From a good old cup of Kopi at the Hawker Center to a long black in a third-wave coffeehouse, Singapore does indeed have a vibrant coffee culture.
The Singapore coffee industry traditionally has two faces: Kopitiam stalls selling hundreds of cups every morning and specialty coffees that appear all over the island.
However, in recent years another player – e-coffee – has joined the game and is on an upward trend of growth.
The business model of e-coffee is straightforward: just order coffee beans or coffee grounds online and a package will be delivered to your door.
The appeal of e-coffee may lie in its convenience and adaptability. The coffee is delivered to customers based on their frequency of consumption. Brands like Hook Coffee enable customers to run a "coffee matching" quiz on their website to find the best coffee for their pallets.
The newest child in Singapore's coffee industry – Cold Brew subscriptions – goes one step further.
The Cold Brew Subscription Draw
As with e-coffee companies, customers can order their goods online and have them delivered to their home. One big difference is that the coffee is already brewed for you.
The cold coffee craze is hardly new. Unlike regular iced coffee, cold brewing is made by soaking coffee grounds in room temperature water for six to 12 hours. Coffee lovers have long praised that it is less acidic and bitter than its frozen counterpart.
During the breaker period, however, sales of cold brew subscriptions skyrocketed – at least this seems to be the case in my Instagram story feed.
I would see another person unpacking another batch of cold brew or a perfectly maintained picture of a bottle of cold brew standing next to a house plant every other day.
Marilyn Teo, 23, said her friends surprised her for her birthday with a range of cold beers that fell during the circuit breaker. She joked that it seemed to be the "latest fad".
In order to take this trend into account, cafés, which are traditionally operated in physical shops, jumped on the train to deliver beers to the front door, some of them weekly.
Mosanco Enchanted Cafe on Rangoon Road is one of them. The café has innovated to create a Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs set, with eight bottles of cold brew available for $ 50.
The Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs Set / Photo Credit: Mosanco Enchanted Cafe
The café only implemented its cold brew delivery during the breaker period when they noticed that the locals could not get their favorite drinks out of the cafe.
"We wanted to offer our customers some joy and positivity during this time (circuit breaker) to hopefully motivate them," said a spokesman for Mosanco Enchanted Cafe.
The café then began filling and delivering these popular drinks to customers.
Her delivery service increased the cafe's sales volume during the breaker period, prompting her to offer a 24-hour delivery service across the island.
In the parallel coffee and smoothie bar, two shops were operated in Raffles City and in the town hall.
The former has now finally closed, but the store's cold brew delivery service is still successful. Customers flood social media with pictures of their deliveries.
For parallel, six bottles of cold brew a week bring a coffee lover back for $ 28.
Photo credits: Parallel via Instagram
In fact, the convenience of having a week of coffee delivered to your home was an important consideration when purchasing.
“I didn't want to make unnecessary trips out of the house. When I saw Parallel's Cold Brew subscription, I decided to give it a try, ”said 25-year-old Anabelle Lim, who had worked from home during the breaker.
"I usually drink at least one cup of coffee every day, so the subscription paid off," she said.
Will this trend continue?
It seems certain that cold brew subscriptions are the latest innovation in the coffee world, with companies and individuals picking up on the trend.
Maybe coffee lovers are skeptical about this. After all, it's still charming to have your coffee freshly made in front of you in a busy coffee house.
With Singapore's entry into phase 2 and the steady withdrawal of customers into workplaces, cafes and coffee bars, the increasing demand for cold brew subscriptions could decrease.
Nevertheless, Mosanco Enchanted Cafe's cold brew delivery will "stay here". The café believes that while the cold brew was trending when most people worked from home, many customers would continue to deliver the cold brew “straight to their offices”.
The convenience factor that Singaporeans appreciate is definitely a big selling point, and the luxury of having your cold brew delivered to you in bulk at the beginning of every week could be the future of coffee.
Selected image credits: SG Magazine