Posts Tagged ‘coffee beans’

Coffee Area Coffee House 珈琲院 (Taiwan –Taichung)

On the 3rd day of our sponsored Whirlwind 5D4N trip to Taiwan, we arose bright and early to make the best of a beautiful day. Seriously, a blue sky day with cold crisp air just makes my heart sing! I was all raring to venture out, but we had to pack our tummies with a little something first because the 1st stop of the day was to go coffee tasting!

Coffee Area Coffee House (15)

Actually, we didn’t just get the opportunity to sample freshly brewed coffee, we got to witness the ENTIRE coffee roasting process from bean to brew!

Coffee Area Coffee House (6)

This is the boss of Coffee Area. He is an extremely jovial character, with a rather humorous streak. The shop is only open from Wednesday to Sunday. We visited on a Tuesday and we heard that he’d specially opened his shop just for our visit. This is a rare treat because we were told that Taichung people are laid back, many of whom work for fun and not for a living. You will find that when you are in Taichung, shops may not open all hours of the day just to cater to customers or to generate the most amount of profit. On the contrary, people are friendlier than in Taipei.

Don’t mind the camera man at the back. He filmed us the whole of our third day in Taiwan. Felt a little like a celebrity! Smile

Coffee Area Coffee House - Portable mini coffee roasting machine (4)

This is the portable roaster. I used to think that coffee roasting was a very complicated process best left to the experts, but after viewing this contraption work its magic, I feel compelled to purchase one of these babies.

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Toby’s Estate

After our leisurely stroll from Grand Copthorne Waterfront down to the more populated parts of Robertson Quay, our parched throats signalled their discomfort. Being the self proclaimed foodie (I appoint the Partner to be chief payer), I immediately switched on my radar to detect the nearest cafe.

In this case, it was quite an easy task as Robertson Quay has quite a number of cafes to choose from. I didn’t want a large cafe, just a small cafe specialising in drinks, and we found it in Toby’s Estate. It’s not hard to miss as its in the old godowns that flank the river.

Toby's Estate

Toby Estate Singapore originates from Australia, Sydney. Humble beginnings indeed when you hear that Toby Smith started out using his mother’s garage more than a decade ago. According to their website, they are passionate gourmet coffee roasters, tea and chocolate merchants. They focus on high-quality brews made from their signature roasted blends and techniques.

Toby's Estate - Menu

Check out Toby Estate’s menu. Okay I suppose the words are too small so click on the picture below.

Toby's Estate Menu

Or click here if you want to see the beans you can buy.

Toby's Estate - Iced Cafe Mocha (2)

As for me, I was there just for a simple drink. The Iced Cafe Mocha $6.50. A very pleasant and refreshing drink, with enough such that both of us could share. Read more »

Yahava Koffeeworks

Tucked away in an obscure corner of Singapore is the Yahava KoffeeWorks of Singapore. Yahava KoffeeWorks specialises in selling coffee beans, and specifically, this Yahava KoffeeWorks in Singapore is the branch of the main Yahava KoffeeWorks in Perth Australia.

When I was in Perth in September 2010, Yahava was one of my pit stops on my way back from Margaret River. The Partner, who loves his coffee and grinds his own coffee from beans sold by shops such as Yahava brought back a sackful last year. So upon realising that these beans had magically transported themselves to Singapore, we lost no time in paying the Yahava Singapore a visit.

Yahava KoffeeWorks is different from other coffee purveyors in Singapore in that they will assign you a barista (not sure if that’s the right term to use) who will then ask you for your coffee preferences and recommend you the relevant beans. All this takes place at a special area just for coffee tasting. The coffee is made fresh right in front of your eyes. For us, we tried up to 6 different types of coffee beans before making our choice. And guess what, all this is free!!!

Yahava Koffeeworks - Fahmi and Colleague

The people here are very friendly and eager to share their knowledge. Check out the 4, no wait 5, bags of coffee we bought plus a bottle of instant iced-coffee which I gave to my colleague as a house-warming gift.

