Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Top reasons why Cafe Hopping is good

Did you know, coffee is the second most popular drink in the world after tea? Yet it is often shrouded in myths and urban legends regarding its potency and effects on health. I have read some reports about the coffee benefits but these were always sponsored by coffee associations so I took them with a pinch of salt even though I secretly hoped the reports to be true.

So I thought, what the heck, I’d do some of my own research and compile a list of figures and findings out there. You will be surprised that coffee actually possesses some interesting health benefits. I guess this is more reason to go cafe hopping to check out all the new cafes that have been sprouting around Singapore?

Symmetry Cafe - (22)

The FAT side of coffee

But first, let me shock you with some glaring facts that we may have missed when indulging in that cuppa from Starbucks. Most people prefer to drink coffee as a latte or cappuccino without considering the full facts of what they are consuming. While a typical latte from a third wave cafe may contain about 135 calories, a Venti Starbucks latte can contain up to 240 calories and 9gms of fat and this is before drinkers have added sugar. To compare, a McDonald’s Cheeseburger is 340 calories and 12gms of fat! Most people wouldn’t have two cheeseburgers every day but many are happy to have morning and afternoon lattes. Why is it we don’t see lattes as fattening? Just because it is a liquid? Anyway, size does matter so do support your neighbourhood cafe rather than places that ply you with mega sized drinks.

http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/starbucks/caffe-latte-(venti))

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Craftsmen Specialty Coffee

The cafes have heeded my call and are now slowly popping up in the Eastern part of Singapore! Check out this new Craftsmen Specialty Coffee, which opened just a couple of weeks back at Siglap V, opposite the old Siglap Centre. It’s a pretty spacious cafe as they haven’t packed the place to the gills with seating. When I was there around 4 plus pm yesterday on Good Friday, it was nearly full. And when I left at about 5 plus pm, it was nearly empty.

Craftsmen Speciality Coffee Cafe Shop Front (2)

With a name like Craftsmen Specialty Coffee, you know the emphasis here is on coffee. You want V-60, Chemex, Siphon, Woodneck and Cold Brew, they have it here. For me, while I like to think of myself as a coffee lover, my coffee drinking repertoire stops at cafe latte and flat white. I’ve tried Chemex and Cold Brews before elsewhere, but I suppose my palate was not refined enough to really appreciate the flavours. Give me a cafe latte anytime.

Just to add, apart from a selection of 3 quiches and 2 sandwiches, Craftsmen Specialty Coffee does not appear to be serving any other types of food requiring onsite preparation. At least not for now.

Craftsmen Speciality Coffee - Cafe Latte $4.50

Cafe Latte $4.50

And so a cafe latte I got. If you feel that the saucers and cups remind you of Dutch Colony Cafe, you are right, because they have invested here. The cafe latte was pretty enjoyable, strong aroma although it had a slight bitter aftertaste yet not a robust body.

Craftsmen Speciality Coffee - Flat White $4.50 and Almond Croissant $4 (1) Read more »

To-Gather Cafe

I’ve always been envious of the people living in the Tiong Bahru, Everton or Duxton area because there are so many cafes there. All they have to do is slip on something casual, get out of their house, walk for 5 minutes or so, and voila, they’re having a cuppa at their “neighbourhood cafe”.

I kinda feel like the East has been neglected when it comes to cafes. I have to crack my brain real hard where to drive to, each time I wanna have a latte or cake, so can you imagine my surprise when a cafe actually opened in my neighbourhood?? Ok it takes me about 20 minutes to walk there, but still, beggars can’t be choosers! It’s such a nice feeling to have a cafe to call “our own” that my parents and I have already visited it at least 3 times since it’s opening in late 2013. I think all of the people living nearby feel the same way as well because it is always full during peak hours. Luckily there is a relatively large outdoor seating area, at the 5-foot walkway and with awnings so not to worry. You can dine amongst the cacophony of the birds from the bird shop nearby.

