15 Things To Make You The Ultimate Cafe Hopper Expert in Singapore

Monday, May 05, 2014 , 2 Comments

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15 Things To Make You The Ultimate Cafe Hopper Expert 

Do you smell that? That’s the aroma of the next big thing in Singapore: Café HoppingEverywhere you look, you see selfies from people and their new café discovery. Everything you hear, you catch locals raving about their new café find. It’s no longer a battle between Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Everyone is just so high into this café hopping activity, and it still is a welcome change to see how Singapore is finding ways to build more culture and character on its own. Now, if you’re living under a rock or something, you probably are new to this café hopping concept.

What better and faster way to catch up and be an instant expert than to learn everything that there is to know about what works and what clicks here in Singapore’s Café-Coffee scene. Skip the feeling of being out of the loop. Here are the most important basics that you need to know to become the ultimate café expert that you are.

Know Thy Latte Art

A café hopper would know that a good latte art first impression goes a long way. It stands out as a plus point to see a good latte art in a simple hot drink. Gone are the days when people are contented with one plain, bland, brown froth on their hot coffees. Nowadays, you can separate the good cafes to the great ones by the uncanny talent they have over their latte arts. Latte art is almost always equivalent to a good hot drink.

Spot Some Garage and Some Quaint

Singapore is all about the garage and the quaint. Every successful coffee shop you will ever find here would either have this white-washed, unfinished garage kind of walls, sometimes with faint scent of cement, or sometimes with uncompleted ceiling designs, with dangling wires, light fixtures, and accessories. Or, most coffee shops would be the quaintest thing around the block, with the most intricate and delicate of designs – mismatched cutleries, characteristic chairs, old school art. It’s the ultimate café atmosphere that people dig over here.

Fall for the Signature Drink

A Signature Drink is an original drink that expresses the nature of the cafe creating it, and it’s definitely a new opportunity to enhance the experience a café connoisseur. An expert would know that a good café find is even better if there is a signature drink being offered. It caps the whole café hopping experience with the café’s original concoction - be it a hot mocha with a tinge of lavander or an iced caramel macchiato with tangerine. Find that signature drink and you’ll know you found a winner.

Search for a Cause

Everyone wants to contribute something. And, what better way to do it than to indulge over a cup of caffeine. The best café finds around this red dot are fervently making an effort to give back to society – be it as simple as a donation box, participating in some charity events, selling stuffs with proceeds going to charities, and some even hiring people with special needs who would like to learn some good café experience. You know you found a first rate café if they’re for a cause.

Accept All-Day Breakfasts

All of a sudden, you see eggs benedict even during your wee hours of Instagram viewing. Yes, that’s how the best cafes around town get its customers to come back more often – all out all-day breakfast menu. We all love a good breakfast, no matter what time of the day, and to have it married with your favorite coffee drink, you definitely hit the prize on finding one good café.

Find the Creative Simplicity

There’s something about Singapore’s café landscape that’s creatively simplistic in its approach. The best café finds here doesn’t try to overcomplicate things with too much coffee jargons, too much coffee routines, too much coffee hype. You’ll notice that the best ones are straightforward and likeable by all kinds of groups. You can easily identify with it because of its unfussiness – you see kids, you see teens, you see oldies, easily bonding and staying over for long periods of time because of the creative simplicity found in the environment. If you find one that’s instantly likeable by all means, you have to heighten your senses ‘cos you might have found a good café.

Pinpoint that Posh Equipment

No matter how well versed a coffee shop is when it comes to coffee, if they don’t have some evidences of posh equipment to back up their talent, a café will remain to be just like any other café. For top coffee shops however, you will immediately notice the boldness of coffee accessories and machines being used in their counter area. It allows café goers to experience a pleasant display of talent from the baristas. It allows coffee appreciation even more.

Don't Disregard the Desserts

An expert café hopper would know that all day breakfasts are always good, but it becomes even better if they can order some awesome desserts too. Dessert spotting: Rainbow cakes, red velvets, pies, and macaroons. You would rarely find a local here who doesn’t love a wicked dessert, and to have one to couple with a cup of your favorite cappuccino – ahhh, always is a good coffee place experience.

