DoubleShots Handcrafted Coffee – North Bridge Road, Singapore


Sorry it’s been a while but time wasn’t in my control. My work/life is in total imbalance now and I’m working on balancing it again. Nevertheless, here I am, writing again, hoping you guys are still hanging there.

Doubleshots is a place not as popular as the other cafes but I found them anyhow. I was so curious about this place as I have passed many times and finally I decided to visit one day. The cafe is a very small one and hardly sits more than 8 pax inside. There are a few alfresco seats outside but limited. So I found myself a seat inside as it was in the afternoon, and the pics below tells the story.

Frontage
Frontage
A very expensive La Pavoni double Level Espresso machine... suppositely the perfect way to pull an espresso shot... but it takes a longer time.
A very expensive La Pavoni double Level Espresso machine… suppositely the perfect way to pull an espresso shot… but it takes a longer time.
Decor
Decor
Selfie
Selfie
The lattes are not filled to the brim but I reckon if any more milk added, the boldness will be compromised.
The lattes are not filled to the brim but I reckon if any more milk added, the boldness will be compromised.
Blueberry cheese cake... I suspect not fresh
Blueberry cheese cake… I suspect not fresh
Cheesecake was a little wet below... means too long in the fridge...
Cheesecake was a little wet below… means too long in the fridge…
They have pizzas as well, so it's good to sit outside if you don't wanna smell of pizzas....
They have pizzas as well, so it’s good to sit outside if you don’t wanna smell of pizzas….

Rating: 4/5.

Taste: The latte was really good, great house blend. Cake was a let down though.

Portion: Average

Service: 4/5

Ambience: Nice but very small

Price: $4.50 for a doubleshot latte, cheapest so far.

RTE: Yeah!

Location: 883 North Bridge Road #01-10, SouthBank (Beside Lavender MRT Station & ICA building) old Eng Cheong Tower)

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My Crazy Cafe Spree


As per what was mentioned in my other blog tourwithroy.wordpress.com, I went on a cafe spree on Tuesday, to discover the coffee culture in Singapore. All 6 cafes were highly recommended with another 2 regrettably, were closed on Tues. Hence I didn’t have the chance to visit Nylon and Strangers Reunion. Strangers Reunion was moving their premise to a bigger unit 2 doors down hence my timing couldn’t meet as I was flying back to China on Wednesday. Nevertheless, congrats to Strangers Reunion on their move to their new premise and hope I can try your coffees one day!

When I was doing the spree, I realized that I should not comment on each individual cafe experience as that will affect their business as most of them are budding businesses and young entrepreneurs. I definitely support young entrepreneurs coming out to start their own businesses, therefore the least the need now from the media are criticisms that will destroy their confidence. We all want the coffee culture in Singapore to grow right? But that said, sometimes they just need a little reminder when the popularity gets over their heads.

The taste of coffee itself varies from different places at different times. It depends on the types of bean use (even the same type of beans cultivated at different location has different taste! ), the way the beans are roasted, the type of espresso machine used, type of grinders, timing of every brew, method of frothing the milk, type of milk used, method of compacting the powder in the hoppers, etc and the list goes on. In my opinion as well as my barista coach, there is no such thing as the ‘best coffee’ in any geographical location. Coffees should be appreciated the way they are according to their roast and type and it is the responsibility of every barista to bring out the full potential of every brew.

The 6 cafes I’ve visited were (according to my visiting order):

1. Chye Seng Huat Hardware
2. Flock Cafe
3. Forty Hands
4. The Plains
5. Oriole Coffee Roasters
6. Oriole Cafe & Bar (I had my dinner appointment there since they opened till 11pm)

Below are my own opinionated observations in general and to be fair across the board, I ordered lattes at every joint:

1. Baristas – I’m not gonna comment much on this ‘cos every barista will develop their own habits while preparing the coffees. Some are professionally trained, some are trained in house. Those professionally trained will know that they are not suppose keep leftover milk but for commercial sense, I guess it can’t be helped sometimes. Other habits like the way they clean the hoppers, cleaning the steam wand, etc. So, I’m not gonna comment much on this cos the list will go on.

2. Milk Frothing – This is one of the most important issue I wanna bring up. Tolerance to heat on your palms differs from person to person. Sad to say the people who are still using a thermometer while frothing their milk are the bigger chains. That is why some coffees I drank yesterday were just warm… All hot coffees MUST be served HOT! Not warm!

3. Latte Art – I realized that there is a lot of focus on the art on top of the lattes I ordered. Definitely a plus to serve a cuppa in a presentable manner. But check out point 2 above; if you can’t even make a proper latte served at the right temperature, screw the latte art! Customers pay $4-$6 for a cup of latte, I would say maybe 5% goes to the latte art only. The rest of the percentage is for the substance of your coffee and milk and the effort to bring out full flavor of the beans!

4. Customer Service – Standing behind the coffee bar counter doesn’t mean you don’t have to smile and interact with your customers. Especially when you have a coffee bar or an island-type coffee bar where everyone can see you and what you’re doing. I remember sitting at one of the bar counter seat and waiting for someone to take my orders when there were like 4-5 staffs inside the counter. So I asked if I can place my orders (from one staff hovering in front me the whole time minding his own business), only to realize that I had to head to the other side and place my orders with the cashier (you can’t blame me, first time there and no signs saying orders have to be placed at the cashier). And I had to hang around there to wait for my latte to be brewed, and when i got it, not hot some more! After that I lost my seat at the bar counter and had to sit at some corners facing the wall. This is the problem when you get too popular, may not be the owners’ fault as most of the time is the employees not maintaining the SOP.

I guess that’s all I have to say, highlighting the main issues I’ve noticed. Anything else I’ll have to start charging haha… But some friends who asked me which one is good, I would say every joint put in lots of effort to present their coffees to their customers and making their cafes a cosy place for catching up with friends. But if I have to choose, and for someone who appreciates what goes on behind every cuppa; that is respecting the tremendous journey the coffee beans take to reach the espresso machines and making sure each brew brings out the full potential and flavor of these robust-full beans, I might have to give that credit to Oriole Coffee Roasters.

Keep up the great work guys! 😉

Big Roy

Manhattan Business Restaurant – Hougang, Singapore


This is actually a bad review for this coffee shop located at Block 811 Hougang Central, just opposite the entrance of Hougang Mall’s main entrance… Dunno why it’s named as a restaurant but that’s not the main issue. The main issue with this place is the drinks stall. The drinks are all overpriced… Overpriced is ok with anyone I guess but at least make your drinks taste good right?

A Kopi-C kosong (coffee with evaporated milk & no sugar) cost $1.20 (or was it $1.30?) and totally watered down! I was basically drinking hot water with a little coffee taste and a little evaporated milk! Drain water may taste even better! I read from foursquare that their milo is also bad! Overheads may be high but come on, not so bad until you scrimp so much from your drinks right?? Imagine it was so bad that I swore I had to write this article! Hope the owner reads this and do some changes for the prices they are charging…

But with all due respect, the chicken rice there is awesome but be prepared to queue during peak hours!

Store front...
Store front…
Taste like water from the drain...
Taste like water from the drain…