Today on Sprudge Maps Spotlight we’re visiting one of the world’s premiere destinations for food, architecture, green urban planning, and yes, coffee. Singapore is a frequent topic here on Sprudge—check out our recent City Guide and past coverage—but we absolutely love having the chance to learn more and share new coffee bars from this place. So let’s dive in, this is Double Up Coffee in Singapore!
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As told to Sprudge by Mervin Lim.
Introduce yourself to our readers—tell us about your cafe!
Hi! Welcome to Double Up Coffee! We have been open for two years now and we’re located at 7 Jalan Klapa, near Kampong Glam, which is a heritage site. Our menu is simply split into three sections: Machine (current espresso offering), Hand (three to four different origins for pour-overs), as well as Pleasures (non-coffee based drinks, including homemade kombuchas).
Currently, we are working together with our friends at Thoughts for our selection of baked goods.
What equipment do you use in your shop?
Our espresso-based coffees are made on a Synesso S200 paired with a Mahlkönig EK43S mounted with a Titus Grinding single doser. This combination speeds up our workflow, allowing us to pull espresso shots with the EK, without having to pre weigh before grinding. Also, there’s no need to purge when changing the grind setting!
Pour-over coffees are brewed through the Hario V60. And yes we took a special effort to make sure that all the equipment is black in color!
Which roaster or roasters do you serve?
All the coffees that are served in house, espresso and pour-over are proudly roasted by ourselves. We roast on a 6kg Giesen W6 at a co-roasting facility run by our good friends, Community Coffee. We roast all our coffees with the intention to best present their terroir, cultivar, and process and also such that they are easy for our customers to brew at their convenience.
Our green coffees are sourced mainly from local importers that we’ve worked closely and built a relationship with such as Mercanta, Bero Coffee, and 2nd Mile Coffee. From time to time we do purchase directly from producers such as Beanspire (Thailand) as well as Underdog (Indonesia), both who produce amazing coffee that are less represented in Singapore. These coffees have been well received so far and we hope to be able to continue showcasing their offerings in the shop.
What is the neighborhood like where you’re located? What’s some other cool stuff nearby?
We are located near Kampong Glam, a historical site which is now transformed into an eclectic mix of arts, trendy stores and eateries. For snacks, there is Mother Dough Bakery, Monarchs & Milkweed Gelato, and Kulon, which specializes in Indonesian dry style noodles. For shopping, check out Goodluck Bunch, a multi-label clothing and lifestyle store. There is also no lack of record stores: Curated Records, B-Side Records, and Mosta Records. This area is also not shy of tattoo studios with many talented artists: Bada Bink Tattoo Firm, Wild Paw Tattoo Co., and Tooth & Nail Tattoo. Oh, and do look out for the vibrant wall murals along your way!
Did you close during a mandated Coronavirus shutdown, and if so, for how long?
We opened in February 2020 and shortly after had to undergo a lockdown in April which lasted for six weeks. In order to sustain ourselves we had to shift towards bottling our drinks (something wasn’t in our initial plan) and having them delivered to customers. Along the way, we also launched our online store, allowing the delivery of roasted coffee beans and accessories.
How has Coronavirus impacted daily work at your cafe?
Coffee being such a sensory beverage meant that we had to be mindful when tasting together as a team. This meant having a different set of cupping protocols and refraining from sharing amongst ourselves. Additionally, it also limited community events like workshops or public cuppings, something which we were initially working towards.
What’s something cool or unique about your cafe you want folks to know?
The bare or spatial design of the shop is intentional and fully designed by ourselves. You will notice that there are hardly any tables and most of the seatings are benches against the wall. The shopfront is also pushed inwards, creating a sort of an “outdoor” mood at the front, which can be served as an event area. In September 2020, we did our first collaboration with Two Men Bagel House, which was a tremendous success. We kicked off 2022 with an exotic plant competition with Five Finger Mountain Plants and we are planning for more collabs for the rest of the year!
Photos by Double Up Coffee, used with permission