The aroma of coffee was in the air as 10 coffee enthusiasts sipped and savoured the java at a cafe-hopping trail organised by the Singapore Coffee Festival yesterday.
Participants learnt about the delicate art of brewing coffee from baristas and coffee roasters at five cafes which will be participating in the festival.
The cafes are Chye Seng Huat Hardware in Tyrwhitt Road, Jewel Coffee in GSH Plaza in Cecil Street, Caffe Vergnano 1882 in South Beach Avenue, Hyde & Co in North Bridge Road and Common Man Coffee Roasters in Martin Road.
In its second edition, the Singapore Coffee Festival, which is organised by The Straits Times and presented by DBS Bank, will be held from Aug 3 to 6 at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. Coffee lovers can expect a robust line-up of more than 60 exhibitors, including equipment distributors and cafes.
Participants at the cafe-hopping trail were selected through a contest that was held last month. They bought early-bird tickets to the festival and posted their favourite cuppa memories and top-down photos of cups of coffee on their Instagram accounts with the hashtags #sgcoffeefest and #scf17cafehop.
Besides getting their caffeine kick, participants also interacted with baristas, who shared details about varieties of specialty coffee around the world. They also mingled with Kiss92FM DJ Desiree Lai, who joined the trail.
At home-grown coffee purveyor Chye Seng Huat Hardware, which houses its own roastery, participants had a behind-the-scenes look at how Thippanahalli beans from India were roasted. The company's head of wholesale Adryll Lin, 34, also shared information on the evolution of the beans and their aromas.
Participant Jeffrey Qu, 49, a director of an e-commerce company, said: "It is fascinating to observe the scientific process of roasting the beans, such as how the temperature of the drum roaster affects the taste of a brew."
At Jewel Coffee, participants tried their hand at cupping, a coffee-tasting technique, to evaluate the aroma and flavours of beans from Brazil, Ethiopia and Indonesia.
At Caffe Vergnano 1882, Italy's rich coffee history took centre stage. Participants sipped on three quintessential beverages that are found in coffee houses throughout the country: espresso, cioccolata (hot chocolate) and bicerin (espresso, hot chocolate topped with whipped cream).
Financial consultant Renga Naidu, 59, learnt how to concoct a coffee cocktail. She said: "I hope to experiment with more interesting ingredients on top of the usual gin and raspberry syrup that I've added into my coffee."
After a quick pit-stop at Hyde & Co, the trail ended with a visit to Common Man Coffee Roasters, where participants picked up tips on making a flat white. Head trainer Lucky Salvador, 29, also demonstrated latte art.
Win 4-night Malaysia cruise for2
If you could enjoy a cup of coffee in your dream destination, where would that be?
Send in your answer and you could snag a cruise holiday for two to Malaysia that is worth nearly $2,000. The four-night cruise, which sets sail on Jan 24 next year, will make stops in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. The trip is sponsored by Princess Cruises, the official cruise partner of the Singapore Coffee Festival.
This giveaway is held in conjunction with the festival, which takes place from Aug 3 to 6.
The event will be held at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, which Princess Cruises' director of South-east Asia, Mr Farriek Tawfik, described as the "perfect venue for the festival as visitors are able to enjoy their cuppa while enjoying the ocean view and sea breeze, which create the feeling of being on a cruise".
To take part in the giveaway, follow this simple, three-step process:
•"Like" the Singapore Coffee Festival (SCF) Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sgcoffeefest.
•"Share" the Princess Cruises contest post on the SCF Facebook page on your Facebook account.
•E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and choice of bucket-list destination, with the e-mail subject title "SCF 2017 x Princess Cruises".
The contest ends this Friday.
Go to sgcoffeefestival.com.sg/contests- princess-cruises/ for more information.
S'PORE 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, 4.30 to 10pm daily
ADMISSION: $22 (standard), $18 (DBS and POSB cardholders, ST subscribers, or group of four or more)
Information technology consultant Angela Lee, who is in her 40s, said: "This cafe-hopping trail showcased a good progression of how a cuppa is made. Now, I have a better appreciation of coffee culture."