Singapore Pt. 4: Pa Pa Palheta

Those of you who follow me on twitter/Instagram may have noticed me post a couple of pictures of an array of coffee making contraptions. Don't get me wrong, I do still enjoy my Keurig it's fast, easy, no fuss no muss. Some will argue, though, that sometimes there's a zen to be found in fuss and muss but first, let me backtrack.

Coffee in Singapore has never disappointed - local coffee is thick, rich and strong. It's made using a "sock" where the coffee is filtered through a crude but effective apparatus piping hot into a clear mug, drunk either black (not for the faint of heart) or with condensed milk (ditto). Or for those of you who prefer coffee a little milder, there's evaporated milk and sugar and the usual fixins.

The first Sunday we were in Singapore we went over to a coffee roasting company Pa Pa Palheta. Owner Leon Foo is a coffee guru. He's studied it, the methods from harvesting to roasting to brewing and he does it all with the genius of a scientist. If you could have a Nobel Prize in coffee, he'd have one.



So PPP, as it's affectionately dubbed by its followers, sells its beans/grounds and lets you sample its coffee for an optional donation.  You can find out more at their site.


While we were there, The Husband had a Long Black which is an espresso brew and I decided to go with a cup brewed using a siphon. It was fascinating! Here's why I liken Mr. Foo to a scientist - while he brewed my cup, he explained how the siphon worked, how as the temperature rises (thanks to a bunsen burner looking thing at the bottom, I swear it's like a lab experiment) it draws the water up to where the coffee sits in a cloth filter and as the temperature drops it sucks the coffee back down.

Coffee goes in the top compartment. As water boils it rises up and gets filtered back down. Brilliant.


It was wonderful to watch and I feel bad for you because the video I took didn't turn out and I can't show you. So you'll just have to stop by PPP's sister cafe Loysel's Toy to have one for yourself.  It's not acidic, it's a light brew, almost tea like and tasted lovely. If you do go to PPP, you can still enjoy a cup of drip coffee, something I've gotten to do almost every morning since coming home.



I can't thank Leon and my wonderful sister enough for giving us a Hario Buono kettle and two drip cups PLUS a bag of PPP coffee for Christmas! PPP sells home machines, grinders and these cute little things called Keep Cups for coffee on the go.  The Husband and I use our kettle to brew a cup for breakfast (time and patience permitting) and I will say, it's a very zen thing to do: boiling the water, checking its temperature, wetting the filter, measuring the coffee, pre-infusing the coffee, then pouring in concentric circles to create a swirl and letting it drip into a cup. Delightful.  It doesn't taste as good as when Leon does it but some day, I'll get it right.

Those of you living in Singapore - Loysel's Toy just opened its doors earlier this week so, no excuses, you must must must head there for some food and coffee. Right next door is the concept cocktail bar Thirteen Wives, also owned by Leon Foo.

You can also enjoy PPP coffee in several spots around Singapore like the very cool boutique and cafe A Curious TeePee and TAB Singapore, a new, really cool venue for live music and shows.

As for me, I'll be savoring what little I have left of the coffee I brought back with me till my next  visit.

Pa Pa Palheta | 140 Bukit Timah Rd | info {at} papapalheta {dot} com

Loysel's Toy | 66 Kampong Bugis, TURE | brew {at} loyselstoy {dot} com