As a bustling metropolis, Singapore is home to specialty cafés, hipster hangouts and artisanal roasters for bean fiends, coffee connoisseurs and under-caffeinated foodies.
Whether you’re looking to learn how to brew a perfect cuppa from a master barista, taste coffee that won a championship, or discover beans and blends from across the globe, these Singaporean cafés are bound to sate your caffeine cravings.
Here’s a sample of the world-spanning journey your taste buds will get to embark on at these Singaporean cafés.
For a nostalgia trip—Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar
Located on the compounds of a former metal hardware store, the establishment is as famous for its industrial-chic décor as it is for its fragrant brews. Retro furnishing, a charming al fresco courtyard space and quaint metal fixtures make an afternoon here a trip back to Singapore’s yesteryears.
Coffee lovers who’re fascinated by the process of coffee-making should take a seat at their 360-degree bar, where they’ll get to watch the baristas whipping up their drinks. We suggest going for the Black Cold Brew, made with beans from Ethiopia. Harvested on the Suke Quto farm, these beans are famous for their sweet flavour and floral aroma.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware. 150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563. +65 6396 0609.
Tue-Thu & Sun 9am-10pm; Fri & Sat 9am-midnight.
For brunch and coffee workshops—Oriole Coffee + Bar
A café by day and bar by night, this popular establishment’s beans are roasted in-house and hail from smallholder farm communities across the Bean Belt, from Kenya to Costa Rica. The café also serves all-day breakfast, with items like smoked salmon rosti and espresso hotcakes.
Visitors eager to learn more about the art of brewing a perfect cup of joe should sign up for one of the establishment’s coffee workshops. Classes include latte art workshops, courses on basic filter brewings and hands-on sessions on the basic skills of a barista.
Pan Pacific Serviced Suites Orchard. 96 Somerset Road #01-01, Singapore 238163. +65 6238 8348.
Mon-Thu & Sun 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat 8am-midnight.
For Instagram-worthy latte art—Ristr8to
These days, Instagram accounts need to be fed as much as their owners. For latte that will delight both your eyes and your taste buds, go hunting for Ristr8to, a hidden gem of a coffee bar in the Tai Seng neighbourhood.
Barista-owner Arnon “Tong” Thitiprasert was crowned World Latte Art Champion in 2017, which gives this establishment a pedigree of excellence.
Order yourself some ‘Satan Latte’—the specialty cup that won Arnon his award—or opt for the Shakerato From Hell. The latter is an ice-blended concoction served up in glasses resembling test tubes, and made with Brazilian cacao syrup.
Chef Avenue Food Court. 26 Tai Seng Street, Singapore 534057.
For a lesson in coffee-making—Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee
To sample coffee whipped up by a local industry veteran, drop by Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee.
The owner of this cosy establishment, Mr Tan Tiong Hoe, has been making coffee for over half a century, and has been roasting, packaging and supplying beans since the 1960s. Brewing equipment, coffee-related paraphernalia and canvas sacks filled with coffee beans clutter the shelves here, and the shop is filled with the pervasive aroma of coffee.
You can order from a menu comprising of espressos, lattes and regular cups of joe, or peruse a selection of beans to bring home with you. While the owner is forthcoming about regaling visitors with coffee-related stories and factoids, aspiring baristas may want to sign up for the establishment’s in-house classes on creating and appreciating coffee.
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee. 170 Stirling Road #01-1133, Singapore 140170. +65 6474 5442.
Mon-Fri 8.30am-5.30pm; Sat & Sun 9am-4pm.
For award-winning coffee—Strangers Reunion
If you’ve never tasted an award-winning cup of coffee, you’re in for a treat at Strangers Reunion. One of the darlings of the local café scene, the establishment was co-founded by Ryan Kieran Tan, 2017’s World Siphon Coffee Champion and winner of multiple local awards.
With its airy interior and minimalist décor, this café is a great place to unwind in the afternoon. The restaurant’s selection of coffee ranges from affogato and iced mocha to various filter brews. If tea is your preferred choice for a caffeine fix, the offerings here include oolong, jasmine and merlot variants.
The food menu is equally diverse, with dishes ranging from sinful options like truffle fries and tonkatsu sandwiches to healthy eats, such as grain bowls and açaí smoothies. The establishment regularly sells seasonal beans and assorted coffee-themed items during festive seasons, which make great souvenirs for the coffee lovers in your life.
Strangers Reunion. 33-35 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169356. +65 6222 4869.