Have a day out with coffee

BREWING UP A STORM: Indie coffee joint Toby's Estate is one of the cafes that will be at Cafe Fest.


    Aug 04, 2014

    Have a day out with coffee

    SOAK up the sunshine and lie on the astroturf lawn for an impromptu picnic, or sit at the 10m-long wooden communal table and enjoy a latte at the inaugural Cafe Fest next month.

    Twelve cafes and coffee roasters - including Tiong Bahru Bakery, Jimmy Monkey, Toby's Estate, The Providore, Maison Ikkoku, Common Man Coffee Roasters and I Am - will be banding together for the two-day pop-up at the Waterfront Promenade near Marina Bay Sands over the Sept 6 weekend.

    Expect cafe favourites such as croissants, cupcakes and French toast, as well as various styles of coffee, from cappuccinos capped with "free pour art" to filter coffee brewed with speciality beans.

    Also on the menu: Tunes and live music performances by home-grown bands led by 53A, a notable group on the pub circuit.

    The event was conceived by a coffee-loving couple, who thought it would be novel to bring together a group of cafes - from Jimmy Monkey at One North Residences in Buona Vista, to Hatter Street in Hougang - for a one-stop experience of Singapore's burgeoning coffee scene.

    Gabriel Tan, 30, and Sarah Lek, 26, used to work in public relations agencies before leaving their full-time jobs earlier this year to run their event and public relations start-up TGLS - Tell Great Little Stories. The couple, who have been dating for 11/2 years, like to check out new cafes on weekends.

    Ms Lek says: "We started to notice the opening of more cafes in the last year, but many are not easily accessible unless you drive.

    "The event may sound skewed towards hipsters, but we welcome families, and it is at a location that also attracts tourists."

    About 4,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will have public seating for about 500 to 600.

    There will be demonstrations, hands-on workshops such as "cuppings", and multiple-step coffee tastings which include nosing fresh brews.

    Admission is free, but attendees will have to pay for food and drinks.

    A $25 two-day pass gets you a goodie bag worth $60, discounts on food and drinks, and $20 credit on car service Uber (for first-time users).

    Limited VIP passes, at $30 each, grant privileges such as a goodie bag worth $100, as well as access to a marquee and a priority queue at each stall.

    They are still available in limited quantities at the participating cafes.

    "To hold an event like this just shows how much the scene has evolved here," says Harry Grover, 34, owner of cafe Common Man Coffee Roasters in Martin Road.

    "It's really great for the industry and will help to make it more community-based and transparent. Operators shouldn't be afraid of competition and should have more of a collaborative spirit."


    Cafe Fest is on Sept 6 (10am to 8pm) and Sept 7 (10am to 7pm) at Waterfront Promenade, Marina Bay Sands.

    Online sales of VIP passes have been closed. Both the two-day pass and VIP pass are transferable, but can be used only once each day.

    Passes can be bought online or at the 12 participating cafes. Visit for more details.