Occupying a glass-fronted space on the second floor of an otherwise decrepit shopping center, The Steeping Room (#02-30, 261 Waterloo St., 9655-0357) is the latest and — in our humble opinion — greatest addition to the city’s pop-up scene. It’s also reflective of our favorite trend – better and better coffee becoming available in Singapore.
Looking like an overgrown school chemistry experiment, and with nary an espresso in sight, this paean to all things coffee from the folk behind Papa Palheta and Loysel’s Toy, will likely only be open through til the end of July. After that, it’s slated to become part of a design studio. In the meantime, they’re showcasing not just different varietals (heirloom cultivar from Ethiopia, pacamara from El Salvador), but different methods of preparing them, from syphon to aeropress, hario V60 to woodneck. If you don’t know what that means (and full disclosure here, neither did we when we visited last week) then you’re going to have a lot of fun finding out.
One of the best ways to explore what’s on offer is via the Steeping Series which “highlights nuances between … two coffee selections”. In keeping with the name (which actually refers to the preparation process), prices are steep: from $6 for a PNG peaberry prepared in a woodneck, to $35 for a two person steeping series. And this isn’t a place to come grab some joe on your way into work — our syphon coffee took a good fifteen minutes to prepare. (Besides, the place is only open Thu-Mon from 11am-6pm. Though they’re also offering Steeping Sessions — hourlong, 2-6 person coffee appreciation workshops — after-hours.)
But watching them work is half the fun, and there are chairs set up at the counter for precisely that purpose. This is coffee as you’ve likely never seen or tasted it before, the passion/borderline obsession of the staff is clear for all to see, and if you’re bitching about the price then you’ve come to the wrong place.
So get down there while it’s still in operation. In fact, if you head over before 5pm today, you can catch Lanz Mirondo, Head Barista at 40 Hands and 2009 Grand Barista Cup National Champion in the Philippines, in action in the third of their Guest Barista Series. If it takes your fancy, you can also purchase some of their fancy brewing equipment for yourself.
Find out more at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Steeping-Room/208635119156439