Yahava Koffeeworks - Fahmi preparing the coffee samples

This is Fahmi, preparing the brew for us. He LOVES coffee. I think he mentioned that he drinks a gazillion cups a day. I’m not so sure whether that’s good for health, but certain, you’d want him as your staff if you own a coffee place.

Me at Yahava KoffeeWorks

That’s me enjoying my cuppa. As with wine, I’m not really good at detecting the subtle differences in flavour. I just have a generic light bulb that goes off in my head that says “Mmmmm” when it’s the right one. Maybe I should attend some classes to get better at it.

Yahava Koffeeworks - Roasted Coffee Beans (3)

Sacks and sacks of coffee beans. Coffee beans can keep for quite a while if you don’t grind them up. Once ground, they can keep for only 2 weeks as they go sour. Same case for coffee that’s been in a pot for too long. That’s why I can never understand how people drink coffee-pot coffee that’s been sitting 2 hours, you know like at seminars and stuff.

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Papa Palheta – A secret cafe

Papa Palheta's flat whites

I discovered the existence of Papa Palheta a while back while reading some blogs. It’s a place so secret, they don’t even have a signboard on their front door. And speaking of their front door, I think they don’t have one either! 140 Bukit Timah Road. Yes we managed to find 140 alright, but it looked like a disused office with the shutters all pulled down. The place faces the main road, yet you would definitely drive right past even if you were searching for it. Which actually speaks volumes for the owners’ confidence in their product, don’t you agree?

We didn’t drive all the way here to leave disappointed, so we finally spied a namecard stuck to the front door with the magic words “Papa Palheta, try the back door”. What on earth, teasing us and telling us to try the back door! Is this a secret society or what? We turned the corner, and voila, we located the very packed Papa Palheta.

                         Papa Palheta Back DoorPapa Palheta Courtyard

We were ushered by a young girl past the back courtyard where some customers were seated, and past the front counter into what looked like a living room. It was a colourful and bright looking room, with a motley assortment of quaint looking furniture. We sat next to a cupboard full of bits of cloth, and an old type-writer. I suppose there are no new type-writers now? No new non-electric typewriters anyway.

We asked for menus but the girl said that Papa Palheta doesn’t charge for the drinks! The coffee is free for customers to sample, and what they really want to sell are the beans. Papa Palheta’s key competencies are in roasting and serving specialty coffee. They retail and roast coffee beans from around the world, focussing on estate, Micro-Lot and single-origin coffees. Free drinks, I want! So we ordered 3 flat whites and a cappucino for the 4 of us. Many of the other customers order iced-coffee, which I shall do so for my next visit. (Ok disclaimer, they operate by a tip system, so you either buy their coffee beans or you leave them a tip)

Papa Palheta Cappucino with rosetta

The coffee came in little glasses with saucers and a complementary bikkie. We were given the Terra-Firma blend of beans, ie the house blend. Wow, the coffee was good. It was intense, full-bodied and smooth. It was very good. All 4 of us agreed that Papa Palheta had a winner here and the 3 of them thanked me for introducing them to this gem of a place (pat pat pat on the back). I am not so sure that they would be pleased to know that I have now let loose the existence of this secret hideout to the world.

Palheta by the way, was the name of Brazilian Lieutenant Colonel Palheta, who was sent to smuggle some coffee seeds from French Guiana in order for Brazil to start its own coffee plantations. Check out Papa Palheta’s website as well as a map of their location.

Papa Palheta living room

The pretty living room

 Papa Palheta Old Typewriter 

Old Typewriter

Papa Palheta side table with glass container for tips

They request for $3.50 per cuppa but you are free to tip as you please.

Papa Palheta 250gm coffee beans

250gm bag of coffee beans

Papa Palheta Front Counter and drip station  

The front counter

Papa Palheta back door entrance

So now you know where to find Papa Palheta

Papa Palheta Speciality Coffee

140 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 229840

Enter by Hooper Road

Telephone: 97990420


Tuesdays to Fridays 9am to 7.30pm

Saturdays 9am to 9pm

Sundays and Public Holidays 9am to 7.30pm

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