are grumpy unless caffeinated;
can’t function till you get your morning cuppa;
have been called a coffee snob for dissing on Starbucks…
Congratulations! You are officially a true javahead.
Now all you need is little black book of cafes to get your quality caffeine hit.
Variety vultures will adore this cozy café. Pronounced “Juh-ha-va”, we love this place because the baristas are passionate and extremely friendly – they constantly invite curious strangers into their café and conduct free tasting sessions by brewing fresh presses of 3 different coffees. And like Toby’s (see below), they have direct links with the people the buy from.
4 Jalan Gelenggang, Singapore 578188, p. 6554 7080, daily 9am-6pm, free coffee tasting 9am-5pm
Creatures of habit, stay away. This fuss-free yet charming store operates primarily as a micro-roastery, supplying artisan-roasted beans to wholesale and retail clients. Which means that Liberty has the most irregular opening hours (follow them on facebook for the latest updates), but if you manage to make it there, you’ll be handsomely rewarded. Delish homemade cakes available too.
131 Rangoon Road, Singapore 218409
Some coffee spots are more pretentious than others… Not this one. Strangers’ Reunion is a new kid on the block (just opened March this year) with massive talent – fronted by Ryan Kieran Tan, winner of the 2011 and 2012 Singapore National Barista Championships, and brother Dylan Tan (former barista at Papa Palheta). Very rustic, laidback space that boasts sophisticated machinery (a Synesso Hydra II 3 Group) and skillful taste-makers.
37 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169356, p. 9368 3610, open everyday except Tuesday 9am-10pm
Nylon is a shoebox retail outlet with a good excuse – like Liberty, it primarily roasts beans onsite, which means it always serves up a good takeaway cuppa. Think perfectly steamed milk and smooth tasting beans. While newly opened in May this year, Nylon has already proven a hit with the locals – even the littles are lining up for babyccinnos!
4 Everton Park, #01-40, Singapore 080004, p. 6220 2330, Mon & Wed-Fri 830am-530pm, Sat & Sun 9am-6pm
Known for its team of experienced baristas (most formerly from top coffee spots), Toby’s has garnered a cult following – and for good reason too. Its prime location (only handy for the drivers, unfortunately) means you can sip your coffee by the riverside and wander over to some foodie gems (Kith Café is a couple doors down) for great nosh. They also have a very cool Slow Bar (that looks like a mad science lab) where you can sit and watch your cup of coffee being extracted right before you.
8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04, Singapore 238216, Mon-Wed 730am-6pm, Thu-Sat 730am-10pm, Sun 730am-6pm
If you’re looking for some sweets with your buzz, this café serves excellent tarts. The delicate creations of Alfred Chan, former pastry chef at Shangri-La Hotel perfectly complement the San-Franciscan Graffeo coffee beans. Cold brews highly recommended. We also love the décor- very retro cool. Great news for shoppers – you can even buy the pieces too!
82 Tiong Poh Road, #01-05, Singapore 160082, p. 6222 0400, Sun-Thu 1030am-930pm, Fri-Sat 1030am-11pm
Yes – the muffins here are terrific stuff. But what’s a morning muffin without some strong coffee? This tiny store has created its own “Malabar blend” that uses beans from Brazil, Sumatra, and Guatemala. We love that the nuanced notes: spicy, sweet, and robust.
112 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068581, p. 6509 6462, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm
We’ve recently mentioned Oriole Coffee Roasters in Chinatown Charm, but if you like your coffee black – get. here. now. We find this outlet to be consistently better than the first outlet at Pan Pacific Serviced Suites.
10/10A Jiak Chuan Rd, p. 6224 8131, Mon-Sat 830am-10pm, Sun &PH 830am-6pm
True coffeeheads will know that Highlander Coffee is a respected veteran with a big part to play in the local coffee revolution. You’re pretty much guaranteed a smooth drink here – these guys have been in the game since 2004!
49 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169362, p. 6226 1686, Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
Great bar, great shop, and great coffee. Trained by Japanese barista Hiroshi Sawada, this café offers consistent coffee in four different brewing methods: pour over, woodneck, French press, and the elusive syphon.
20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885, p. 6294 0078, Mon-Thu 9am-9pm; Fri, Sat & PH eve 9am-11pm; Sun & PH 9am-7pm
Image: Strangers’ Reunion