Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tiong Hoe Speciality Coffee

Espresso joints abound in Singapore. What a total contrast with 8 -10 years ago. When the coffee giants like Starbucks moved into town and took over the coffee scene.

For many of us, afficionados, this was the dark ages. And prompted us to learn how to roast our coffee in our homes and make espresso ourselves. Thus was born our little group Singapore Coffee Greens. But fortunately, this revolution caught on, and out sprung many speciality espresso shops, owners driven by the same goals to serve freshly roasted coffee, ground on demand, and made with love. The third wave has arrived.

Pride of place, an huge burr grinder with electronic doser, and the Elektra 3 group espresso machine.

 One such curious new wave shop actually arose from the old school Nanyang coffee roasters. Tiong Hoe started out in 1960, and now managed by the second generation. Tucked in the quiet neighbourhood of Sterling Road, I was alerted of its existence by a good friend who lives nearby.

The shop is not really an espresso joint. But rather a shop to sell coffee beans, grounds, and brewing paraphernalia including espresso machines and burr grinders. 

Hundreds of kilograms of fresh green coffee is stored in the room nearby. And the coffee is roasted in a huge roaster in the back. As the company has been around for a long time...the decoration is full of old, beautiful coffee making equipment. Like this vintage test roaster, which apparently has been upgraded with electronics.

The coffees are served for tasting, so there is no prices for the coffees...a small box suggests you tip the barista, a sweet young lady who is very knowledgeable of her coffees. 

The espresso, doppio

Fabulously small...the correct dosage. Thick, syrupy, with a nice, beautiful crema thick and firm enough to support a teaspoon of sugar for at least 10 seconds...viola! Like in Italy! On the palate, it was well rounded. Full bodied, with a mild astringent acid note at the back of the throat, which lingers for quite a while. Quite nice.

The cappuccino came with decent latte art

The milk was nicely foamed, and the art had nice definition. On the palate, the astringent quality of the blend was muted by the milk, as milk tends to do. Not a bad cup. 

Beans are also availalbe. I bought 250g of the blend used in the house espresso

Pulled on my 12 year old machne...Mazzer Mini with Elektra Micro Casa A Leva

The espresso which yielded was quite good. A bit shallower crema than with the big espresso machine in the shop, but I would apply the same tasting notes.

Superb coffees and a great find. And quite a nice relaxing atmosphere to drop in a hot afternoon for a cuppa. Highly recommended.

Tiong Hoe Speciality Coffee
Blk 170 Stirling Road
Singapore 140170
Tel: (65) 6473 1133
Fax: (65) 6473 1187

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