The power of coffee’s aroma can draw in strangers, lift moods and even add thousands to the value of a property, if you just happen to have a brew on when those all-important buyers arrive for their viewing. Then there is the sheer coffee house theatre of steaming baristas, the welcome whirr of grinders and the bubbling of fresh coffee pouring into a bone white cup.
Coffee, one word but so many flavours! There is a massive variety of beans, blends, roasts and brews and that is before we get on to milk, cream and a range of syrups that can make one person’s coffee as about as individual as they are. It was those fine technical details coupled to the breadth of differences that lead Singapore Polytechnic and Kaffee Kultur to come together in 2011 and establish the School of Coffee at InnoVillage, one of the Asia’s leading innovation hubs.
The School of Coffee is sponsored by Giffard and it provides the Polytechnic’s students of Food Science and Technology with the opportunity to experiment and learn how to create specialist coffee blends using various single origin beans, research hot and cold coffee beverages and even coffee desserts. Kaffee Kultur bring their own experience in the creation of new blends and are broadening the joy of coffee making by offering full barista training is to everyone, students, companies and members of the public. Kaffee Kultur specialises in creating individual signature coffee blends for cafes, restaurants, hotels and country clubs. The palate profile of each customer’s brand is analysed and then single origin coffee beans are roasted and blended to create a coffee flavour that is unique to that customer.
Singaporean consumers tend to prefer Espresso based coffee mixed with milk to produce Lattes, Mochas and Cappuccinos. The equatorial climate is reflected in the coffee with hot black coffee taking pole position in the morning and iced cafe mocha the coffee of choice in the afternoon heat. While seasoned coffee drinkers prefer a non-sweetened cup, there are many who enjoy adding a variety of flavoured syrups to their drink. The most commonly used syrups in coffee are hazelnut, caramel, vanilla and macadamia that produce classic favourites such as hazelnut cafe latte, vanilla cafe Cappuccino and cafe A8 mocha which is a heady mix of mint syrup and chocolate.
As you might expect at the centre of an innovation hub, it is not just the coffees that are being experimented with. Flavoured, steamed milk is hugely popular with pregnant ladies and children. Syrups are added to the milk as it is steamed but the drink may then be served hot or cold. This year, students are experimenting with mixes of syrups and sodas. So far, fruit based syrups such as passion fruit, watermelon, strawberry, green apple and kiwi and being well received. The crossover between cafe and bar, so common in France, has meant that a new course is now available for bartenders who want to develop their skills and learn more about the seductive world of coffee.
Here are a few of the more popular recipes.
Caramel Steam Milk
Served hot: 10ml of Giffard Caramel syrup and cappuccino textured milk.
Served cold: 20ml of Giffard Caramel syrup and cappuccino textured milk with ice.
Hazelnut Café Latte
Served hot: 10ml of Giffard Hazelnut syrup with a double espresso and café Latte textured milk.
Served cold: 20ml of Giffard Hazelnut syrup with two double espressos (4 shots of coffee) and café latte textured milk, with ice.
Vanilla Café Cappuccino
Served hot: 10ml of Giffard Hazelnut syrup with a double espresso and café cappuccino textured milk.
Served cold: 20ml of Giffard Hazelnut syrup and two double espressos (4 shots of coffee) and café cappuccino textured milk with ice.
Café A8 Mocha
Served hot: 10ml of Giffard Mint syrup with 2 teaspoons of chocolate powder, a double espresso and café latte textured milk
Served cold: 20ml of Giffard Mint syrup with 3 teaspoons of chocolate powder and two double espressos (4 shots of coffee), with café latte textured milk and ice.