(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

The Singapore Coffee Festival has more than 80 exhibitors to pique the coffee lover’s interest in what goes behind brewing a cup of java.

Besides checking out homegrown roasters and cafes, visitors can also find out more about coffee and food by  vendors from Japan, New Zealand and Italy.

Be spoilt for choice with about 70 food and beverage vendors and exclusive dining sessions that are curated by  The Straits Times Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun.

The Singapore Coffee Festival is held from Aug 3 to 6 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, a stone’s throw from the Marina South Pier MRT station.

In its second edition, the festival, which is organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank, will also feature live music performances and coffee-related workshops.

• Go to str.sg/coffeecapitals to check out cafe-hopping trails by ST’s foreign correspondents

Tuck into a meal curated by Life editor

From the trendy castella cake to Instagram-ready brunch fare, it is food glorious food at the festival, which has a mouth-watering line-up of about 70 food and beverage booths.

Don’t want to jostle with the crowd? Sit down to a meal that provides a scrumptious snapshot of the festival’s  offerings.

The eight-course meal, called Posh Nosh By Hsueh: An Omakase Experience, is curated by The Straits Times Life editor Tan Hsueh Yun. She will also play host and chat with diners.

There will be four sessions: two each on Aug 5 and 6, at noon and 5pm. They will be held at the ST Lounge on Level 1. Diners can choose from two menus. Each menu consists of three savoury items, three sweet treats and two drinks.

Ms Tan, 49, says: “I wanted a good mix of good-tasting and quirky sounding food. This is a chance to try out new things and I hope the guests will like what I have chosen.”’

The first menu has an ayam buah keluak kueh pie tee from Arbite, chilli crab croissant with raspberry chips (above) from Foxhole Cafe X The Pourover Bar and foie gras poutine from Garcons. It also includes sweets such as mini choux pastries with coffee cream from Oriole Coffee + Bar, taro waffle with Earl Grey ice cream from Froth and dark chocolate with sea salt crystals from Beans to Bars.

For drinks, there are a turmeric latte from Huggs Coffee and a white cold brew from 1degreeC.

The other menu comprises pulled beef mantou from Hyde & Co, Scotch egg sandwich from Park Bench Deli and portobello fries from The Coastal Settlement.

Desserts are castella cake with strawberry creme chantilly from Antoinette, jumbo ice-cream choux from Ollella and kaya muffin from Cream Muffin by Hattendo.

Wash the food down with mocha honey cinnamon latte from Abbie’s Coffeehouse and nitro tonic from Made Cold.

  • BOOK IT / SINGAPORE COFFEE FESTIVAL

    WHERE: Marina Bay Cruise Centre, 61 Marina Coastal Drive

    WHEN: Aug 3 (for trade and media only, register at www.sgcoffeefestival.com); Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm and 4.30 to 10pm daily

    ADMISSION: $22, $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders, ST subscribers or groups of four or more)

    INFO: Go to www.sgcoffeefestival.com or e-mail sgcoffeefest@sph.com.sg

The menus are subject to change.

Ms Tan says: “I am really looking forward to meeting guests and getting stuck in food talk. The interaction is invaluable to me. I get inspired by the places people go to to eat, what they like to eat.

“It’s going to be fun. Skip the queues and eat with me.”

• Each session is priced at $88 a person and is limited to 20 people. For tickets, go to www.sgcoffeefestival.com.sg.

Overseas vendors mainly from Japan

Japanese vendors make up the bulk of overseas vendors at this year’s festival, with an inaugural Japan Pavilion that showcases coffee, tea, cocktails and snacks.

The Pavilion is presented by Singtel ReadyRoam and curated by Vivid Creations, a Singapore-based Japanese marketing agency.

Ms Diana Chen, vice-president (Mobile Marketing, Consumer Singapore) at Singtel, says: “We know that Singaporeans love new and exotic experiences. Singtel Ready-Roam is designed to cater to travel lovers and we are excited to bring a slice of Japan to the Singapore Coffee Festival.”

Japanese coffee distributor Cores will introduce one of its latest products, Gold Filter, at the festival.

The coffee filter, which is double-plated with 24-karat gold, yields a more full-bodied brew, as the lightweight  and durable material does not absorb oils and flavours from the brew.

Tea lovers can check out Swati, a flower tea company, whose name means star in Hindi.

Its aromatic teas are made from edible flowers and freeze-dried fruit and vegetables.

There is also a pop-up bar by Osaka-based liqueur purveyor Umeshuya, where visitors can sip plum and fruit  liqueurs (above) and concoct cocktails with help from bartenders.

Japanese baristas and roasters, who were a hit at last year’s festival, will be back this year.

Roasted In Japan, a Japanese coffee subscription company, will bring in five well-known cafes and roasteries.

First-timers at the festival are Trunk Coffee from Nagoya, Hoshikawa Coffee from Saitama and Passage Coffee from Tokyo. They will be bringing coffee-making gadgets and beans and showcasing brewing methods.

Visitors can also try Japanese green tea from Kyoto-based Ippodo Tea Company and check out coffee and merchandise from homegrown coffee roaster Seed Coffee.

Besides Japan, vendors also come from New Zealand and Italy.

IncaFe, a New Zealand-based boutique coffee roaster, mainly uses organic beans from Peru.

It will showcase Peruvian Geisha beans that yield sweet fruity and floral brews.

It will also bring in coffee blends made with beans from Sumatra and Ethiopia.

Mr Joop Verbeek, 52, owner of IncaFe, says: “Singapore is becoming a highly sophisticated coffee-drinking country and with our speciality coffees from Peru, we want to be in this market.”

Italian coffee-shop chain Caffe Vergnano 1882 will serve coffee beverages such as espresso tonic and cioccolata (hot chocolate).

Giving the java an extra kick are three coffee cocktails. They include The 1882, a concoction of espresso, vodka, coconut milk, Earl Grey tea and milk.

More Info: www.straitstimes.com

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