PHOTOGRAPHY Jasper Yu & Frenchescar Lim
Black cold brews, milk cold brews, and even nut milk cold brews ─ we have the lowdown here.
Stamping Ground Coffee, #01-02, 31 Club Street, tel: 9070-7610. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. fb.com/Stamping-Ground-Coffee-980213361997761 Best for: Regular drinkers of black coffee Price: $6 (350ml) Bean info: Finca Isnul beans from Gutemala. Roasted by Papa Palheta. We were pleasantly surprised by the refreshing hints of light green apples in the aroma. It's full in the mouth and not too sour, with just a slight astringent quality in the finish. The Daily Roundup, #01-02, 1 Keong Saik Road, tel: 9780-2920. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-9.30pm; Sat, 9am-9.30pm; Sun, 9am-7.30pm. thedailyroundup.com.sg Best for: Regular drinkers of black coffee Price: $7 (220ml) Bean info: Papa Palheta's Pay-It-Forward blend There's a lovely freshness with citrusy notes. But take your time and you'll discover a pleasant nuttiness and oaky nuances, which complement its medium-bodied mouthfeel. Arc Coffee, 29 Sultan Gate, tel: 6291-6863. Open Tue-Fri, 11am-10pm; Sat & Sun, 9.30am-10pm. arccoffee.sg Best for: Coffee lovers who want to sip coffee all day long Price: $8 (250ml) Bean info: Kenya AA Riakiberu single origin beans, roasted in-house. We're not shy to admit this: Our eyes lit up at the sight of that quirky lightbulb bottle! But we are also very much in love with the subtle caramel undertones and floral notes. It's between light and medium body, with a soft acidity that makes it exceptionally easy-drinking. It's also very clean-tasting, so you can easily keep downing bottle after bottle without feeling overwhelmed by the usual siap siap aftertaste. Do note that beans change every two to three months, and the price would range from $7-15, based on the beans used. The higher prices are for premium beans sourced via auctions. All Oriole Coffee outlets, including #01-01 Pan Pacific Servied Suites, 96 Somerset Road, tel: 6238-8348. Open Mon-Thu, 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat, 8am-midnight; Sun, 8am-11pm. fb.com/OrioleCoffee Best for: Beginners to black coffee Price: $6 (300ml) Bean info: Rotation between two single origin beans from Ethiopia or Sumatra. Roasted in-house by Oriole Coffee Roasters. It's medium-bodied with a faint yeasty scent, almost like when you take a first whiff of cider. The sweet aftertaste ─ there's a smidgen of sugar syrup in this ─ makes it quite beginners-friendly for those who aren't used to black coffee. But if you're purist, you can request for the non-sweetened ones. Hic Juice, #02-470 Suntec City North Wing, 3 Temasek Boulevard, tel: 8123-9311. Open daily, 11am-9pm. hicjuice.com.sg Best for: Coffee lovers who want to sip coffee all day long Price: $6.50 (250ml). $0.50 rebate off your next purchase if you return a clean bottle. Bean info: Organic coffee beans. It may be the ionised water that's used during the cold brew process, but there's a remarkable pristine quality to this cold brew coffee. "It reminds me of spring water," that's how one of the Simply Her panelists puts it. There's also a faint raw taste to it, almost a little grassy, but that's balanced out by the subtle sweetness. Maison Ikkoku Cafe, 20 Kandahar Street, tel: 6294-0078. Open Mon-Thu, 9am-10pm; Fri & Sat, 9am-11pm; Sun, 9am-7pm. maisonikkoku.co Best for: Kopi-gao lovers Price: $7 (200ml) Bean info: Kenya AA Riakiberu beans. Make no mistakes, this one holds no punches. It delivers that much-needed jolt right from the moment you uncap the bottle, and it makes good on that promise with an intense caffeine hit and a voluptuous fullness. But we were also intrigued that it doesn't have the usual puckering effect like other strong coffees. Magic. 7Kickstart, 71 Bras Basah Road (inside Singapore Art Museum), tel: 8389-7877. Mon-Tue, 8am-8pm; Wed & Fri, 8am-10pm; Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 10am-6pm. 7kickstartcafe.wordpress.com Best for: Whisky lovers Price: $7 (250ml). $1 refund upon returning the bottle. Bean info: Single origin El Salvador Shangri-La beans. Anyone who is partial to peaty whisky would swoon over this one. From the get-go, it's smoky with tobacco-like layers. Who knew coffee could taste like this? Yet it's also very smooth with barely an edge of sourness, which makes it rather easy-drinking, actually. 