Hot Latte at Forty Hands East Coast with swan latte art

People often say “east side, best side.” While I hate to take sides, admittedly, the east may have the upper hand considering its sheer number of cafes and coffeehouses. Even East Coast itself, something renowned names like Homeground Coffee Roaster and Brawn & Brains, to quaint cafes sequestered within HDB clusters, such as Percolate.

While there are many options in the east, we’re only concerend with the best. Thus, we’ve curated the ultimate guide for the best coffee in the east.

1. Percolate

Percolate, a hidden gem in Bedok, is great for many reasons. Consistent shots, reasonable prices and rotational single origins, ensuring that your palate will never be bored.

For instance, their Rwanda is nice and fruity and their Peru is packed with chocolate undertones.

Aside from coffee, Percolate’s extensive food menu includes pastries, cakes and mains. We recommend their Smoked Salmon Croissant ($7.2) that is elevated with a spicy wasabi mayo.

Location: 136 Bedok North Ave 3, #01-152, Singapore 460136


2. Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee

Its vintage displays and storefront and its name might be confusing to those who haven’t heard of them. Chye Seng Huat Hardware used to be a hardware store. But it has now taken upon a new duty in satisfying Singapore’s coffee junkies.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware has an impressive repertoire of coffee. Other than your standard espresso-based coffee and pour overs, they are famous for their White Cold Brew ($8.5).

Steeping their coffee grounds in cold water allows a gentle extraction of tasting notes, whilst eliminating the distinct astringency that espressos have. This collaborative concoction with Bootstrap Coffee- a cold brew speciality store in Singapore- is packed with notes of chocolate and hazelnut.

Meanwhile, their Nitro Anitmatter ($8.5) has a fruity nuance. Nitro coffee is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas, which accentuates the coffee’s sweetness while tamping down its acidity.

Location: 150 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207563


3. Brawn & Brains

Located along East Coast Road and Guillemard Road, Brawn & Brains is a local coffee roaster founded in 2013. They offer two roasts.

Their Single Origin was more palatable- full-bodied, low acidity with a sweet aftertaste. On the other hand, their House Blend was intensely nutty and slightly more bitter.

Aside from coffee, they are also famous for their pastries, such as the Korvapuusti ($5.5), a Finnish cinnamon roll.

Come here on weekdays to enjoy their breakfast promotion to get one pastry and a cup of joe for $8.

Location: 100 Guillemard Road, #01-02, Singapore 399718


4. Apartment Coffee

Apartment is unalike any coffee houses we’ve been to. As their philosophy is ‘Every Coffee Tells A Story’, they’ve installed a long bar table to encourage interaction between the baristas and customers. However, those who prefer intimacy can grab a seat at individual tables or the cosy couch perched beside the entrance.

This minimalistic cafe offers three types of roast, each with their distinctive personalities. For instance, their Ethiopia ($8) promises passion fruit, stewed peach and mango sensory notes.

Location: 161 Lavender St, #01-12, Singapore 338750


5. Dutch Colony Coffee Co.

Dutch Colony Coffee Co. stands out among its peers through their meticulous selection and processing of the finest beans. Their success as a local coffee sourcer and roaster is evident from their expansion from a small retail store at Pasarbella to five branches islandwide.

Aside from their Filter Coffee ($6.5)– which offers three single origins to choose from- they serve a list of unique spins on the classic joe. The Coco Brew ($7.5) infuses local elements by adding chilled coconut water and sour plum juice. Meanwhile, the Monochrome ($4.3) is an espresso with spiced whipped cream.

The Frankel Avenue out also serves an extensive all-day breakfast menu that includes bagels and croissants.

Location: 113 Frankel Ave, Singapore 458230


6. Homeground Coffee Roasters

Level Up Coffee Week (experimental coffee) La palma y El Tucan White - Caramelized butter, vanilla and nougat

Among the myriad of cafes at East Coast, Homeground Coffee Roasters has remained a prominent name throughout the years.

Brewed with their signature Vanta blend, the Balanced White ($5.5) features a mellow mix of nuts and chocolate notes. Meanwhile, the Long Black ($4.0) has an extra layer of fruitiness.

Additionally, experimental blends are served every month during their Level Up Coffee Week.

In September 2022, they’ve prepared La Palma El Tucan #523 and #535.

The Black ($11) promises passionfruit, lavender, dried figs with a dark chocolate finish while the White ($12) has richer flavours of caramelised butter, vanilla and nougat.

Location: 475 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427682


7. Alchemist

Like how an alchemist conjures his elixirs with precision, Alchemist takes precaution to extract the best flavours from their coffee beans into their cups.

Alchemist is a speciality coffee roaster in Singapore with cafes in multiple locations. Their MacTaggart branch occupies Khong Guan Building. While Khong Guan no longer operates in the space, the ghost of the old house continues to haunt the space with the vintage sign and green-tiled walls. The perfect place for a Instagram update, perhaps.

Coffee starts from $3 for a shot of espresso. Their Dark Matter- Alchemist’s signature roast- is packed with nuts and chocolate notes, with a bitter aftertaste.

Location: 2 MacTaggart Road, Singapore 368078


8. Forty Hands East Coast

Sandwiched between local hawkers along East Coast Road, Forty Hands East Coast infused Asian flairs into their originally Australian-styled menu. You’ll find interesting dishes such as Stinky Har Cheong Gai Waffle ($16) and Banh Mi Bowl ($18). It is also known for its $2.4 Tau Sar Pau.

Just like their food menu, their selection of coffee screams versatility.

On one end of the spectrum, you get the traditionally bitter-tasting Lattes ($6.5). Brewed with a darker roast from Common Man Coffee Roaster, a local coffee roaster cum cafe, it results in an intensely nutty and full-bodied coffee, with a lingering bitterness.

Giving ‘comfort zone’ a kick in the shin, Forty Hands have also formulated exclusive modern recipes. For instance, the Shaken Iced Oat Honey Latte ($9.5) is inspired by the increasing popularity of plant-based milk in coffee. Paired with wildflower honey, the bitterness of the coffee is contrasted with a floral, malty sweetness.

Location: 226 East Coast Road, Singapore 428923


9. Bootstrap Coffee 

Originated from Bali, Indonesia, Bootstrap Coffee specialises in cold brew coffee delivery.

By steeping Arabica beans- sourced from South East Asia- in cold water, it extracts the coffee’s natural chocolate, malty notes while eliminating acidity and bitterness. It’s the perfect coffee for people who dislike ‘strong’ coffee.

Bootstrap sells their cold brews in packs of six starting from $30. 

Order online.

10. Chock Full Of Beans

While Chock Full Of Beans doesn’t own their own special roasts, this quaint cafe at Changi Village takes a spot in this list with its adorable latte arts.

Not artisan coffee, but artistic.

Forget your classic tulips and swans here. Their baristas take requests for anime characters, Marvel superheroes, cute animals, etc. 3D designs, such as Baymax from Big Hero 6, are also available for iced drinks.

Location: 4 Changi Village Rd, #01-2090, Singapore 500004

11. Stamping Ground Coffee (Closed)

The immaculate white walls and minimalistic furniture at Stamping Ground Coffee serve the perfect sanctuary for a cup of coffee and a page at classic literature. They have two roasts for their espresso-based coffee: a naturally roasted single origin from Brazil and a wine processed alternative from Sumatra.

You can also get a hearty breakfast while you’re here with their classic Big Breakfast ($16) or get something light like their toasties and bagels to pair with the coffee.

Location: 87 Upper East Coast Rd, Singapore 455223

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