Be Mindful of the Bicycles and Bricks

Another notable nugget of observation you can find when spotting your next café discovery: some bike and brick mishmash. It’s surprising to decipher how much bike and brick blend you can find in ultra-successful coffee shops here in this city. It’s amazing how these two distinct basics can help turn a café into a much sought-after caffeine place. It stands out even more than the books and magazine displays you can find in most top coffee shops. You’ll see at least one bicycle display and a whole lot of brick layered walls in must-go cafés in Singapore.

Share the Love of locals and foreigners

You’ll know you found a first rate café in Singapore if you see and feel the love from the locals and foreigners all enjoying the place. It’s difficult to disregard the consistency of the great coffee and the coherence of the great company that you can find in one café, all built with mutual enjoyment from both locals and foreigners. Different mixes of people always flood the better cafés here. You’ll spot expats, you’ll see locals – couples, students, families, young kids, you’ll see travelers, you’ll see the Singapore life unfolding over mugs of mocha frapuccinos.

Must talk about Mocha Basics

The best cafes to visit are considered superlative for a very good reason. Their coffee basics are really, really, REALLY good. Whether iced or hot drink, one basic mocha drink is all it takes for one café hopper expert to discern whether or not what they’re having is a good coffee find. You’ll see different hues of brown color, different kinds of recommended sugar, different containers; but the easiest no-brainer thing to identify with is, of course, the taste – it’s a matter of preference, but a tasteful mocha drink can go a really long way in one’s café hopping experience.

Visit the Venue's Versatility

The best cafes in Singapore are universal. In venue, that is. Though they have different pervading themes and styles, their venues often can stand to cater to different kinds of events and preferences. These cafes can play a role for casual initial interviews, group study sessions, some quiet alone time for soloists, first date encounters, family celebrations, and whatever new event that we can come up with – they almost always fit the profile if they want too. This exceptional chamellion-like edge gives top cafes more plus points, without question.

Check for Free WIFI

When it comes to Singapore culture, everything free is always a nice to have. And, the best coffee shop owners who care for their Singapore culture knows that it’s a MUST HAVE. And, to celebrate such cultural generosity is to offer some free WIFI. Most of the café experts, café hoppers, and café drinks prefer to sit and lounge around in their favorite coffee shops for as long as they can, and to have a free WIFI makes them even feel more at home. Notice the easy-going yet dependable type of crowd in the successful cafés, yes it’s almost surely because of their free WIFI.

See the Barista

You won’t find a top café that isn’t run by an amazing team. The thing here in Singapore, the best cafes are normally run by baristas cum owners, who are quiet young and inspiring. They have paved a new way to enjoy life here in this city, and it’s truly compelling to hear their stories, their journey, and their recommendations on your next bag of beans order. They are the overly friendly and smart soon-to-be friends you’ll want to meet in your next café hopping adventure.

Uncover the Hidden Gem

It’s true, what they say. The good things are hard to find – and the best cafes often give the impression that it’s a hidden find. You’ll have to scour the entire city (or if you’re lucky, just the next corner), to uncover your next best café catch. Finding the next best café thing is an adventure in itself and it’s always the sweetest surprise to enjoy a shot of passionate espresso at the end of your hidden café find.


Bowdy is an amateur adventurer, a coffee sleepyhead, and a start-up rooter, with a penchant for classic-looking photos. At last count, he has visited some 60 countries, and is now living in Singapore. He's always in search of fascinating routines to exploit, within the edges of after-office hours and (un)limited holidays.

For collaboration ideas, email bowdywanders@gmail.com.


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    my website Flock Cafe ( http://flockcafe.com.sg ) is also one of the best Cafe in Singapore, so i like add my website in your list of Restaurants .
    Thank You

    Flock Cafe

    Tiong Bahru,
    78 Moh Guan Terrace,
    #01-25 Tiong Bahru Estate,
    Singapore 162078.
    Phone: 6536 3938
    Email: ordering@flockcafe.com.sg

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