Burpple Beyond: Our Response to the Upcoming Dine-in Restrictions
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Coffee

Coffee

Featuring Oriole Coffee + Bar (Somerset), The Lokal, Brotherbird Coffeehouse (Bugis), Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters, PUNCH, Maxi Coffee Bar, Upside Down Coffee Alternatives, Lunar Coffee Brewers, Starter Lab, Gather
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

Verdict: can’t say it’s my favourite, but it’s definitely a very good cuppa joe. It was creamy, nutty and bold, not too much acidity which really falls right up my aisle. It was however also really sweet — to someone like me at least, who generally loves her coffee black. I also couldn’t get any particularly novel flavours from the milk (eg extra malty/nutty/etc) besides the overwhelming sweetness, so while I enjoyed the drink I can’t say it left much of an impression on me.

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I’ve been to Brawn and Brains a couple of times since they first opened at Guillemard, and every time I’m like eh ok it’s aight but it ain’t my fave. Still I see it on ig and I start to think...maybe I’ll like it better now? At least for the rest of 2020 I can safely say I won’t be feeling that itch. They’ve got a huge fan base for their coffee which, in many ways, is plenty well done. Milk texturing and foam’s great, espresso’s tasty as well; it’s just unfortunately not the kind of brew I favour. I had the house blend which was described as boasting a nutty chocolate profile, but I definitely got a strong hit of acidity, some fruitiness, and even a touch of astringency. It’s also not as full-bodied and bold as I’d have personally liked, though this is 100% a matter of personal preference.

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My sister, who drinks lots of whites, was very pleased with this (I primarily do blacks). A very robust and bold blend that holds its own even with milk and ice 🥰 That aside, with all the calls for social distancing going around I suppose a good number of business will be rather affected. Just stay vigilant, responsible, and safe friends 💕 there’s no reason not to continue showing some love to your favourite local joints as long as everyone’s aware and careful 🙆🏻‍♀️

The White ($5) that I got was so mellow, so mild, so flat, it was practically like drinking hot milk stained with espresso (is there a reverse to the traditional macchiato?). I understand how some people enjoy mild blends so alright I may not vibe with it, but I can deal with that.

I’m a fan of bolder, nuttier profiles, and I found theirs too fruity and a touch acidic for me, which works fine in an iced black but mellows down way too much for my preference when served with milk. My white also came with a lot more foam than I’m accustomed to so that was a 🤔🤔 There’re definitely people out there who’re into this sorta espresso profiles; but if you, like me, aren’t, then perhaps this isn’t the best spot for your coffee fix. They do seem to have a lovely range of filter brews though, so if that’s up your alley then add this to your list of places to check out 😉

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We got the Iced Cereal Milk Latte and The Dirty ($7.50 each), and thoroughly enjoyed both. While I can’t say that I tasted the cornflakes-soaked nuttiness, I have to admit that the mildly sweet and exceedingly creamy cereal milk latte was 200% addictive. Especially when you’ve got that complementing a robust, bold, and chocolatey espresso — literally couldn’t put the glass down after my first sip! The Dirty was described to us as a “cold brew with oat milk and some spices”, but after a sip I’d basically describe it as a dirty chai 😉 I like that you can discernibly taste the spices in the chai (I got cinnamon/ginger/cardamom), in a really mellow not in-your-face kinda way, and it’s just very lightly sweetened to enhance all the different flavours. Super easy to drink and great if you’re a fan of chai. Note that if you’re intending to use the Beyond 1-for-1, you’ve gotta top at an additional $1.50 for their coffee specials. That adds up to a total of $9 for your 1-for-1, which is still very worth it imho 😉

Second time here cause their Milk Oolong tea left such a strong impression. Yes it’s the clear-looking drink at the back, no it does not have milk en contraire to its name 🙃 What becomes a total mind fuck here is that despite being a clear drink, the Milk Oolong tastes shockingly like there’s actual milk in there! There‘s a lovely body and a creamy aftertaste that I’d immediately identify as dairy, while simultaneously boasting a clean, light finish and a mellow dose of oolong. So refreshing, so utterly delicious. I tried their iced filter coffee (Honduras Caballero Jr #2) as well rather enjoyed it for its chocolate notes and subtle notes of apple and plum. Not acidic at all, extremely easy to drink; though my heart still lies with the milk oolong 🥰

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They reopened after a short break with a completely revamped menu and interior, and I gotta say I’m absolutely loving the new vibes — it’s a perfect spot for some afternoon coffee. My Iced White ($4.50) was very well-balanced and creamy with nutty undertones, great for those who like a milder, more mellow brew. The Iced Chocolate ($6) won a huuuuge thumbs up from us with its strong chocolatey flavour, just enough sweetness to bring out the chocolate without being too cloying and jelak, and slightly bitter, cocoa powder kinda powdery texture. Super easy to drink, and honestly godsent in this crazy hot weather.

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Since their official opening, they’ve switched out their espresso blend to one of a medium-dark roast from Taiwan. I love it, LOVE IT. I’m a big fan of darker roasts and bolder, nuttier flavours; so if I liked their coffee back when they were having a milder, more acidic brew, what more when they’re using beans of a flavour profile I prefer? 🥰 The current blend makes for a delightful iced Strong Black ($5) with a great balance of bitterness and really mild acidity, and of course works wonders in milk-based drinks. I tried their iced Mocha ($6.50) as well, and I’d call that among the best mochas I’ve had in Singapore. It’s not one for the sweet-toothed, focusing on the quality of the coffee and chocolate instead of masking it all up with sugar. The chocolate comes in as a nutty, cocoa kinda earthy sweetness towards the end, complementing and even imho enhancing the flavours of the espresso. Let’s just say I’m now a huge fan.

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It was too early for a tipple (yes there is such a thing) so we got an iced Milk Oolong Tea and White Cold Brea to share, and both were so so interesting. The former’s a clear drink unlike what its name suggests, but tastes shockingly like there’s actual milk in there! There was a lovely body and a creamy aftertaste that I’d immediately identify as dairy, while simultaneously boasting a clean, light finish and a mellow dose of oolong. So refreshing 🥰 The White Cold Brew sees their coffee steeped in soy milk, which lends it an extremely nutty and earthy flavour. Very unique, not exactly my thing, but I can see how some would like it.

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I know it’s not a traditional cold brew with just fresh milk poured in to serve, but there’s something about this exceedingly creamy, chocolatey, and slightly sweet bottled brew that’s so so delicious

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A decade ago, when I first started heading out for coffee, Oriole used to be my favourite café thanks to their amazing brews and MAD (macadamia, almond, and dates) milk. Fast forward to today though they no longer hold such a treasured spot in my heart. Where their espresso used to be bold and nutty, it’s now so bitter and (I’m guessing) burnt I couldn’t even get through half of my iced black. Where their MAD milk used to be extremely creamy and nutty with a hint of earthy sweetness, it now has a super unpleasantly muddy taste and none of that once amazing nuttiness. For coffee fortunately, we’ve got a lot of good stores around so it doesn’t feel as big of a loss. Can’t say the same for their MAD milk though, and if anyone could point me in a direction of an alternative I’ll be so so soooo grateful 😭

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

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