Big turnout as Singapore Coffee Festival opens to public

Award-winning Straits Times artist Lee Chee Chew contributing to a graffiti wall at the festival yesterday. The Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 got off to a great start as it opened to the public yesterday. It features over 90 exhibitors, including co
The Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 got off to a great start as it opened to the public yesterday. It features over 90 exhibitors, including coffee purveyors, equipment distributors and cafes.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN
Award-winning Straits Times artist Lee Chee Chew contributing to a graffiti wall at the festival yesterday. The Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 got off to a great start as it opened to the public yesterday. It features over 90 exhibitors, including co
Members of the public trying to brew their own coffee at the booth run by Hook Coffee. The event features a host of activities for visitors, in addition to the wide range of coffee and food for tasting.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Members of the public trying to brew their own coffee at the booth run by Hook Coffee. The event features a host of activities for visitors, in addition to the wide range of coffee and food for tasting.
Award-winning Straits Times artist Lee Chee Chew contributing to a graffiti wall at the festival yesterday.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Visitors to the Singapore Coffee Festival have a wide variety of food and drink to try out, and plenty of room to just chill out with friends with a good cup of coffee.
Visitors to the Singapore Coffee Festival have a wide variety of food and drink to try out, and plenty of room to just chill out with friends with a good cup of coffee. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG
Baristas brewing up a storm as they prepare drinks for the many visitors at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre yesterday. There will be a host of events for visitors today, including a book launch and free yoga session.
Baristas brewing up a storm as they prepare drinks for the many visitors at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre yesterday. There will be a host of events for visitors today, including a book launch and free yoga session.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Nearly 4,000 join festivities, with some taking leave to go on a workday; weekend turnout expected to be bigger

It may have been a workday, but the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 saw a steady stream of visitors all of yesterday.

The event at Marina Bay Cruise Centre opened to the public yesterday, drawing close to 4,000 people.

Mr Lim Tian Wee, 48, executive director of Gryphon Tea Company, which has a booth at the festival, said the turnout was "far better than I expected".

"It is Friday lunchtime, and there is already a crowd," he said.

Ms Fiona Chan, head of group strategy and analytics at Singapore Press Holdings, agreed: "The turnout has been better than expected - some people actually took leave to come - but we have been able to accommodate everyone very comfortably in the spacious venue."

 
  • 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); two sessions daily from Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm and 4.30pm to 10pm

    ADMISSION: $22, $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders, ST subscribers)

    INFO: Go to www.sgcoffeefestival.com

  • HOW TO GET THERE

  • WHERE: Marina Bay Cruise Centre; 61, Marina Coastal Drive

    PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Take North-South Line towards Marina Bay station and alight at Marina South Pier station. Walk 600m along sheltered walkway to the venue. Alternatively, take the MRT to Tanjong Pagar or Downtown station, and board bus 402 to the venue.

Last year's event was held at the F1 Pit Building.

The festival, which ends tomorrow, is organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank. It features more than 90 exhibitors, including coffee purveyors, equipment distributors and cafes, as well as workshops, talks and live entertainment. It opened on Thursday to trade and media.

Repeat exhibitors and visitors praised this year's festival for its more spacious layout and greater variety of products on offer.

Common Man Coffee Roasters' co-owner Harry Grover, 36, said: "Last year, our booth was more like a coffee kiosk. People would come just to grab a latte and go. This year, we are able to build a bigger booth showcasing more of what we do, such as our coffee-roasting classes."

Mr Xavier Teo, 40, founder of cafe Brawn & Brains, said the response to the products at his booth has been "great". His cafe, taking part for the first time, is road-testing coffee beer and pourover coffee at the festival to gauge customer response.

A crowd-puller yesterday was Shiseido Cafe, with its mix of make-up products and snacks flown in from the Shiseido Parlour in Tokyo. A spokesman said its rose vinegar soda with vanilla ice cream, which sells for $6, had been specially created for the festival.

University student Alexis Sim, 24, said of the festival: "It is a lot better this year. It is more spacious and organised.

"There are more interesting food choices, like chilli crab croissants and coffee pork chop bun."

 The annual Singapore AeroPress Championships (above); a storytelling session by Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu (left); and singer- songwriter Jawn Chan's performance. Chilli crab croissant from Foxhole Cafe X The Pour

One of yesterday's highlights was the 2017 Singapore AeroPress Championship, hosted by Common Man Coffee Roasters. It kicked off at 6pm with 36 of the best manual brewing experts in Singapore competing to produce the best-tasting coffee. Contestants had eight minutes to brew 200ml of coffee using only coffee and water. The coffee was judged blind by a four-member panel of experts.

The winner, Mr Jerald Teng, 23, a barista from Nook & Cranny Cafe, will travel to Seoul to compete in the World AeroPress Championships in November.

At 8.45pm, festival-goers were treated to a five-minute fireworks display, presented by Mapletree Investments, at Sunrise Wharf.

This year's festival features two sessions: Brunch from 10am to 3.30pm, and sundown from 4.30pm to 10pm. Housewife Cindy Tan, 50, who attended the brunch session, said: "I think two hours is enough to see everything."

The public are encouraged to buy tickets online in advance to minimise queueing time. Each session, with different activities, costs $22, or $18 for DBS and POSB cardholders and Straits Times subscribers.

Coffee lovers had a chance to indulge to their heart's content at the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017, which opened to the public yesterday. Cafes and coffee purveyors went all out to please the close to 4,000 visitors who turned up at the Marina Bay
A feast for coffee lovers: Coffee lovers had a chance to indulge to their heart's content at the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017, which opened to the public yesterday. Cafes and coffee purveyors went all out to please the close to 4,000 visitors who turned up at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre. More than 90 exhibitors are taking part in this year's festival, which continues today and tomorrow. Now in its second year, the festival is organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

ST subscribers who flash their ST+ cards can get into the express queue for the festival. Those who download the SPH Rewards app can redeem a gift at the SPH Rewards booth on level two.

Those who subscribe to ST at the festival stand a chance to win a prize on the spot. Lucky draw prizes include a Panasonic camera and an LG pocket printer.


What's on Saturday at Coffee Festival

Hatha yoga

Start your day right with an hour-long yoga session presented by Pure Yoga and SPH Magazines. The free session is at 10.30am, Level 2 Mezzanine.

Posh Nosh by Hsueh: An Omakase Experience

ST Life editor and veteran food critic Tan Hsueh Yun will host Posh Nosh by Hsueh: An Omakase Experience, where diners get to feast on an eight-course menu curated by her. There will be two sessions, from noon to 1.30pm, and 5pm to 6.30pm, at the ST Lounge.

Soft launch of Hunger Management

Hunger Management is the name of Ms Tan's book, which is a compilation of 63 recipes that have appeared in her long-running column in Life of the same name. The soft launch will take place at 2.30pm at the ST Press Booth.

Barter Market

Over 25 vendors, from poets to artists, will offer verses, illustrations and more in exchange for anything but cash from 12.30pm to 3.30pm at The Market.

Live music

From 6pm, enjoy live music at the Sunset Wharf by home-grown singers Inch Chua, Tim De Cotta and indie rock group Stopgap.

Fireworks

Head to the Sunrise Wharf to catch a five-minute fireworks display against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline at 8.45pm.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Big turnout as Singapore Coffee Festival opens to public'. Print Edition | Subscribe