Coffee lovers rejoice! Singapore Coffee Festival (SCF) is finally back for the second year after a successful inaugural edition last year. This year’s edition – organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and presented by DBS, will feature about 90 exhibitors, ranging from coffee purveyors to cafes and even equipment distributors.
Being a coffee lover myself, I would not want to miss the opportunity to learn more about my favourite beverage and to taste the different kinds of coffee the world has to offer. Kheng Yin joined me for this adventure as we indulge in the mystical world of caffeine.
So here’s a mini-guide we’ve collated after our visit so that you won’t get as lost as we did after coming face to face with a huge variety of choices.
1. Redeem your free drink samples with your stickers
Sorry, we’ve already gone all out to redeem our complimentary drink samples.
Basically, event-goers will be entitled to 2 drink samples. These stickers can be found inside your goodie bag – the first thing you’ll get once you exchanged your tickets at the counter.
KY definitely looked pleased with her goodie bag.
With over 90 merchants and hundreds over types of coffee to choose from (although not all types of coffees are available for sampling, do check out the full list here), I know it’s a bit difficult to make a decision. Hence, we’ve shortlisted a few of our favourites:
Chye Seng Huat Hardware (CSHH)
CSHH is no stranger to most youngsters here. It’s posh and contemporary interior packaged as a traditional shophouse on the outside raises a few eyebrows when it was first established.
For this exhibition, they have in store several kinds of premium coffee, including Kayon Mountain from Ethiopia, Javanero Pasundan from Indonesia and Maragogype from Panama. Each kind of coffee has its unique and distinguishable taste so it will spare your taste buds some confusion.
Damage: around SGD5-8
There were so many varieties of coffee beans to choose from: Madame Lychee, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eternally Grapeful and so on and so forth. I know how these names don’t sound like those of the traditional coffee beans but the strong aroma diffusing out of every bean will eradicate any doubts you have.
Apart from having your coffee freshly brewed upon order, you can also buy the beans back and brew them yourself.
Damage: SGD7 (per 100g of beans)
For those who are looking for some more out-of-this-world and hipster kind of coffee, check out this list.
3. When you are tired of coffee…
If coffee ain’t your thing, don’t worry.
If your taste buds have been overwhelmed by the amount of coffee you’ve tasted at the festival, don’t worry too.
There are always different kinds of tea to your rescue.
Here are our favourites:
The masala blend is the highlight. The moment when you swallowed it down your throat, you will taste that strong cinnamon aftertaste. It could not have been stronger, yet it fits perfectly with black Ceylon tea.
The addition of organic honey and freshly diced ginger, coupled with other spices scouted from the whole of India, Sri Lanka and Guatemala, will help make you feel relaxed
Do pick up their pamphlet because there is a recipe to teach you how to make a delicious banana cake using Prana Chai.
Damage: SGD28 (per 250g retail pack)
One of the best sparkling juices we’ve ever tasted. I am not even kidding. For a person who isn’t fond of gassy drinks, I find that this series of sparkling juice produced by Gryphon Tea Co. is especially smooth. You will not taste the carbon dioxide that tends to give your tongue that unpleasant sharp feeling. I am particularly surprised at how natural it tasted. It was as if I was savouring a cup of freshly brewed tea in the forest.
The newly launched Botanically Cold Brewed Sparkling Teas series can be boasted as the first of its kind in Singapore. It comes in three flavours – Pearl of the Orient with Lychee, Earl Grey Lavender with Strawberry and Osmanthus Sencha with Passionfruit. Each artisanal batch is said to cold-brewed at 4˚C for a total of 12 hours using a proprietary extraction method.
Damage: SGD3.75 (per bottle – non-chilled), SGD34 (per carton of bottles – non-chilled), SGD7.50 (per cup), SGD12 (per 2 cups)
Oh right. HIC Juice doesn’t sell tea. Neither do they sell coffee. They are probably one of the few participating exhibitors there that allow you to take a break from caffeine. With cold press juices, juices popsicles, acai bowls and smoothies, event-goers can ‘revitalise, refresh and recharge’ before continue their coffee adventure.
Damage: SGD6 – SGD12 (cold press juices), SGD6.90 (acai bowl), SGD8 (superfood smoothies)
3. Have some crispy cream muffins to go with your drinks
It might be a ‘coffee’ exhibition, but surely we must have some food to go with it. Famous Japanese cream bun maker Hattendo has just introduced a new brand called ‘cream muffin’, specially for the Singapore market.
Unlike other muffins, cream muffin has a rather crispy outer layer due to it being covered by a layer of biscuit mixed with crunchy almonds, pearl sugar and chocolate chips. The interior, in contrast, is made up of a fluffiest, pillowy soft dough which will melt in your mouth. The combination is just match made in heaven.
There are currently three flavours of muffin available: matcha and chocolate cream muffins, and Singapore muffin filled with a combination of kaya and custard.
After the SCF, cream muffins will be only available exclusively at the Hattendo Cafe from 7 to 13 August 2017. Be one of the first to try it.
Damage: SGD3 each (muffins), SGD5 per cup (Hattendo/Singapore/Hiroshima Blend)
4. Grab your passport to rewards
The Live Kind Passport initiated by DBS will allow event-goers to participate in four social conscious task in order to redeem rewards like an eco-friendly reusable coffee tumbler or even a cup of free coffee.
One of the tasks includes dropping off a used plastic bottle at the designated recycling machine. On top of the stamp for our Live Kind Passport, we’ve also managed to redeem a snack with the plastic bottle we’ve recycled.
Apart from the activities, there are also workshops for event goers who are interested in gaining insight into everything from coffee brewing or edible art. For those who are into healthy living, there will also be a healthy snack making workshop by Boxgreen, one of the social enterprises that set up a booth at the exhibition.
Check out the full schedule here.
5. Chillax and take OOTD
Make full use of the venue while you are in it. The Sunrise Wharf on both sides of the exhibition venue provides a phenomenal view of the open sea which gave us the idea of photo shoot session. You don’t always get the chance of being by the sea side often so seize the opportunity!
SCF2017 will be held from today (4 August) till this Sunday (6 August) at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Tickets are on sale at $22 each, $18 if you are a DBS cardholder or an ST subscriber.
Do visit its official website for more information.
Just a little caution to those who are planning to head down: the second level is not accessible from within the first level of the exhibition. Event-goers are required to take the escalator from the outside of the exhibition in order to go up to level 2. The need to go through two rounds of security checks would certainly discourage lazy people like us to check out on the other exhibitors up there.