Coffee in Singapore - 15 Coffee Cafes & Roasters for Old School Kopi
There are only a few things that Singaporeans love more than kicking back at a kopitiam (coffee shops) with a cup of the old-school kopi (coffee). The kopitiams (tiam being the Hokkien word for shop) are often open shopfront cafes, usually lined with a handful of other stalls, with a couple of uncles and aunties taking the orders. The coffee beans in Singapore are roasted with sugar and margarine, rendering a distinctive aroma and taste. The coffee from Singapore, is thus, dark and strong with smooth caramel and butter aftertaste. This kopi is either drunk blank or mixed with evaporated or condensed milk.
For the people whose birthstone is coffee beans, the Lion City has some of the best cafes and roasteries. We have collated a list of 15 best coffee shops in Singapore to enjoy a cup of the authentic kopi.
1. Nylon Coffee Roasters
Known for the freshly brewed coffee from its uniquely perfect blend of seasonal coffee beans, Nylon Coffee Roasters is a micro coffee roastery located in Tanjong Pagar along Everton Park. From exquisite coffees to mouth-watering Danish pastries, its extensive menu transforms the coffee experience into an exemplary one. The café lacks wifi-in order to make coffee one's primary focus rather than their smartphone. The name Nylon comes from NY- New York and LON -London that is in reference to the places from where the founder-duo of this café belongs. With the staff taking regular trips to visit their farms, they're focused on the model of green coffee sourcing with their Probat roaster set up in a small room adjoining the café.
Timings: Monday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Wednesday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Specialities: Espresso Shots, Long blacks, Flat whites, special coffee beans
2. Common Man Coffee Roasters
Located along Martin road, Common Man Coffee Roasters is coffee-centric despite numerous interesting and tasty food options that it has got to offer. Being near Robertson Quay, this place is known for its consistency in drawing crowd since its opening in 2013. The name of the café is in tribute to the belief- 'Coffee is grown and drunk by the common man'. The focus of this coffee roaster is to make craft coffee accessible to the common man, along with hosting free public cupping every Wednesday from 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM. From crafting lattes at the wide Synesso Espresso machine to perfecting a vast range of different drip methods for their guests, friendly baristas are kept quite busy. The place is spacious with a modern seating both inside and outside. Roasting their own beans, this place does some roasting at the site itself with a Giesen roaster, as well as at other locations.
Address: #01-00, 22 Martin Road, Singapore 239058
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning
Timings: Daily - 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Specialities: 22 Martin Espresso Blend, Double chocolate cone, Milo Dinosaur, Cherry cheesecake, Gachika AA
3. Pacamara Boutique Coffee Roasters
The place aims at offering its guests kicking-taste coffees apart from the graceful and relaxed setting that it is known for. With the look usually referred to as 'Clean state of white', it is something that augments its beauty. Apart from the elegance that one can witness in their latte art, Roadster blend is a forever favourite with nutty notes of roasted nuts along with chocolates, caramel and butterscotch. The place is an ideal one for get-togethers and reunions.
Address: Yew Lian Park, 185 Upper Thomson Road, Singapore 574333
Nearest MRT: Marymount MRT Station
Timings: Daily: 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Specialities: Truffle Benedict, The Brazilian Roast Cold Brew of the Day, Barista Breakfast, Red Velvet Pancakes, Pacamara Hawks House Roasts
4. Prodigal Roasters - Hole In The Wall Hipster Cafe
From every cup of prodigal coffee brewed from the beans, they roast themselves, to tarts, pastries and other handcrafted desserts baked in-house, the costs are much more relevant and affordable to the residents as well as students. Being a bunch of coffee lovers, Prodigal Roasters aims at bringing the best of their craft to the guests as well. Their passion towards their purpose is reflected in the flavour profile of the beans changing every month - introducing new flavours to coffee lovers.
