To travel vicariously via Sprudge's Build-Outs of Coffee series is to traverse the world from the palm of your hand. Today we visit the incredible city of Singapore, home to a dizzyingly immense food and beverage scene that includes some of the world's best bars and restaurants—not to mention coffee experiences. Our journey brings us to Dewgather, a new coffee bar slated to open in late summer 2021.
As told to Sprudge by Dewgather.
For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?
Community is at the heart of all that we do. We started the cafe, Dewgather, with two key elements in mind. We envisioned a refreshing and nourishing space that leaves people inspired and this is represented by the dew in our name. We also wanted to create an atmosphere that brings people together over great coffee and food and even be able to host meaningful community-led events.
Can you tell us a bit about the new space?
We wanted to create an inviting oasis in an urban forest where friends and family feel connected to each other and to nature. With the natural sunlight streaming in through the glass canopy, the imaginative minty-blue hues that reflect the sky and dew, terracotta tiles that mimic the earthy ground and the view of lush greenery outside—we wanted a space that invites our patrons to pause during the day and unwind after a long week. Using abstract design, contrasting both soft and earthy hues, our designers amplified the experience of a natural oasis to inspire a calm like no other.
Inspired by natural earth elements, this chic cafe with a twist, provides a warm and relaxing environment through the choice of colors, materials, textures and craftsmanship. Every inch of our 2,777-square-foot space interweaves material and creative palettes that allow our patrons to enjoy a comfortable gathering surrounded by immersive music and aromatic coffee in the company of their loved ones.
What’s your approach to coffee?
Our approach to coffee is decidedly simple, comforting, and consistent. We endeavor to source our coffees sustainably, with a high degree of traceability and transparency. All of our sourced coffees are of specialty coffee grade. To showcase the qualities of the coffee that our farmers have so lovingly cultivated, we roast our coffees lightly and in-house. In the near future, we are hoping to engage in direct trade with our farmers.
We have blended our house blend (The Star) based on tastings with a select group of our customers. The Star is a three bean blend that forms the backbone of our espresso service. This is supplemented by a secondary grinder, which will be carrying seasonal roasts (Single Origins) and will also from time-to-time be used to feature overseas specialty coffee roasters.
We will have a three-meter-long slow bar where interested coffee lovers will have the opportunity to interact with our baristas over a menu of rotating Single Origins filter coffees. Customers can look forward to learning more about the coffees that they are drinking through the interaction with our front of house team, who are passionate and highly knowledgeable about our coffees.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We believe in keeping up with the equipment advancements in the industry. While automation is starting to become more advanced in the coffee world, we do not believe automation can replace our baristas, but rather it allows our baristas to focus more on the replicability of the quality in the cup as well as to free up more time for them to properly engage our customers, delivering a better coffee experience.
The first thing that customers will notice when walking through the front doors of our cafe will be the eight-meter-long coffee bar.
We will be running our espresso service through a three-group Victoria Arduino Eagle One, complemented by two Mythos Ones. As we have a strong focus on consistency and welfare of our baristas, we have also included a Puqpress into our workflow.
Our slow bar will feature a Mahlkönig EK43, a Marco SP9 single-serve brew, and also manual hand brew. The SP9 is a semi-automatic brewer that is not very commonly seen on a coffee bar in Singapore. However, we believe that it can produce a superior cup of coffee with remarkable consistency. This frees up our baristas to engage with our customers to help them to better appreciate and celebrate the farmers’ work.
How is your project considering sustainability?
As a business, we are constantly thinking about how we can become more sustainable and responsible within the coffee industry. We focus our sustainability efforts on the most important, yet under-appreciated part of the equation—our farmers. For us, this means paying a fair price for our coffees and also giving back to the community through education. As the business grow, we hope to start sourcing our coffees through direct trade with farms so that we can ensure that our farmers will be paid a higher price for their coffee. Furthermore, we aim to purchase more coffees regionally. Through this, we hope to reduce our carbon footprint by not having to ship our coffees halfway across the world.
What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?
We target to officially open in August 2021.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?
We have put together a team of creatives for this project.
Billy Ip is a renowned designer from Hong Kong. He played an integral role in the creative direction of this project. Billy is a proponent of the art of living and leading lifestyle trends. He believes that design is not just a physical reflection, it’s the ultimate reflection of sociological growth. He believes that the difference between mimic and creativity is through one’s knowledge and experience. He was selected by Perspective Magazine as one of 40 under 40 winners in 2014 and Visual Merchandising and Store Design (VMSD) Designer award in 2015. He has also received a number of accolades for his leading projects, including Hong Kong The ONE, Shanghai Kerry Parkside and Funan Singapore. He has also founded the hospitality brand, Shizuku Hakuba Ski Villas, Japan.
Dewgather’s food menu is created by Chef Joachim Lim, an award-winning chef based in Australia. He has worked in internationally acclaimed restaurants, such as Vue de Monde (a 3-hatted restaurant) and Kikonui (a 3 Michelin star restaurant). Joachim has won the 2019 Australia Oraking competition and received the Australian Hotel Association Best Restaurant Award (Victoria). To Joachim, food should be playful, flavorful yet well-balanced. You can expect to see this in the menu, which incorporates native Australian ingredients in familiar brunch items like lemon pith puree paired with cured salmon, house-smoked cashew nut pesto as a stand-out feature of the Dew Harvest Bowl, mountain pepper mayo in the beef burger and lemon-myrtle crumpet. He hopes to introduce different flavors to the Singaporean palette, invoking curiosity and inviting them to come back for more.
Our coffee is roasted in-house by one of our partners, Kang Yiyang. Yiyang has been exposed to coffee from a very young age. When the specialty coffee industry started to be introduced more than 10 years ago, his father saw a gap in the Singapore market and encouraged him to start both Two Degree North Coffee Co in 2014 as well as Populus, the flagship cafe for the roastery. Since then, he has been roasting for many barista champions in Singapore and Malaysia. Yiyang believes that coffee is not just a beverage that we drink every day. It is a lifestyle, a culture, a livelihood, a lifeline, a legacy, a tradition and a storybook. Through coffee, we can glean different perspectives, and thus as a small part of this coffee world, one has to play his part to be responsible for the sustainability of every part of the chain.