were alright. Their beans lean towards the acidic end — which isn’t my preferred flavour profile but is still aight — the Iced Black citrusy and acidic while still boasting a good boldness. That however meant that their White fell rather flat, since all that acidity was neutralised. Still, good microfoam and texturing of the milk so save for my personal preference this was a rather well-pulled cuppa.

I was a wee confused by our coffee experience at Equate, cause for some reason all our drinks had vastly different flavour profiles. For some reason the iced and hot has very different flavour profiles. The Hot White was well-balanced, fairly bold with a good dose of nuttiness and a mild acidity towards the end. The Iced White though had an intensely strong hit of pure bitter gourd sorta bitterness that lingers on your tongue for minutes after. Considering that their hot white was pretty good, I expected their Iced Black to be alright. However it turned out exceedingly bland and diluted, with only an extremely mild touch of acidity as any hint of a flavour.

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Sometimes I do feel obliged to say yeaaaaah taste is subjective and what I don’t like you may find fab etc etc; but in the case of their White Cold Brew ($7.50) imma stick strongly by my verdict that it was 🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️ Summing up my experience, this tasted like water stained with milk. I could barely taste the coffee or the milk, I’d go as far as to say it was like an ounce of latte topped up with water — that’s how diluted it was. Be my guest and try it for yourself; I’d love to hear if your experience was better, and perhaps giving me an impetus to check it out again.

The friendly staff recommended that we gave their Soul Plane (piccolo + single shot) a go, because it best showcases the flavours of their espresso. I second that 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️ The first thought that came to mind when I sipped on their espresso was “mmm this tastes like orange mocha”. Their exceedingly complex shot was very bold, boasting very distinct notes of citrus and chocolate, with a solid fragrant crema and a good hit of acidity too. I was a little surprised that their piccolo turned out rather acidic, considering how bold their shot was; but it was still a very well-pulled cuppa and I’ve got no complaints. I would suggest going for a black to fully appreciate the vibrant flavours of their espresso.

Spending all my time eating (and eating) cause what else is there to do in small 🌞🌞 Singapore?

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