Address: #01-112, 625 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, Singapore 560625
Nearest MRT: Ang Mo Kio
Timings: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Saturday: 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Sunday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Closed on Monday
5. Little Big Coffee Roasters
Reflecting the seasonal change in their coffee offerings, Little Big Coffee Roasters is a small roaster located in Biopolis. They serve a special roast of Miravelle coffee sourced from El Salvador - a complex flavor profile with a sweeter and deeper body.
Address: #01-06, 8 Biomedical Grove, Singapore 138665
Nearest MRT: Buona Vista
Timings: Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed on Saturday & Sunday
6. Dutch Colony Coffee Co.
Dutch Colony is a casual, open-concept café space where one can spot the racks of coffee beans, brewing accessories and equipments. This coffee chain is popular for its bottled cold brew coffees that come in sweetened and unsweetened states. Using advanced filter brewing techniques, their Dutch blend ristretto has a citrus-like acidity - slightly nutty and has a smooth, velvety finish.
Timings: Sunday - Thursday: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Friday - Saturday: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Specialities: Flight Coffee, Thai Milk Tea Loaf
7. Spinelli Coffee Roasters
Using coffee that is certified by the Rainforest Alliance for sustainability in coffee farm management, Spinelli Coffee Company is a San Francisco based coffee chain that serves coffee roasted at its own plant. Signature beverages range from freshly roasted coffee beverages to icy frost blended treats known as Spins & Twists. Give a great start to your day with its fresh range of delicious and tasty gourmet fare.
Address: #B2-01 One Raffles Quay, 1 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048583
Nearest MRT: Downtown
Timings: Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Specialities: Caffe Latte, Ebony & Ivory Cheesecake, Mocha, Original San Francisco Spin
8. Tiong Hoe Speciality Coffee
Tiong Hoe Specialty Coffee was set up in 2014 with the hope to set the standard of speciality coffee in Singapore. With no specifically defined menu, this place offers brews from the rotational range of single-origin coffee beans that is roasted, grounded and brewed in-house. Famous for its signature lemon honey coffee that took Tan Tiong three days to prepare the beans for, the cafe is also known for its authentic black brews coming out from the vintage Elektra Espresso machine in a redefined reddish-brown colour.
Timings: Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM, Saturday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM, Closed on Sunday
Specialities: Cold-brewed coffee
9. Yahava Koffee Works
Yahava Koffeeworks is run by a bunch of caffeine-fuelled adventurers who often travel to places discovering amazing coffees including Arabic coffee and tasty teas. They bring these stories and best coffee beans home with the roasters and baristas working their magic to take every of its customer on a personal tasting adventure. This Aussie coffee House certainly knows what a perfect cup of coffee tastes like and never leaves a chance to elevate someone's love for coffee due to its dynamic nature. This gem of a café is located behind Sembawang Hills Food Centre where they roast those Arabica beans in-house.
Be it a cup of hot espresso beverages or ice blended coffee drink, Highlander Coffee Espresso Bar is a place for freshly brewed authentic yet economical coffees. Sharing the passion for gourmet coffee, casual and professional coffee appreciation courses are often hosted in the café. Quattro, a mix of Brazilian, Ethiopian, Columbian and Sumatra evenly roasted beans is used for making a perfect coffee when paired with milk and nutty smooth with a sweet malt finish. From their self-sourced supply of beans to the well-trained baristas making the coffee, Highlander in Singapore is operating successfully for the last few years.
Address: 49 Kampong Bahru Road, Singapore 169362
Nearest MRT: Outram Park
Timings: Monday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays
Specialities: Piccolo Latte, Aeropress, Quattro blend
11. Strangers' Reunion
Home to perennial Singaporean national barista champion, this coffee roaster is located in Central Business District of Singapore. It serves their renowned craft coffee roasts in numerous styles from drip to syphon technique to espresso on a Synesso machine. With a dynamic coffee menu varying with seasons, it regularly features coffee from a farm in Thailand apart from its common origins including Ethiopia and Colombia. The place always seems crowded despite being spacious enough - inviting tall ceilings and a cool breeze indeed makes it a go-to.