7Kickstart, 71 Bras Basah Road (inside Singapore Art Museum), tel: 8389-7877. Mon-Tue, 8am-8pm; Wed & Fri, 8am-10pm; Sat, 10am-8pm; Sun, 10am-6pm. 7kickstartcafe.wordpress.com Best for: Beginners to black coffee Price: $7 (250ml). $1 refund upon returning the bottle. Bean info: Single origin Dominican Republic Caribbean Queen beans. It's also another black coffee, prepared via the cold brew process by 7Kickstart, but it tastes vastly different from the El Savador Shangri-La version ─ testament to how varied the world of coffee is. This one's super smooth without any astringent tastes, and a pleasant caffeine buzz. Dapper Coffee, 73 Amoy Street, tel: 9005-4790. Open, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. dappercoffee.com Best for: Beginners to black coffee Price: $10 (200ml) Bean info: Blend of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans. The science nerd in you might relish this. Unlike other cold brews, which are made by slowly dripping ice over the grounds or steeping them in cold water, this bottle of sparkly java is processed in a mind-boggling vacuum chamber machine. Not an aeropress, mind you, but a clunky sous-vide machine lookalike! Instead of expanding the time factor, the machine uses pressure to force out the coffee flavours in mere 60 seconds. The result is a cleaner, tea-like taste with a sweet fragrance and aspects of liquorice. Like tea, it's also light-bodied and slips down the throast easily. And yes, it does shimmer in the light ─ the Dapper crew wouldn't divulge anything, short of saying they've added a secret ingredient. Note that the coffee is slightly sweetened with sugar. Stamping Ground Coffee, #01-02, 31 Club Street, tel: 9070-7610. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm. fb.com/Stamping-Ground-Coffee-980213361997761 Best for: Regular drinkers of black coffee Price: $7 (315ml) Bean info: The in-house Throwback blend of Panama Red Trogon, India Thippanahalli Estate beans. Roasted by Papa Palheta. Most milk coffees are good for the caffeine hit, but they also tend to mask the beans' taste profiles. Not this one. It's lighter-bodied than conventional ones, and you can really make out the fruity characteristics of the beans. Savour this, slowly. All Oriole Coffee outlets, including #01-01 Pan Pacific Servied Suites, 96 Somerset Road, tel: 6238-8348. Open Mon-Thu, 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat, 8am-midnight' Sun, 8am-11pm. fb.com/OrioleCoffee Best for: Kopi si lovers Price: $7 (300ml) Bean info: Seasonal Raven blend with beans from Brazil El Progresso and Colombia Neiver Samboni. Roasted in-house by Oriole Coffee Roasters. This one smells and tastes sweet and milky, with just a tinge of sourness to remind you that there is coffee in the drink. It seems to us more like coffee-flavoured milk than cold brewed coffee with milk, but there's no denying the lushness of the fresh, full cream milk. Grain Traders, #01-01 Capita Green, 138 Market Street. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm. grain-traders.com Best for: Kopi Si lovers Price: $7.50 (330ml). Every seventh coffee is free with the Honest Loyalty Scheme. Bean info: Suke Qudo blend with beans from Ethiopia. While this one dials down the milkiness a notch compared to Oriole's Taisho Milk, it's like a creamier take on an iced latte, with unadulterated natural sweetness. In fact, it's so silky that it strikes a strong resemblance to the full-bodied character of the local kopi si! All Oriole Coffee outlets, including #01-01 Pan Pacific Servied Suites, 96 Somerset Road, tel: 6238-8348. Open Mon-Thu, 8am-11pm; Fri & Sat, 8am-midnight' Sun, 8am-11pm. fb.com/OrioleCoffee Best for: The lactose-sensitive milk coffee lovers Price: $8 (300ml) Bean info: Seasonal Raven blend with beans from Brazil El Progresso and Colombia Neiver Samboni. Roasted in-house by Oriole Coffee Roasters. Nut milk and coffee? Yes, it actually works. The nut milk here is derived from macadamia and almond. Those two nuts are usually strong-tasting and we were worried they'll overpower the drink. Thankfully, they complemented the slight acidity of the coffee with a hint of nuttiness. There are dates in the mix too, for natural sweetness. Overall, the drink is smooth, a far cry from the gritty textures of nut milks.
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