Monday, August 1, 2011

Espresso joints: Orange Thimble

The coffee scene, especially the gourmet variety is begining a revival...I have been a keen observer of the scene since its early years some 20 odd years ago. Begining with the little Japanese inspired cafe on the second floor of Lucky Plaza which served me my first taste and whiff of Blue Mountain coffee...quaint little place...on industrial raised flooring, with caring aunties making siphon coffee, and excellent, super mild chicken curry, and a killer thick toast. I miss the place, its coffee and the aunties.

And a bit later, the starting of Coffee Club in its inaugural cafe in Jalan Mambong. I witnessed the meteoric rise of Coffee Club, and its eventual decline. And the rise of the Starbucks and others. Interesting times. But somewhere along the way, the love and passion for fine coffee became lost in the commercialism in these stores. In disappointment, this began my journey in roasting, and pulling my own espresso.

But the coffee scene began a rennaissance some 3 years ago. First with the local coffee boys upping the ante...with Ya Kun and Killiney going regional. And then, with rivals like my friend Byron's Good Morning Nanyang Coffee, and others of the same ilk, viz a viz Ah Mei, Coffee & Toast, and Toast Box. These carried the flag for local, baba/nanyang coffee.

Then, with the appearance of passion driven coffee nuts like Oriole, and later Papa Palheta. We see the rise of Fourty Hands (IMHO, not worthy of my badge of honour, hence no review from me). But of those who do, Loysel's Toy, A Curious Teepee and of course Oriole and Papa. And more recently, Orange Thimble, which is the subject of this review, gains my badge. I also noted Jimmy Monkey which is subject of a future review is also another such place.

Haven for coffee nuts. Coffee which is freshly roasted (of course, rested for at least 24 hours). Freshly the right pressure, right temperature. With correct grinding, tamping and barista technique.

Orange Thimble is one such place.

A three group La Marzocco takes place of pride.

Apologies for handshake in the picture...the barista workarea was a bit dark, but I cannot help but tremble at the sight of such a magnificent machine. Also a Mazzer Major with electronic dosing. The barista exhibited good technique. And the result is good, smooth, intense coffee.

A capuccino:

I was having coffee with some watch collector the mandatory watch poses with the coffee...

And the picolo latte:

We even had a spot to eat...the freshly made bread pudding was quite delicious, albeit the serving is a bit small:

The coffees are highly recommended. The place, at least when I visited...barely 2 weeks after it relaxed and has a bohemian atmosphere...we lingered for close to 3 hours, and felt totally relaxed on a Friday afternoon. Nice.

Orange Thimble
56 Eng Hoon Street,
In Tiong Bahru.
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