To-gather Cafe

Not bad huh for a neighbourhood cafe? The really great thing about To-gather Cafe is their affordable prices! Cafes nowadays charge an arm and a leg for the simplest of menu items. $15 for eggs benedict, come on, how difficult is it to bloody poach 2 eggs? Or $20 for all day breakfast? My grandmother can fry eggs and sausages with her eyes closed! Prices at To-gather cafe are only a few dollars higher than if you were to dine at the Western Stall in a coffee shop. For example, the mains are almost all below $10.

To-gather Cafe - Pork Cordon Bleu  -  $10.9 (Pork Loin Stuffed with Ham & Cheese, and served with fries & seasonal Vegetables) (2)

Pork Cordon Bleu  -  $10.9 (Pork Loin Stuffed with Ham & Cheese, and served with fries & seasonal Vegetables)

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Assembly Cafe opposite Botanic Gardens

I was really delighted to find that a 3rd wave cafe had opened along Evans Road just a stone’s throw away from the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I frequent the gardens really often so it’s great to have another cafe so nearby. I hadn’t even realised that a cafe was going to open. One fine day, I just happened to see this huge alphabet A on the whitewashed walls of Evans Lodge, with the message saying “Assembly – A Third Wave Coffee Movement”, and the next minute, it had already opened, early November apparently. It was enough to call out to me and as of last count, I’ve already visited Assembly 3 times!

Assembly Cafe (12)

By the way, just in case you were wondering what on earth is Third Wave? Well Starbucks, Gloria Jeans and other chain cafes are all considered 2nd wave coffee beverage purveyors. 1st wave being the crap coffee that we used to get at hotel coffee lounges and restaurants if you bring your memories back 10 – 20 years. If you can get coffee at the push of a button, run far away! Third Wave coffee refers to cafes that pay close attention to the origins and quality of the coffee beans as well as the methods used in brewing the coffee. Very likely, the cafe may offer you a choice of coffee using single origin beans. Single origin is better than a blend in terms of quality in most cases, be it for coffee or tea. If there is only one type of bean used, it had better be damn good beans, whereas in blends, lousy beans can be masked with better quality ones. But blends are often found and not necessarily a bad thing, because the flavours produced may be desirable. At Assembly, they use beans from Geisha and Liberty.

Assembly Cafe (10)

Anyway, I heard that the co-owner of Assembly Cafe cut her chops at Strangers Reunion for 1.5 years, and decided to set up her own cafe. Assembly Cafe is pretty small, and can accommodate about 25 people I estimate? There is ample parking here, you can either park at Evan’s Lodge or opposite at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and take a 5 minute walk here.

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Backstage Cafe, another hidden gem!

Whenever I discover a cafe located in the East, I feel pressured to blog about it immediately for the benefit for all of us poor souls living in the Eastern side of Singapore. Really, there have been more than 60 cafes sprouting out in Singapore just this year alone, yet precious few located in the East. I can name you the “cafe regions” off the back of my hand : Robertson Quay, Duxton Hill, Everton, Dempsey, Jalan Besar, Tiong Bahru, and Holland Village / 1 Rochester. Apart from Jalan Besar, which is next to Lavender and may arguably be considered to be in the East based on the MRT line, everything else is Central or West! Ok I guess the people living in the North are suffering as well, but then you people have Grub at Bishan – Ang Mo Kio Park!!

Backstage Cafe (3)

Ok to cut to the chase, BackStage Cafe is the new kid on the block, located in the industrial estate area of Kallang. Industrial estate may give you this feeling that you have to wear hard boots and hard hats to get here, but relax, the building that it is in is an office block. The great thing is that if you come on Saturday (they are closed on Sundays), the entire area is a dead town, so you are assured of peace, solitude and ample parking! I visited on Hari Raya but as you can see from the picture, it’s not a jammed packed claustrophobic place. Oh gosh, whenever I think of 40 Hands and Chye Seng Huat Hardware, I feel a headache coming on. Backstage Cafe is probably the most spacious cafe I can think of, although I recall Toby’s Estate in Robertson Quay has super high ceilings as well.

Backstage Cafe -Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict $15 (1)

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict $15

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