Saturday, June 8, 2013

Coffee Hopping!

I've kind of been on a coffee hunt recently, not a very extensive one but before I go on ahead and my forgetful self kicks in, thought I should list my thoughts and preferences. This is a reminder to myself on where to repeat, where to skip and where is a "only if you are in the area". I'm no coffee expert and don't know my arabica beans from robusta beans. All following thoughts are based on my own preferences and it's always either a black or cappuccino with skimmed milk.

Below also include any other joints I've visited before and which still lingered in my mind.

To Repeat
Habitat - which I've already repeated, it's that good! Australian Coffee; aroma of the coffee shines through my skimmed milk foam. Despite being skimmed or perhaps low fat since most service staff never told me if it's skimmed or low fat, the creaminess of the milk made the drink felt an indulgence rather than some where I felt the coffee is utilitarian (for the need of caffeine).
Chye Seng Huat - a joint I visited some months ago but their black stuck in my mind. I remembered it as black and bold, not acidic and very smooth.

PatisserieG - The first question I asked them was "You guys served Liberty Coffee right?" Elusive coffee that it is, with the brand owner only opening once a week, I was delighted to find that it's served at a few famous cafes around (The latest I heard is that they are served at Grub, Bishan Park. Yay, very near my hometown). Grabbed the chance to have it at G. Indeed yummy as word-of-mouth goes, the coffee aroma was strong and when paired with Meiji milk, it was delightful. Yum!

Jones the Grocer - After a very ordinary brunch at CA dempsey, me and hubs were glad we made the walk to Jones instead for coffee. The bright and white interior, high ceiling and huge island serving counter, stacked with plentiful produce and lovely chocolate was busy yet not squeezy. Instead, it made walking along inside the cafe a pleasant experience as surprising knick knacks are found all over. We had my usual cap and an iced mudslide mocha topped with ice cream. Much as I like their cappuccino, I had to stop myself from also finishing my hub's mudslide. It was thick dark chocolate, strong espresso, full fat milk and creamy smooth ice cream all at once. Don't wait anymore.

Loysel's Toy - I seldom order black as my bad experiences of long blacks with SBucks and CBean deter me from random orders without prior reviews. However, Loysel's Toy's reputation of Papa Palheta coffee and with their barista winning the Singapore National Barista award, I was not afraid to go for coffee in its full glory, black without any trimmings of milk nor sugar. It did not disappoint; not acidic at all, it was easy to drink and the coffee was full-bodied and thick (like a Kopi-o Gao version of kopi which is not really a comparison but you know what I mean)

Toby's Estate - Another joint I visited some time back, I remembered rating it slightly lower than Chye Seng Huat. Still I recalled it was a pleasant cup and one that I would not mind re-visiting.

To Skip
I find the coffee at these joints weak and I could barely taste the coffee. However, there are definitely other redeeming factors for some, so visit for the food not the coffee.

Garden Slug - Garden Slug's food is great and at very affordable prices. Their bread was a crispy, memorable multi-grain and their large slices of smoked salmon were very fulfilling.
Wimbly Lu - Their sticky date pudding was yummilicious! Root beer cake was unique with a strong hint of root beer in its cake and sauce. The blackout cake was somewhat dry though. Fries are shoe-string, nothing to shout about.

Cafe Melba - the fries are not bad but the burger I had was disappointing for the price it command. It was a single though fat patty, with barely a lettuce and tomato. Bun used was nothing out of the blue. Not a place I would visit again.

Only if you are in the area
Artichoke - I don't recall the coffee strongly, which I guess makes it neither good not particularly bad. therefore I put it into the "only if you are there", however love the food there! I'll do a separate post on the food items. Stayed tuned!

Blue Mahoe - (it's not a cafe, just takeaway counter). I went only because I saw a FB post that said "Like the post, screenshot it and show at counter to get a coffee at $2 instead of $14" I was intrigued; a coffee that cost $14 a cup must be worth a visit. So, I trotted to Takashimaya and looked for their counter outside Cold Storage, which is near DonQ. Cool setup, with many apparatus and friendly, uniformed baristas. They patiently explained the technology of their siphon coffee to me and engaged me in a conversation of how and where I got to know the brand etc etc which I thought was a really good practice as you have to stand at the counter while waiting for the brew. I was impressed. Of the brew itself, I'm afraid I do not have the experienced palette to differentiate it from other cuppas. It struck me as black, bold, smooth, which I would love to repeat but at $14 a cup, I will hesitate. Go try it while it's still going for $2! (I think valid up to late June, search FB for their page)

House of Robert Timms - My favourite cafe for brunch dining / hearty food / indulgent fries, it is however not a place I will go just for coffee. Food is great and their sticky date is my recommendation of desserts to anyone who ask; their coffee is pretty ordinary, with no lasting impression. Brekkie and Cake is the way to go.

Smitten - This is another place I ordered a black. It was a slow-drip coffee but I thought was slightly acidic. While it is not bad and the place is quaint and quiet, I would go only if I happen to be in the area. But there are so many choices at the same area, it's going to be hard to choose them over...say Toby's Estate.

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