Singapore Coffee Festival opens: 10 things to look out for

This year's Singapore Coffee Festival promises to be packed with food, drinks and activities

With more than 90 exhibitors, including coffee purveyors, equipment distributors and cafes, and close to 30 workshops and 15 talks, the Singapore Coffee Festival 2017 looks set to be a food-, drink- and activity-packed three days.

Organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank, it opened to trade and media yesterday. Today, the three-day event throws its doors open to the public.

Here are 10 things to keep an eye out for at the second edition of the festival.


Cash is not king at this event. The vendors, including poets, illustrators and a barber, want anything but money in return for their goods and services. Think durians for a haircut, old comics for a poem and Facebook likes for an illustration.

Artist Samantha Lo, 31, who goes by the moniker SKLO, came up with the idea of the market almost two years ago "to bring back the human touch in everyday exchanges".

To help festivalgoers come prepared to barter, a list of requests from vendors can be found on Indigoism's Facebook page.

Go to

Where: The Market When: Tomorrow, noon to 3.30pm and 4.30 to 6.30pm


Adding star power to the event are well-known names to look out for.

 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

Paralympic champion Yip Pin Xiu will hold a storytelling session and meet-and-greet for her new book, Mermaid Who Became A Champion (The Market, Sunday, 11.30am).

Singapore Literature Prize- winning local poet Joshua Ip will talk about how he balances his day job as a civil servant with his other life as a poet in the talk My After-work Career (ST Lounge, tomorrow, 2pm).

From The Straits Times, two of its best-known columnists, Sumiko Tan and Ignatius Low, will be doing a meet-and-greet for their new books, Sundays With Sumiko and Life Is A Mixtape (ST Lounge, Sunday, 12.30pm). That event, Coffee With The Columnists, will be hosted by senior writer Wong Kim Hoh.

The Straits Times Life editor and veteran food writer Tan Hsueh Yun will host the eight-course Posh Nosh By Hsueh: An Omakase Experience (ST Lounge, tomorrow, noon and 5pm; Sunday, noon) and launch a cookbook called Hunger Management (today, 2.30pm, see other story).

Also, look out for ST's award-winning artists Miel, Lee Chee Chew and Cel Gulapa doing live graffiti on the walls of Zone Americano and Zone Cappuccino (various times).


To take advantage of the venue's seaviews, the festival's organisers have created an alfresco dining and entertainment spot called Sunset Wharf. Tents, fans and seating for 100 people will be set up so festivalgoers can enjoy an outdoor barbecue featuring mouth-watering dishes, such as bone-in beef short ribs, while listening to live music acts.


Chilli crab croissant with raspberry chips from Foxhole Cafe X The Pourover Bar. Pulled beef mantou from Hyde & Co. Ayam buah keluak kueh pie tee from Arbite.

Jumbo ice-cream choux from Ollela. Mini choux pastry with coffee cream filling from Oriole Coffee + Bar. Castella cake with strawberry creme chantilly from Antoinette. And that is just a fraction of the goodies on offer.

Go hungry.


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

    WHEN: Aug 3 (for trade and media only, register at; 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


This place is the setting for Coffee With The Boss, a series of casual chats where The Straits Times editors and correspondents will pick the brains of entrepreneurs, cafe owners and corporate leaders.

For example, get investment advice from DBS' regional head of group research Timothy Wong and travel tips from Princess Cruises director for South-east Asia Farriek Tawfik.

Also, take part in an interactive coffee quiz at the lounge and stand to win the furniture you see there, courtesy of online furniture store Castlery.


Home-grown musicians will entertain tomorrow and on Sunday from 6pm at Sunset Wharf.

Singer-songwriters Inch Chua and Tim De Cotta and indie rock group StopGap take to the stage tomorrow, while singer-songwriters Ffion, Jawn Chan and Lewis Loh perform on Sunday.


Expect lots of showmanship and fun as 36 of the best manual brewing experts in Singapore take part in nine rounds of heats, followed by three semi-final sessions and a final.

An AeroPress is a coffee-making device that functions as a plunger. The person who produces the best- tasting coffee with it wins a trip to Seoul to compete in the World AeroPress Championships in November. When: Today, 6pm



Presenter DBS Bank wants you to "Live Kind" by doing things such as giving back to those in need and being mindful about consumption.


Visit its lounge for The Good Market, presented by Asia for Good by DBS Foundation, where you can shop for artisanal beverages and snacks from eight social enterprises. Some enterprises will also hold free workshops.

Register for the Live Kind passport online at and complete four fun, socially conscious tasks to redeem rewards such as free coffee and an eco-friendly tumbler.


At 8.45pm today and tomorrow, enjoy a dazzling fireworks display against the backdrop of the Singapore skyline at the Sunrise Wharf, presented by Mapletree Investments.


Each festival day is split into two sessions - brunch from 10am to 3.30pm and sundown from 4.30 to 10pm.

Brunch sessions are coffee- focused, with lots of workshops on home brewing and coffee appreciation as well as family-friendly activities. The sundown session is meant to be more relaxed with an outdoor barbecue, live music and fireworks.

Festivalgoers will be given wristbands indicating the session they have bought tickets for. They have to leave once that session is over.

So keep track of the clock to fit in everything you want to do. Or just buy tickets for both sessions, so there is no need to beat the clock.

Correction note: An earlier version of the story referred to a spot to watch fireworks as Sunset Wharf. This is incorrect. It should be Sunrise Wharf.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2017, with the headline 'Feel buzzy at coffee fest'. Subscribe