Posted by: dazza | March 23, 2008

SÖÖMA, so good.

This is a lil shoutout to a friend of mine who has just officially opened his cafe at China Square Central – SÖÖMA Coffeehouse.


Terence and I were classmates some 14 years ago, those were the times we were coding in C and throwing Objects at Oriented Programming. After slogging away at the computer for a few years, Terence decided it was time to take a leap and fulfill his ambitions of running an F&B. He quit his job and hit the floor running setting up this modest cafe with fellow partners.

SÖÖMA’s interior is a cosy and very a nicely done up cafe. To the rear of the cafe are some really comfy low cushion seats with bar stools at the front. I really love their prep area / kitchen with steel tops and all. SÖÖMA sells a variety of coffee and bites, at the official opening today I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the drinks, but I’m sure to return again with more of the lowdown of the place.

Til then, cheers.

SÖÖMA is located at;
Nankin Row @
China Square Central
3 Pickering Street #01-04
Singapore 048660
Tel: 6224 2559

Posted by: dazza | February 6, 2008

Obscura Coffee


An old classmate of mine from Melbourne has started his own coffee business with his partner. Obscura sources their beans from South East Asia (namely Laos at the moment) and believe strongly in Fair Trade beans while having a deep concern for sustainability by minimising waste and using recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Check out their website at, which was developed by Thomas himself with illustrations from another former classmate of us Ev < >.

Order some beans from the online store, will return soon with a review of the beans sent across from down under! Promise (I know 2 months absence, sorry)

PS: They have a flickr account here.

Posted by: dazza | December 3, 2007

Bean Away


Apologies for the lack of updates. We’ve been off caffeine and alcohol for the last couple of weeks, prepping as first-timers for a half-marathon. All we can say is, if you are recovering from a flu / throat infection – be prepared for the horrible ‘coming-down’ as we battled dehydration and fatigue after the run, so so not cool…

Anyway, the Journal still loves you. Updates coming up. Thanks!

Posted by: dazza | October 31, 2007

Spinelli’s Mocha Spin (Heeren)

I seem to be ending up in town quite bit lately, sitting at Spinelli’s Heeren on my notebook checking email and sucking on Spins.


Not much to report, a frap is a frap is a frap, a spin is a spin is a spin. Or in this case a Frap is a Spin is a Frap is a Spin – sweetened, icey, nice to down on a warm afternoon, but doesn’t it really make one more thirsty actually?

Bean Score: Not rating it, it’s a frapping spin anyway.

Posted by: dazza | October 22, 2007

coffee @ the cheesecake cafe (siglap)

the cheesecake cafe [ ] is a nice little cafe serving dessert cakes in the quieter corner of quaint lil’ ‘Big’ Siglap. Whilst there are already many reviews on their excellent cakes, we’ve singled out the coffee drinks here for a quickie review. These are just general impressions of the drinks on a night out for supper.

cheesecake cafe - Espresso cheesecake cafe - Irish Cream Latte cheesecake cafe - Cafe Mocha cheesecake cafe - Cafe Latte

  • Single Espresso – Very thin crema, thin on taste with a bitter residue.
  • Irish Cream Latte – Don’t you feel bummed, when you never seem to get enough ‘kick’ out of Irish coffees these days? Well this didn’t disappoint, though it didn’t leave us staggering back to the car. Nice touch with presenting the drink in it’s layers.
  • Iced Cafe Mocha – Very chocolaty and at one point we thought it was an iced-chocolate drink.
  • Cafe Latte – Overly milky, the taste of espresso completely escapes me now. The presentation reminded me of a ‘teh-cino’.

The staff here were friendly and very accommodating, our coffee drinks each came with a nice (though a little soft) chocolate chip cookie. And when a trooper in our entourage decided to be cheeky – claimed he hadn’t received one (of course he ate it w/ the staff’s knowledge) ‘Jane Doe’ slipped him another one. Though she couldn’t tell us what brand of beans they were using, she returned from the counter to declared, “I know they’re 100% Arabica beans”.

Bean Score: 3.5 out of 5. Try it with your desserts, after all life isn’t just about God shots and 25 second pulls. Yum Seng.

Posted by: dazza | October 18, 2007

More Latte Art

Passed on by a ‘7 cups a day kopi-o’ buddy of mine.

