The term third wave coffee is used to describe a new wave in the coffee industry, focusing on high quality, taste, sustainability, transparency and good craftsmanship.
Thankfully, Singapore has fully adopted the movement.
We were blown away by the city’s incredible coffee shop scene. As coffee enthusiasts, we made it our mission to seek out some of the finest cafés during our three days in town.
To explore Singapore on foot, the jolts of delicious caffeine were in high demand. But so were the air conditioning inside the cafés and their mouth-watering desserts.
Here are 6 third wave coffee shops in Singapore that brew great coffee.
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CSHH Coffee Bar is more than just a coffee shop.
Here you’ll find roasting facilities, a cupping room, a beer bar and a shop where you can buy freshly ground coffee beans and professional coffee gear.
The 360-degree view of the bar puts the baristas on full display while they work their magic with hand-dripped single estate coffees, nitro cold brews and cascara (coffee cherry tea).
We went for an Ethiopian drip coffee from the Guji region, an iced latte as well as a vegan muesli with lots of fresh fruits. We were not disappointed!
They have quite a few food options as well as tasty desserts and pastries on offer.
PPP Coffee (previously known as Papa Palheta) is not the cheapest café in town, but it just might be the most delicious.
The first Jewel Coffee opened in 2011 and today it’s the fastest growing chain of specialty coffee shops in Singapore.
Here you can try coffees such as El Salvador Picacho; 100% bourbon coffee grown 1,200 metres above sea level (making it strictly high grown) or the Indonesian wet-hulled coffee called Sumatra Mandheling Terminator 3.
All espressos and espresso-based drinks such as latte and cappuccino are served with double shots.
Besides coffee, you can also buy cakes and light meals.
Victoria got a wonderful quinoa salad with cabbage, sweet cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette.
We visited the coffee shop at 442 Orchard Road / Claymore Connect, but Jewel Coffee has 15 coffee shops in Singapore.
Next to a lively pedestrian street leading into the shopping centre 313@Somerset, you’ll find one of the two Oriole coffee bars.
Oriole works closely with independent coffee farmers and small cooperatives to continuously improve quality. They also have their own roastery.
We had a pour over Direct Trade coffee from Papua New Guinea. It arrived at our table accompanied by a note describing exactly where the coffee comes from, how it was processed and what it tastes like.
The menu boasts comfort foods such as fish and chips, truffle burgers and avocado focaccias. They also serve salads, breakfast all day long and sinful desserts.
We simply had to try the fresh waffles with caramelized bananas, pecans, miso caramel and ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. Let’s just say there was sugar enough for two!
4. The Coffee Academïcs
The Coffee Academïcs is originally from Hong Kong, founded by Jennifer Liu.
In addition to serving some of Asia’s best coffees, The Coffee Academïcs is also known for Coffee in a Cone – that is, hot latte in an ice cream cone.
It’s also possible to buy muffins, cakes, brunch and lunch, which by the look of it was very appetizing, but the prices were a bit too steep for our budget (plus we already had lunch).
We did try their signature coffee, The Manuka, with honey from New Zealand.
Next time it would be fun to try one of their single origins or perhaps even the Coffee in a Cone.
We visited The Coffee Academïcs at 6 Scotts Road, Scotts Square. In Singapore, there’s also Nitro Pitstop in 252 North Bridge Road, inside the Raffles City Shopping Center (at the City Hall metro stop).
After strolling around the coloured shophouses on the outskirts of Chinatown, we had an afternoon break at The Populus.
The small gastro-café has a high-end touch and mainly serves food; brunch, lunch and desserts with a modern twist.
As for the coffee, it’s roasted at their own speciality coffee roastery, 2° North Coffee Co.
They focus on traceability (thanks!) and seasonality, which definitely shows in the quality selection of coffees in the café.
We got a latte (with impressive latte art) brewed on fully washed caturra espresso beans from Colombia. Fancy, right?
Their creamy chocolate cake with passion fruit and base of biscuits was as tasteful as it sounds. Mmmh!
Should we come back, we would love to try the brunch plates in the morning.
The New Black serves coffee (and tea) from some of the world’s best roasters.
The coffee shop is located below an escalator in Raffles Place 9 and it can be a bit tricky to find.
CMYK-coloured walls and a big illustration of the Coffee Taster’s Flavour Wheel gave the place a very modern feel.
Even though The New Black sells pastries, it’s the sublime coffee experience you should come by for.
We tried the cup named Emilo: Mexican coffee beans with notes of milk chocolate, almonds and burnt sugar roasted in Munich, Germany and brewed on a V60.
9 Raffles Place.
First of all, we love the heavenly beverage.
We drink coffee every single day and truly appreciate all the work it takes to make an excellent cup.
Also, we’re producing a documentary film about sustainable coffee production called Shade Grown Coffee – The Movie.
- The coffee is brewed on order with freshly ground beans.
- The beans have been roasted recently and it’s even better if they’re roasted on premises.
- Information about the coffee bean variety (Caturra, Geisha), the process (washed, natural), the country and preferably all the way to a cooperative or a single estate.
- Black coffee is brewed with several different methods such as AeroPress, French Press, Chemex, V60 etc.
- Espresso-based drinks such as latte and cappuccino are made on an espresso machine with freshly steamed milk. Plus points for organic milk and non-dairy alternatives.
- The coffee is certified by respectable third parties like Organic, Fairtrade and Bird Friendly.
- Detailed information about the buyer’s relationship to the farmer and the price paid for the beans is a great sign of transparency.
- Friendly and knowledgeable baristas.
- Cosy and inviting interior.
- Affordable prices.
- Quality fresh baked goods like homemade cookies, cakes or croissants can heighten the experience and add the finishing touch.
Thanks for reading
You made it all the way to the end! Now it’s time for a delicious cup of coffee.
We hope this guide to drinking specialty coffee in Singapore has been useful.
Have you had a great cup in Singapore? Let us know in the comments below!