FROM THE MEDIA
There are few places in Singapore that are deeply passionate about their coffee. Highlander Coffee is one such venue. Founded by Phil Ho and Cedric Ho in early 2004, their goal is to “constantly evolve in providing coffee lovers a truly complete coffee experience in the form of quality coffee education, a range of freshest roasted coffee beans/machines/accessories and consistently serving a great cuppa at their coffee bar!” Their passion and dedication to both establishing the art of coffee in Singapore and propagating good coffee clearly shows, as Highlander was the first to conduct professional barista training, promote Latte art, and also the first to bring coffee appreciation/making workshops to the public. The coffee bar is a unique venue that combines a 15-seater café with showroom, training and roasting premise in the back. Highlander staff are all well-trained by brothers Phil and Cedric, and are exceptionally happy to explain brews or beans to curious customers.
A brew of new possibilities- A good cup of coffee – many would attest that it’s the only way to start off a new day. And as we set off on 2010, SingHealth has prepared a fresh brew of new possibilities to inspire better care. In our first issue of the year, me+SH looks at some of the initiatives planned to transform SingHealth into the largest academic medical campus in Singapore – from building larger and better specialist centres to developing new technology to benefit patients and staff. It’s all part of our passion. And when you’re passionate about something as much as we are, it’s easy to go above and beyond. Just ask Phil and Cedric Ho from Highlander Coffee. Sitting across SGH Campus along Kampung Bahru Road, Highlander Coffee is as passionate about coffee as we are about healthcare. As you push open the doors of the gourmet coffee house, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee welcomes you to your first true coffee experience. A quick look around the place reveals an establishment that’s small enough to be personal, yet spacious enough to exude a professional dedication to the fine art of coffee-making. Your coffee arrives, and you taste their passion – the same passion that saw them grow from two brothers conducting barista workshops to becoming THE place to go to for gourmet coffee and coffee-paraphernalia in Singapore. But don’t just take our word for it. A small sip of their coffee says more than we ever can.
But at cosy hole-in-the-wall cafe at Highlander in Kampong Bahru (not to be confused with Highlander Bar at Clarke Quay), brothers Phil, 42, and Cedric Ho, 34, mean business when they say they serve coffee. Their compact 30-seater shrouded in a heady haze of roasting beans is so warm and convivial that even customers who’ve gone on to open their own cafes remain regulars. The brothers conduct coffee making class behind the cafe…Arabica beans from places like Central America are roasted onsite and ground on demand so each cup is fresh. Machines are cleaned daily-something many other cafes don’t practice. Clogged machines compromised coffee quality. Milk is heated and aerated to the right temperature so it develops a silky froth and not bubble-bath lather. Phil reasons, ‘If you’re passionate about your coffee, you care about every single step. It’s a labour of love.’ Putting words to action, he lovingly prepares six brews the way they were meant to be made. Coping with crap coffee will be a bitch after this…You haven’t tasted true caffe latte till you’ve had one from Highlander. Lustrously thick, velvety milk caresses the toasty top notes of coffee in every sip
Congratulations! The discerning readers and editorial team of The Singapore Women’s Weekly have chosen Highlander Coffee as a winner in The Singapore Women’s Weekly Gold Plate Awards 2008, which honours excellence in food and dining…We hope you will display this award in your establishment to commemorate your flair, creativity and professional excellence. Once again, many congratulations on your well-deserved win!
FOR people who really know and appreciate their coffee, Highlander is the top gourmet coffee destination in town. The cafe and coffee machine business, founded four years ago by brothers Phil Ho and Cedric Ho, is now located slightly off the beaten path in a shophouse along Kampong Bahru Road, but it has become a regular meeting place among a clique of committed coffee drinkers…Highlander sells coffee machines to offices and also supplies beans from places like Kenya, Costa Rica and Ethiopia, then roasts and blends the coffee to order as well.
…Since opening five years ago, the cosy establishment off the beaten track has garnered a strong following, with customers happily making the trip to Kampong Bahru Road for a cup of coffee, or a pack of its bespoke roasted and ground coffee. They also sell espresso machines, grinders and coffee accessories for home brewing…Also sharing its expertise is Highlander Coffee, which offers gourmet coffee appreciation seminars, coffee tasting workshops and intensive barista training…
You can now experience a complete coffee experience at this coffee establishment. This gourmet coffee school and café provides coffee education in the form of coffee and barista workshops, fresh hand-roasted coffees for immediate consumption as well as take-home packs and a retail section showcasing coffee machines and accessories. Do try their flavoured Café Lattes such as Tiramisu, Irish Cream, Caramel and Kahlua concoctions. Opt for their divine Carrot Cake if you still have the room left. Their Supremo Blend is worth taking home. A fine balance of Latin America, Central America, East Arabia and Indonesia coffees, this is one smooth blend indeed.
Highlander- There’s a distinctly European flavour to Phil and Cedric Ho’s Outram Park shophouse empire – consciously or not, they’ve re-created the aura of a Parisian café despite the Caledonian name. While pioneering the dual role of coffee house as integrated educational facility, they don’t blind you with their science; instead for six years Highlander has served up a full-bodied blend via built-to-last imported machines. Nice-price sandwiches and snacks, muted radio tunes, well-stacked magazine rack and smiley baristas seal that endearingly casual, continental vibe. On a gaudy roadside terrace rammed with massage parlours and KTV bars, a chilled-out coffee bar of this quality is the last thing you expect to find. Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (closed public holidays). 49 Kampong Bahru Rd (6226 1686, www.highlandercoffee.com). MRT: Outram Park.
HIGHLANDER COFFEE…Could this be the best deal in Singapore? Top notch coffee for less than $3 is no longer wishful thinking. This small, unassuming cafe is run by a team of brothers who fell in love with the Aussie cafe culture and took themselves off to barista courses both in Italy and Australia to learn the art of making coffee. They also run barista training courses for cafes and individuals, plus they stock a wide range of machines. They even roast their own coffee blend, which is available for sale. Best for: Text-book perfect coffees at the cheapest prices in town, plus freshly roasted beans and coffee machines galore
Highlander Coffee started out primarily as a training center for coffee enthusiasts and would-be baristas. Now that their cafe is open,expect nothing less than creamy coffee with full flavored aroma and marshmallow-like frothed milk: These coffees are superbly brewed.
They call themselves “Coffee Nazis” not for nothing! They are almost missionary when discussing how they roast their own beans and construct their espressos…