It was exciting to return to a whole new crop of hipster specialty third-wave coffeeshops and coffee roasters in Singapore. Where a few years ago, there was mainly Papa Palheta and Oriole Coffee, there are now at least 30 cafes being serious about their arabica.
Some friends and I have been talking about opening a cafe since 2000, but sadly, we didn’t get our surfboards out in time for the tidal wave of Ethiopians Yirgs. While the coffee market in this tiny island may not have been totally saturated yet, it would certainly now take quite a unique product and/or niche market to make the addition of another hipster coffeeshop worth the effort.
Thankfully, on a much bigger island on the other side of the globe, London is far from being flat-whitened out. Was quite pleased to come across How and Why to Start a Coffeeshop by Sam Priestley. He is a director of one of my favourite meeting places in London – The Wren (“winner of London’s Best New Coffee Shop award in 2014”), the name being a nod to the Christopher Wren-designed venue, which also hosts the St. Nick’s Talks.
The Wren doesn’t feel like one of those cafes in old crypts that you patronise patronisingly, out of dogged charity. No, the Workshop Cult of Done coffee is done very well indeed, and the cakes are delish. A very good use of an old church building. (And, as Coffee Snob says, “I was also blown away by how stunning the toilets were!!!“)