Thursday, March 1, 2012

Toby's Estate Singapore - For Those Who Take Coffee Seriously

Let me introduce you to a wanderful friend of mine, Daniel Kaurranny, who aside from his witty jokes and vast knowledge of the culinary world, is also quite a natural writer. And so, after a few hesitations he finally said yes to my invitation to share. Without further a due, I present to you someone's so passionate in coffee and food that it shows in every line and paragraph. Drop him some comments so he'll write more for us! Or you could intentionally poke him on Twitter @danieldeka =D


I am honored to have the opportunity to do a guest writing for one of Jakarta’s rising food blogger and photographer. I remember following this blog way before he changed to its current design (which, I barely remember the past design ha-ha) but one thing that haven’t change (if not improved) is most food pictures he took made me horny. Literally. Hushhhh, Anyway! the mastermind behind this beautiful blog himself asked me to write for his. I really have no idea which establishment should be written since he’s so updated he’s been anywhere you could imagine, really.

So. As these past year I’ve been (too much) in love with coffee-related things, I decided to write about coffee. I seldom write, FYI, unless-as everyone else felt for Otel Lobby- the experience was hilarious, the food was crazily delicious, or the service is strikingly satisfying.

Ruby reminded me about the writing several days before my trip to Singapore for a short weekend getaway. I haven’t had my holiday quiet a while, and the last time I went to Singapore was early 2008. Poor me.

The “serious” coffee culture in Singapore has been quite a boom these past years, I didn’t know exactly when it started but coffee shops like Highlander, Oriole, and Papa Palheta were gaining fame among us coffee people in Indonesia.

Unfortunately, in my 3 days visit to Singapore I didn’t manage to pay a visit to Highlander or Papa Palheta. Yes, I passed Oriole 3 times, yet my friends seem to be more interested to some pork-serving German restaurant nearby. Oh well.

But! There’s one coffee shop I crazily curious about, which I accidentally found while I was browsing for its Australian headquarter. The name is Toby’s Estate.

Toby’s is one of Australia’s prominent one-stop coffee solutions, from roasting facility, training provider to premium coffee shops, which has been in the business since 1998.
To us Indonesians, studying coffee to Europe or America might seem too far, thus studying at Toby’s Estate is one of (if not everyone’s then it’s just my) most realistic dream.

I read somewhere on the net about the recently-opened Toby’s Estate in Singapore. By that time I knew this should be my top priority to visit whenever I’m there.
Thus, the first day we were in Singapore, after a long quarell about where to go and which bus (or MRT) to take, I managed to convince my friends to accompany me instead. Yay!

Toby’s Estate is located at Rodyk Street. When I asked our cab driver about this he yelled “I have no idea where the hell is that weird street name, Singaporeans are all very random at naming streets, it’s hard to remember!” :D Since the closest area nearby is Robertson Quay, we then asked for Robertson. It was a little confusing to find where the exact location is. We even have to ask someone from Kith Coffee (which later from reviews I read also serve good coffee) to show us way to Toby’s, which is not too far from them :p

Toby’s Estate is tucked among rows of humble restaurants along the Rodyk St, but one distinct view was that, most of their patrons at the time of my visit were Caucasian people (I assume Brits or OZs).

Its interior is basically very simple, a one long communal table filling most space with a coffee tree pot placed at the center of it. They also have some bar faced outside with the view of the river. The outdoor seatings were most likely arranged the same like what we found at Starbucks Puri Indah :p

At the corner of the café we could found the big, masculine roasting machine, which were used to roast their own coffee. Yes, the coffee they brewed for you were roasted at the same premise. That’s how the word fresh should stands for.
I won’t write anything technical since I might sound like a nerd. In short, they were using one espresso machine that beautifully sexy, yet powerful and equipped with the most modern brewing technology, the Kees van der Westen Mirage Triplette. This Kees machine, FYI, is not available (yet) in Indonesia. The only Kees you can find is at Sinou in Panglima Polim, the one from Idrocompresso type. Ah, equipment wise, picture them as Ethan Hunt with futuristic, advanced yet fun-to-play-with secret agent tools.

Great equipments should come with great operators too, in this case, the baristas. One of their barista, Terence, recently placed 2nd runner up at the 2012 Singapore National Barista Championship. The café manager, Suhaimie is also 2nd runner up of 2011 SNBC. That’s convincing enough, for sure.

The latte and flat white we ordered (S$5 each) is one of the nicest coffee I tried. Smooth, sexy milk, blended beautifully with espresso extracted from “Rodyk blend” (their house blend). I tasted some floral-chocolatey notes with sweet blueberry-like finish in my latte. That was orgasmic. Period.

Other than espresso-based drink they also serve all day breakfast meals like Egg Benedict and choices of fresh pastries and breads. They also got what they called a “slow bar” where customer can order coffee with non-espresso methods like chemex, syphon, drip brewing or even Hario cold drip (explanations could be found on Wikipedia :p). I unfortunately didn’t have much time to try all those. That means, I have another excuse to visit Toby’s Estate on my next Singapore trip.

If you take your coffee seriously, this place should be one of your must-visit list. Singapore’s “third-wave” coffee culture has really developed way beyond Jakarta, although Indonesia is the 4th largest coffee producer in the world, ironically. We really should (immediately) start to learn and appreciate our world-famous specialty coffee, to enjoy it in more modern way, to sincerely pay higher price than our usual Kapal Api so that we can stand high and compete among others, or somebody else will (again) take what we had and make use of it before we even realize. Indonesian coffee FTW!


Toby’s Estate Coffee 
8 Rodyk Street #01-03/04
Singapore 238216
Drinks starts S$5, whole bean starts at S$12.5 (per 250gr)

Big thanks to Fellexandro Ruby from for the opportunity to write and share here *highfive*

All photos are courtesy of Daniel Kaurranny himself. He's quite a photographer ain't he?


  1. Yay, long live coffee!!! Daniel Deka -> kudos, you're definitely a coffee connoiseur. Ruby -> Ahh, so jealous, I want a guest post too! Wait, I actually have one guest post, written by a rather interesting person too! =D Check my blog one of these days ya...haha (*numpang promosi) =P

    1. Wow, that guest of yours is quite a serious contender to mine. Hahaha. Ask him if he wanted to do a documentary on Indonesian food, I'd be more than happy to take part. =D

  2. To Daniel: you really are passionate about coffee, aren't you. Great review, I think you should have a blog of your own.

    Ruby: write a guest post on my blog someday? :p

    1. I'd love to. What to write ... Hmmm... How about doing a tandem post the next time I visit Sydney? (Tuhan dengar iman hambamu iniiii) hehehe

    2. I think it would be better to leave it seasonal? :p Since my writing skills are depend so much on my mood! xD

    3. Ruby: anything you fancy. hehe. that would be great, when are u goin to syd?

      Daniel: ah, i believe you'll manage well! :)

  3. Hey Daniel,
    Nice writing on Toby Estate. Salam kenal, kapan2 kita bisa hang out and ngobrol soal kopi neh. Shall we Rub? :)

    1. Hello there, Joe, thanks for reading. I'll let Ruby arranges that "coffee time" for us? ;)

    2. You two shall meet up. You both can share all you want about coffee. And I will eat. HAHA.


Real Time Analytics