Was scrolling through Facebook the other day and learned that my favourite cafe just down the road will be shutting down.
Damn, another one bites the dust.
I have had fond memories at that cafe. I brought nearly all my friends there because their coffee is amazing. And there was this cozy, neighbourhood-ly vibe which I haven’t really experienced elsewhere.
The cafe owner himself – also the chief barista – was so incredibly passionate about his coffee he could advise on every single thing – from beans, grind settings, and other coffee paraphernalia. I can still remember him telling me that you don’t need expensive gadgets to make good coffee, ie. he uses a $2 filter from Daiso to make his own filter coffee at home and it is nowhere less legit than a V60 set-up.
It’s hard to survive primarily as a coffee place in Singapore, and I could see multiple experimentation going on over the years. Pastries from his friend’s sister – who happens to be an amazing baker – made an appearance. (Gula melaka ondeh-ondeh cake, mmmm!) There was a daily special cake that changes every day, jokingly coined the “under-table cake” because it was usually hidden from view and you had to ask what it was. Simple brunch food such as pancakes made an appearance. A gelato ice box appeared a couple of years back, but disappeared soon after.
Maybe he did too good a job, because I got swayed into making my own coffee at home more that I started patronizing his cafe less and less. In fact, the last time I stepped in there was a good 8 months ago. And it was to buy coffee beans.
And even then, he was still so incredibly helpful, grinding the beans for me in his cafe and even recommending grind sizes (more fine) based on the device I was using (aeropress) and my general coffee preference (using the aeropress to make espresso shots for lattés, and I like my lattés strong).
BLACK&INK, you will be terribly missed.
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