For the unabashed hipster
Photography: Frenchescar Lim, assisted by Sherman See-tho
Art Direction: Shan
Montana Singapore – Coconut Cold Brew
Cold brews don’t get more hipster than steeping coffee grounds in coconut water for a good 20 hours. What you get is a drink that’s incredibly smooth and lush, with nary a hint of coffee’s usual bitter and sour notes. Expect a subtle gula-melaka-like sweetness, courtesy of the coconut. $6.80. Montana Singapore is at #02-25 Pomo, 1 Selegie Road, tel: 6334-3137.
For the kid in you who loves cereal and morning cartoons
Crackerjack – Breakfast of the Champions
This cereal-flavoured caffe latte will take you right back to your childhood. The sweet, toasty aroma and berry-like fruitiness is thanks to a 24-hour process of steeping a cereal mix of fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles and honey puffs in organic full-cream milk. Yum. $6. Crackerjack is at 43 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel: 8121-1462.
For the stout guzzler
Common Man Coffee Roasters – Nitro Coffee
Like a stout, this is rich and creamy, with lots of chocolatey depth. The caffeine buzz is unmistakable, but infusing cold brew with nitrogen through a pressurised valve has softened the coffee’s bitter edge. $9.40. Common Man Coffee Roasters is at #01-00, 22 Martin Road, tel: 6836-4695.
For those with an exotic palate
Fat Prince – Pistachio Latte
The coffee is spiked with a house-made pistachioinfused syrup and sprinkled with crushed, roasted pistachios, giving it a nutty aroma. The ristretto shot (a thicker, more concentrated form of an espresso shot) gives the latte great kick. $7. Fat Prince is at #01-01, 48 Peck Seah Street, tel: 6221-3682.
A tribute to those who want to kick it old school
Coffee Break – Black Sesame Latte
Old school with a modern twist, this unusual latte is made by frothing local coffee with the cafe’s own black sesame paste. The robust flavour of the kopi is a perfect match for the lingering, heady fragrance of roasted black sesame. $3.80. Coffee Break has three outlets, including one at #01-28 Ascent, 2 Science Park Drive (tel: 8100-6218).
For those who want their coffee and dessert all in one
The Coffee Academics – JWF Ice Drip Coffee Blood Orange Gelato
Don’t expect a conventional affogato – this one swops out hot espresso for iced slow-drip coffee, and vanilla ice cream for blood orange gelato. The tart sweetness of the gelato is accentuated by the mellow fruitiness of the iced drip coff ee. $10. Available only at The Coffee Academics at #02-01/02 Scotts Square, tel: 6538-1940.
From self-cleaning to multi-tasking ones, the latest coffee makers are something else.
De’Longhi Primadonna Elite Experience Ecam 650.85.MS
This bean-to-cup automatic coffee machine has some cool tech behind it, such as auto-cleaning residual milk from the system and a touchscreen colour display to select your coffee. We really dig these two nifty and unusual functions: making frothed cold coffee, and making cold milk froth. Price unavailable, from Robinsons The Heeren and Raffles City; available only from June.
For those who need multiple coffee hits to get through the workday, this nifty, lightweight capsule-coffee machine is just what you need on your office desk. It’s designed for espresso and lungo (pulled with more water than a regular espresso) lovers, and the removable water tank makes refilling it super convenient. $218, from www.nespresso.com.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Eclipse
Don’t be fooled by its futuristic look. The capsule-coffee machine is dead easy to use. The loop twists open at the touch of a button, and all that’s left to do is slide a capsule in and tap the touchscreen to start your coffee. With a list of 18 (and growing) capsules for everything from ristretto to latte and even hot chocolate, you’ll be spoilt for choice. $339, from www.dolce-gusto. com.sg.
Miele CM 7500
No more racing your man to the coffee machine – Miele’s new bean-to-cup machine has a “One Touch for Two” function that allows it to prepare two drinks at once. A sensor will adjust the spout to the height of your cup, so there are no messy splashes. This workhorse can also dispense up to eight cups of coffee at a go, making it perfect for dinner parties. $3,999, from Miele Experience Centre and Tangs at Tang Plaza.
The slow brew
Manual brewing is so meditative: setting the water to boil, warming up your tools, measuring out the coffee and observing the extraction process. It’s a pause from the frenzy of the day, a chance to slow down. Fact: manual brewing has become so popular, it accounts for nearly 80 per cent of the workshops that Common Man Coffee Roasters run. Give it a go at home with these manual-brewing apparatus. For under $70, you can make your coffee exactly how you like it.
Chemex Coffee Maker
What’s special about it: The filter paper is thick – to remove coffee oils and compounds responsible for the bitter and sour notes.
How to use it: It’s a pour-over apparatus, so brewing is similar to the Kalita Wave 185 Dripper (second from right).
The taste: Clean, with a light body. You could mistake it for tea.
Buy it: $69.60, from Jewel Coffee.
Bialetti Moka Express
What’s special about it: Brewed over a stove, the water in the bottom chamber is heated into steam and forced up through the coffee filter basket.
How to use it: Set it over medium heat and when the coffee that streams out turns a honeyed tone, remove from heat.
The taste: Potent and thick, like an espresso.
Buy it: From $65, from Espressocups.
What’s special about it: This is extraction through pressure rather than gravity. It’s the fastest of the lot here – just one minute to steep and plunge; the other apparatus take four to five minutes to get your coffee ready.
How to use it: Place grounds in the cylindrical chamber, pour hot water to the desired level, stir briefly, cap the plunger and steep for 30 seconds. Then, push down the plunger and hold for 30 seconds.
The taste: Full-bodied with robust flavours, and very little acidity. This one’s for those who thrive on strong coffee. Buy it: $55, from Common Man Coffee Roasters.
Kalita Wave 185 Dripper
What’s special about it: A barista favourite for its flat bottom, three drip holes and horizontal ribbings on the vessel, which all help extract the coffee evenly.
How to use it: Wet the coffee grounds to release the coffee gases. To extract the flavours, steadily pour hot water in a circular motion to steep the grounds, pausing intermittently to let the coff ee drip. It sounds tedious, but each step is straightforward and the payoff, beautiful.
The taste: Keith Yee, barista-trainer at Common Man Coffee Roasters, says this device produces a balanced cup of joe – flavourful without being astringent.
Buy it: $48 for the ceramic version, from Common Man Coffee Roasters.
Abid Clever Dripper
What’s special about it: Leave the grounds to fully steep before dripping the coffee through the filter paper. No skill needed in controlling the way you pour in the hot water.
How to use it: Pour all the hot water onto the grounds at once, stir briefly, steep for a few minutes, then set the dripper over your mug to release the coffee.
The taste: More fullbodied than those brewed with Kalita Wave 185 Dripper and Chemex coffee maker.
Buy it: $28, from Common Man Coffee Roasters.
This story was originally published in the June 2017 issue of Her World.