Founded with a mission to deliver positive energy and nourishment to their guests, The Coffee Roaster's concept of serving speciality coffee with great service standard at affordable rates has served as a key to its success over the past few years. Located in NUS, other than offering quality coffee, the coffee roaster is also known for its house-baked pastries and handcrafted biscotti.
Address: #01-02 Block AS8, National University of Singapore, 10 Kent Ridge Crescent, Singapore 119260
Nearest MRT: Kent Ridge MRT Station
Timings: Monday - Friday: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM, Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays
Specializing in filtered and brewed coffees, Liberty coffee beans are sourced from around the world including America, Asia and Africa. Expertise in the area of coffee roasting and an example of craftsmanship, Liberty Coffee is fuelled with a passion for getting along burgeoning speciality coffee markets like London, Australia, Korea and the United States. From fancy stuff to a good old cup of coffee, this coffee roaster has a lot in the bag for every kind of coffee lover. Liberty Coffee also distributes its blends like the signature speakeasy blend to other local cafes in Singapore like Artistry and Carpenter & Cook.
Address: 387 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209002
Nearest MRT: Bendemeer MRT Station
Timings: Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Saturday: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Closed on Sunday, Monday & Public Holidays
Specialities: Mexy Bombinos, Flat White, Blue and Shells, Rodeo Hero
14. Chye Seng Huat Hardware
Papa Palheta -an independent coffee specialist as supplier, Chye Seng Huat Hardware is the well-known Indie Café in this city-state. Seating provides a 360-degree view of the bar making the coffee experience one of a kind. Baristas seem to be skilled enough as they meticulously prepare one's beverage considerate of bean varieties and brewing methods customizable to one's preference. If you are specific about your favorite flavors, this is indeed a place to be. Even the minute details are given utmost attention during roasting and brewing - calibrating according to seasonality and bean type to bring out nothing but the best.
Address: 150 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207563
Nearest MRT: Bendemeer MRT Station
Timings: Tuesday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Saturday - Sunday: 9:00 AM - 10:00 PM, Closed on Monday
Specialities: Micro Espresso with Milk, Nitro Black Matter, Linguine Carbonara, One Nite Only
15. Toby's Estate
Toby's Estate is a renowned Australian brand known for its exceptional taste in coffee especially the Broadway Blend and the quality-presentation. Their belief of using dry processed unwashed-natural coffee that lifts up the aroma without stripping off the flavors has made Toby's Estate one of the most sought-after cafes in Singapore. The house-blend is a mix of five that include beans from Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Uganda and Ethiopia. Café Mocha tops the list of favorites made using real Ghana red chocolate, the intensity of lattes, espressos and cappuccinos increased with a double ristretto shot. This cosy little place is situated at the riverside in central Singapore surrounded by greenery which makes it an ideal one to sip your morning coffee whilst relaxing and breathing fresh air.
Timings: Sunday - Thursday: 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM, Friday - Saturday: 7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Specialities: Cocoa nutty Colombian Roast, Toby's Rosa Moka
Kopi Primer - How to Talk Coffee in Singapore?
The Singapore coffee-hopers, try this coffee primer and order your cuppa like a true local!
Kopi: Coffe with condensed milk and no sugar. The condensed milk makes the coffee a little sweet to taste.
Kopi-O: Black coffee served with sugar.
Kopi-O Kosong: Black coffee served without sugar.
Kopi-C: Coffee with evaporated milk and sugar.
Kopi-C Kosong: Coffee with evaporated milk and no sugar.
Kopi Peng: Iced coffee served with condensed milk.
Kopi Gao: Thick concoction made with a double espresso.
Kopi Poh: A mild coffee
Kopi O Siew Dai: Coffee served with less sugar.
Kopi Gah Dai: Black coffee with extra condensed milk.
Kopi Ta Bao: Coffee To-go.
With this caffeine-fueled article and the new-found knowledge about the Singapore kopi culture, get ready to be charged by a big cuppa, because coffee is always a good idea! Isn't it? Have you been to any of these coffee shops in Singapore? How was the experience? Let us know in the comment section below!