Coffee

Coffee

Featuring The Lokal, Oriole Coffee + Bar (Somerset), Knockhouse Cafe, Brotherbird Coffeehouse (Bugis), Sarnies (Telok Ayer), PUNCH, Lunar Coffee Brewers, Korio, Maxi Coffee Bar, The Art Space Specialty Coffee by Artisan C.
Nobelle Liew
Nobelle Liew

If there’s one thing I can’t live without, it’s my daily dose of covfefe. And if you’re like me, might I just recommend you keep a stash of Sarnies cold brews at home? I’ve had their Clean and Classic black on numerous occasions, and always found them consistent and reliable. Very clean mouthfeel, light on the palate while still boasting a good body. If you like your cups joe with some dairy though, I pinky promise their white cold brew isn’t any bit inferior either. “Rich and creamy” — this statement is très exactement. Full-bodied and bold, the bitterness of the espresso hits you smack right in the face at first, ebbing away to reveal discernible notes of sweet molasses. I love how nuanced the drink is, and how the flavours are beautifully and subtly layered together.

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The former needs no introduction I believe — I’ve written about it several times — but their take on the dirty chai has been one of my favourites for a long time coming. Fragrant but not overwhelming spices, well-balanced with a solid shot of espresso, and just enough frothed milk to smoothen it all out 👌🏻🥰

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Tbh I’ve never liked affogatos. I’ve always found the resulting drink a lot more lacklustre than what the idea of rich, smooth, creamy ice cream and hot nutty espresso promises. Now, the only reason why I tried the one by PUNCH was cause they’ve got a mini brownie cookie in there as well. And boy oh boy was I surprised to find this the very fucking first affogato I enjoyed?!?! The espresso was bold and nutty, ice cream EXCEEDINGLY creamy, and what I particularly enjoyed was that the chilled espresso wasn’t at all acidic! I mean sure of course there was a lil acidity in there as with all well-pulled shots, but this had juuuuust the right amount of it. And then we’ve got that beautifully crackly cookie on top to seal the deal 🥰

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Not that the sando wasn’t good, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to find such a well-pulled cuppa here! Very well-balanced, with a good hit of bitterness and acidity that was not the least bit watered down by the ice as I sipped along. In other words, an exceedingly pleasant iced black.

Besides its fun yellow facade and crazy influx of influencer-seeded posts flooding (LITERALLY FLOODING) my stories, I was really really excited to try Flash Coffee because of their innovative creations and range of non-dairy milks. So we hopped on over while their 1-for-1 opening deal was still running, joined the hoard of people willing to wait 30min for a cuppa, and loaded up on enough caffeine for a family 🙃 To sum it all up: hits and misses, but in general they pull a good shot and some of their non-coffee beverages were pretty impressive. We tried their Melaka (Oat) Latte, Macadamia (Oat) Latte, Lotus Biscuit (Coconut) Shake, and Matcha-Damia (Coconut) Shake. While I liked that the flavoured coffee drinks weren’t too sweet so we don’t feel like we’re paying for overpriced bux, it also means that the flavours don’t come across pronounced enough. For one I was really looking forward to a good hit of fragrant gula melaka in the Melaka Latte, but honestly besides a mild nuttiness I really didn’t get much from it 🤔 The shakes were basically shaken non-espresso drinks, and I gotta admit i quite liked the Matcha-Damia! Great balance between the bitter tea and nutty sweet macadamia syrup 🥰

Before this came into place, my sister and I had a really great oat milk iced latte at Korio. She was a little skeptical at first (“oat milk????? Eeeeee.”) but I’ll tell ya, this changed her mind. It’s bold and nutty, with a mellow kinda earthy sweetness, which honestly I don’t always get in an non-dairy coffee drink. If you’re still working in the CBD, Korio’s open for takeaway and they’ve recently set up island-wide delivery!

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 😉

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

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