5 things to look out for at the Singapore Coffee Festival

Expect 74 food and beverage vendors, panel discussions and coffee-related workshops this year

Get your java on. The Singapore Coffee Festival is less than a month away.

It will be held from Aug 3 to 6 at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, a venue twice as large as last year's F1 Pit Building and a stone's throw from the Marina South Pier MRT station.

The second instalment of the festival boasts a total of 74 food and beverage vendors, which will offer everything from coffee and sparkling tea to barbecued short ribs and nasi lemak.

Aside from food and drink, the event, organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank, will also include interesting panel discussions on topics such as opening a cafe and sustainability; and coffee-related workshops.

Here are five things to look forward to at the festival this year.


Singapore AeroPress Championships

The annual Singapore AeroPress Championships will be held at the Singapore Coffee Festival for the first time this year.

  • 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); two sessions daily from
    Aug 4 to 6, 10am to 3.30pm and 4.30 to 10pm
    ADMISSION: $22, $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders,
    ST subscribers)
    INFO: Go to www.sgcoffeefestival.com or e-mail
    sgcoffeefest@sph.com.sg

Organised by Common Man Coffee Roasters, the fun coffee championship, which celebrates AeroPress-brewed coffee and camaraderie in the coffee community, is into its fourth edition.

All are welcome to join in the festivities. Expect a DJ, drinks and plenty of showmanship.

A total of 36 participants will take part in nine rounds of heats, followed by three semi-final sessions and a final. Competitors prepare coffee with an AeroPress, a special coffee-making device that functions as a plunger. The person with the best-tasting coffee wins.

The prize is a trip to Seoul to compete in the World AeroPress Championships in November.

Registration opens this week. Follow @commonmancoffee on Instagram and @commonmancoffeeroasters on Facebook for details.

Where: Sunset Wharf

When: Aug 4, 6pm


Non-coffee drinks

Quench your thirst with non-coffee drinks once you have had your fill of caffeine for the day.

Take your pick of everything, from cold-press juices to speciality iced-tea blends to cocktails.

Dapper Coffee will be selling its sparkly blue concoction known as Unicorn Tears ($10), while Gryphon Tea will have a range of refreshing artisan sparkling teas (below) in flavours such as lily of the field with elderflower; hanami and peach; and Nymph of the Nile, strawberry and thyme ($6.80 each).

Want something with a little more kick? Symmetry will have two cocktails ($12 each) to choose from - its Slayer espresso martini and the Symmetry mojito.

Chocolate lovers should make a beeline for Strangers' Reunion's booth for its cup of sea salt chocolate ($7), as well as to Melbourne-based producer Grounded Pleasures to pick up boxes of drinking chocolate powder (from $16 a box), in flavours such as French mint and chilli, so you can make you favourite drink at home.


Coffee chats

Head to the ST Lounge on the ground level for ST's series of coffee chats. Some 15 talks will be held from Aug 4 to 6, a handful of which will be food and beverage-related.

Hear what experienced food and beverage professionals have to say about the industry and tap into their expertise. The talks will also include Q&A sessions with members of the floor.

Conservation And Coffee

ST chat buddy: Journalist Audrey Tan

What: Java Mountain Coffee, supported by Boncafe, and Mandai Park Holdings share their conservation projects involving sustainably produced coffee.

When: Aug 4, 12.30pm

Blazing A Path: Entrepreneurs In The F&B Industry

ST chat buddy: Food correspondent Rebecca Lynne Tan

What: Owning a cafe is the dream of many coffee lovers. But what does it really take? Experienced food and beverage players share their stories and tips with aspiring entrepreneurs.

When: Aug 4, 6.30pm

So You Want To Open A Cafe?

ST chat buddy: Assistant business editor Yasmine Yahya

What: What aspiring cafe owners should know before taking the plunge, from creating a unique concept to crafting a standout menu to managing cash flows.

When: Aug 6, 5pm

From Boring To Barista

ST chat buddy: Deputy Life editor and food critic Wong Ah Yoke

What: "Better latte than never" is the motto of this panel, featuring speakers who have made a mid-career change to join the cafe industry.

When: Aug 6, 6.30pm


Free coffee workshops

Learn more about java at 24 free coffee workshops that range from cupping to how to brew coffee at home. Each session is limited to between 20 and 40 people, depending on the workshop.

The workshops will take place on the ground level at The Lab. Register online to secure a spot.

Here are some highlights:

Home Roasting Demonstration

What: Watch how coffee beans can be roasted at home.

When: Aug 4, 5 and 6, 5pm

OrioleTalk

What: Learn to recognise flavour attributes in coffee and understand how varietals, terroir and other factors influence coffee profiles.

When: Aug 4, 6pm

The Italian Coffee Culture Vs The Third Wave by Caffe Vergnano 1882

What: Learn and understand more about the differences between speciality coffee and Italian blends.

When: Aug 4 and 6, 7.15pm

DIY Coffee Cocktails At Home by The Refinery

What: The Refinery's bar manager Noreen Ong will showcase four coffee cocktails - an Espresso Martini, a Tiramisu Martini, a White French Maid and a Red Eye.

When: Aug 4 and 6, 8.30pm

Cup It: Tasting Coffees Like An Expert by Jewel Coffee

What: Taste coffee the scientific way in a cupping session that involves nosing ground coffee, wet coffee (once ground coffee has been left to steep with hot water), and then tasting it.

When: Aug 5, 12.45pm

How To Make The Perfect Flat White by Common Man Coffee Roasters

What: The workshop will take you through the different components of a milk coffee. Learn about the optimal ratio of coffee to milk as well as the length of time for coffee extraction.

When: Aug 6, 11.30am and 6pm


Hearty fare outdoors

Vendors that have taken up outdoor booths at Sunset Wharf will be showcasing a hearty feast.

Think delicious fork-tender meats with a smoky char, pastas and items such as poutine and steak and fries.

There will be tents and fans and seating for 100 people.

Symmetry, known for its casual French fare, will be doing a barbecue in the evening.

Tuck into bone-in beef short ribs with spicy Granny Smith apple slaw ($38, good for two to three people); hickory-glazed whole chicken legs with sweet basil, lemongrass and chilli jam ($15); and a sausage platter ($18, below).

During the day, it will offer dishes such as zucchini and feta croquettes with yuzu honey yogurt ($10); and a pulled pork bun with pickles ($13).

Over at Garcons, expect dishes such as a foie gras poutine ($13); and Angus steak and fries ($15).

For a local take on Western favourites, try the chilli crab pasta and mentaiko crawfish carbonara from Hyde & Co.

Where: Sunset Wharf

When: Aug 4 to 6

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 09, 2017, with the headline 'Enjoy coffee and more'. Print Edition | Subscribe