Toby’s Estate Opens in Singapore

Toby's Estate to go

I’ve known about Toby’s Estate opening in Singapore a while back. I was highlighted to it by way of jimseven and then Deaton Pigot, who opened Toby’s Estate in New York. Blogging has its accolades. In fact, it was the 1st of only 2 coffee places I went to for job interviews.

Toby’s Estate Singapore opened its doors on 7th October to the public. The address is at 8 Rodyk Street #01-03/04, Singapore 238216.  Toby’s Estate Singapore is fronted by Alvaro Sanchez as the head of operations (formerly from Boncafe and Society Group) and a relatively well-known coffee personality Suhaimie Sukiman, 2nd Runner Up, Singapore National Barista Championships 2010, 2011 (formerly from CuppaChoice) as the cafe manager.  SNBC 2011,2010 #3 Suhaimie has brought along with him at Toby’s Estate quite a few other familiar faces as well. We have Terence Tan, Singapore National Barista Championships 2011 #4 (formerly from Joe & Dough), Nizam (from Black), and Andy (from Jewel and Starbucks).

As you enter the premises of Toby’s Estate, you are greeted by a huge wall mural depicting exactly what every Third Wave cafe is all about: nitpicking the coffee journey from the bean to the cup. A humungous Loring drum coffee roaster attached to a towering exhaust system lies on the right, and a much-humbled Probatino sample roaster is almost hidden alongside it.  And almost akin to an army canteen, it’s space, space, space. And a very long bench. With a coffee tree growing out from the middle of the bench. On the left, there are nicely back-lit retail shelves with bags of roasted coffee, keepcups personalized with Toby’s Estate logo, Cafetto cleaning products for your coffee machines, Chemex brewers, entire lines of Hario products, Toby’s Estate tea and drinking chocolate. Despite the many jute bags of green coffee lying on the pallet by the side of the roaster, the air is very clean, for a sufferer of sinuses like me.

The espresso machine is a Kees Van Der Westen Mirage Triplette Classic. Alongside it, rests 1 of 2 Clover machines in Singapore. The 2 Clovers spent their history in Intelligentsia Coffee, and I’m quite sure along the way, Deaton had something to do with them being brought into Toby’s Estate Singapore. Toby’s Estate kept one of the Clovers, and sold the other to Loysel’s Toy. Good things are meant to be shared, it seems. Kudos to Toby’s Estate. There are 2 Mazzer Roburs here, along with a Mazzer Mini to grind decaf beans.

On espresso, Toby’s Estate Singapore is serving Rodyk Blend and Guatemala Antigua Los Volcanes. I had the Rodyk blend, but coming from the dentist, my mouth was numb and I tasted only brightness in the espresso. My 2nd cup  was a Cafe De Colombia Cup of Excellence roasted by owner Toby Smith and made by Andy on a V60.  I could taste distinct blackberries. The 3rd cup I had was a Brazil Fazenda Rainha made from a Clover by Nizam. Pecans came to mind as I sipped this very clean cup of Clover.

The CGSG core group was here today too, with the exception of Kai Seng. Steve, Adhe and Sam had espresso, cappuccino and a pour-over. Melvin and Diane had the Guatemala Las Volcanes from a clover and a Chemex. Floral, nutty, and sweet.

My take on Toby’s Estate is that their real gem lies in what Suhaimie calls The Slow Bar, thus named because coffee extraction on The Slow Bar would take longer than the 25 to 35 seconds it takes for an espresso-based drink.  The Slow Bar looks like a science lab filled with Chemex flasks sitting atop digital weighing scales, Hario Syphons, a rare Clover machine, a Tiamo cold brewer, and a Vivreau water filtration system, with sparkling, still and hot water dispensers.  The Vivreau system, as explained by Alvaro, supplies the entire line of coffee machines with filtered tap water. Customers can sit at The Slow Bar and marvel at the different processes coffee can be extracted to the eventual cup in front of you.  There are power outlets every few meters and free wifi so customers can lounge with their devices. There is also alfresco tables outside should customers want to sit by the river.

My verdict:  Clean. Comfort. Clover. Coffee. Coming back.


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4 Responses to “Toby’s Estate Opens in Singapore”

  1. […] (formerly from Cuppachoice) would be there but the other baristas looked somewhat familiar… Colin Loh saved a lot of brain-racking (thanks!) – there’s Terence Tan from Joe & Dough (Suntec), Andy from Jewel Coffee, […]

  2. […] more here: Toby's Estate Opens In Singapore | Crema De La Crema – An … ← Carte Noire pour Tassimo – L'Alchimie … – Automatic Espresso […]

  3. Steve says:

    Great post Colin. I could write a long and thoughtful personal response to Toby’s Estate opening up in Singapore and why I think that they are highly likely to be a favorite haunt of mine in the weeks, months and years to come. Actually, all I’m going to say is that for some strange and indefinable reason, Toby’s just felt right when visiting on their second day of opening. A ‘perfect storm’ in a good way. Great location (I just love the building, with its black paint and red shutters), welcoming and relaxing ambience, experienced and friendly team, Mirage Triplette, Loring Roaster and very promising coffee. The Rodyk Espresso blend was balanced, smooth and bright as an espresso shot – I took a bag home to pull on the Speedster and it is up there with Terra Firma and Yellow Bird already. The cappuccino wasn’t the best I’ve had, but knowing that all the factors (blend, roast and brew) are still being dialed in, it has great promise. It’s much too early to be critical. I simply experienced one of those rare moments that is difficult to explain. I left the place feeling very satisfied and knowing that I’ll be back soon. Many times …

  4. kel says:

    Hi Colin, if you would be interested in testing a unit of the Bacchi Espresso machine, do drop me an email to discuss further. Cheers, Kel.

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