Posted by: dazza | October 15, 2007

Cafe Mocha @ Spinelli’s Heeren

When you’ve been reading up on coffee and am attempting to learn the subtleties of the espresso pulling process, it becomes a hazard visiting the chains when you lean over the counter to observe the barista making your drink. I find myself sometimes being pedantic, much like the day when I ordered a Cafe Mocha at Spinelli’s Heeren.


Here’s what I observed;

  • the barista doing the portafilter wiggle in the group head to dislodge grinds, but NOT dry wiping the basket
  • preheated the cups with the hot water spout
  • overflowing water from the portafilter into the measuring cup, mixing with the pulled shot 😦
  • pulling the shot into a measuring cup and tipping it into the cups/mugs (why destroy the crema?), or isit because the mugs are too big to fit under the rancilio groupheads?

Anyways, the cafe mocha wasn’t to die for, it was a drinkable drink. And the bitterness from the overflow watering was probably masked by the chocolate powder. But I think I would’ve enjoyed the drink better if I hadn’t observed the barista, which is something I have to remind myself not to do next time around. Cheers!

Bean Score: 2 3/4 out of 5. Score deducted for the overflowing water.

Posted by: dazza | October 8, 2007

illy espresso

Well sometimes being pathetic works – for example crying and going all puppy dog faced so that the driving test instructor would give you your license. So that’s exactly what we did when we could only afford the cheapest supermarket beans. And that is how we received a tin of Illy’s espresso beans.

illy espresso

At about S$14 – S$20 a tin for 250g (depending which supermarket you’re in), these supermarket imported beans is pretty much on the pricey side. Illy proudly inks on the tin that the blend is 100% Arabica and a caffeine content of 5%. I’ve been hearing from folks that they’ve been enjoying illy beans at cafes. Most comment on the milder, less acidic and less bitter taste which they enjoy.

The beans are packed in a screw top cap and sealed in a tin peel top sealing in the goodness. Feels quite shiok when you’re ‘unboxing’ the tin. ‘Made in Italy’ is printed on the tin which leaves you to wonder how long the shipping process occurred before these arrived on our shelves, even if the ‘Best Before’ date states 03/2009. The chocolate coloured beans look like a medium roast and is surprisingly aromatic.


In the week that we were drinking illy, you realise it is a mild bean. Though Crema was a little thin and weak (we’re told is due to the longer roast-to-distributor-to shelve process), the beans are a very forgiving blend. No matter how fine/coarse or hard/light tamp we made, the shots were never torrid or horribly bitter. I mean you just couldn’t pull a puke worthy shot. Like a priest in church – forgiving till your next confession session.


Bean Score: 3 3/4 out of 5 – At carrefour? Got money? Try it.

Posted by: dazza | September 13, 2007

Free Pour – Swan

Might be a little late on this video, but it’s just amazing with what’s coming out from free pour.

Posted by: dazza | September 10, 2007

McCa’s McCoffees

The journal’s been M.I.A for a couple of weeks now due to a certain national ‘commitment’ called I.C.T – In Camp Training. Finally back in civilization we take a go at McCafe – East Coast Park.


We placed orders for a Macchiato, Cafe Latte and a Cafe Mocha. The McCa’s staff typically get customers to sit once orders have been placed while they prepare the drinks. The actual pricing of drinks escapes us now, but we recall it being slightly more affordable than S$4.00 cafe lattes at Starbucks.

Macchiato – definitely not a God shot, there was some bitterness within and nothing really exciting, which honestly I was prepared for anyway. Because not all of us are connoisseurs, I think the joints expect us to fix it with some sugar (a sin I tell ya!)

Cafe Latte – was rather milky which lost the taste of the espresso shot within. The foam was surprisingly worthy. Something so easy to achieve, it perplexes us how many coffee joints get away with serving bubbled milk.

Cafe Mocha – There was enough chocolate syrup that sweetened the drink without the need for sugar, with a generous dusting of chocolate powder. Again, nothing exciting but palatable.

Despite being the fastfood chain that they are, we honestly reckon that the coffee at McCafe taste way better than some of the coffee chains, at least the drinks do not taste like the swill at another coffee joint. McCafe doesn’t serve you connoisseur worthy drinks, but if we were forced at gun point to make a choice between McCafe and C.B.T.L, we’d pick the clown in the red boots.

Bean Score: 3 out of 5 – Try lor, no harm.

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