Having experienced Starbucks at Holland Village, J. thought he’d try a different place such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Sixth Avenue, conveniently located next to Cold Storage and Venezia.
J. ordered a double shot espresso (S$4.00).
A single shot costs $3.20 and J. figured he shouldn’t fall asleep during a subsequent dance performance he was attending.
There’s a thing about espresso, where a skilled barista can time the pour to get a good extraction. Not so at Coffee Bean, where the timing of the extraction is pre-set. It seemed to turn out okay… barely, with a thin, thin layer of crema and being somewhat acidic. A bit blah. It also left a bitter taste at the back of J.’s throat, which might be partly due to his recovering from a URTI.
The place has both outdoor and indoor seating, as can be expected, and what struck J., in comparison to Starbucks, was the lack of people using laptops.
The reason for this difference seems to be obvious. Every Starbucks outlet is a wireless hotspot with the Wireless@SG network requiring a free registration. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, however, have sold their soul to Starhub , providing an ACCESS-Starhub only to Starhub users. J. attempted connecting (to try signing in), only to find no user ID entry page. It looks like it’s not the best place for working on the laptop unless it’s on documents that do not require internet access.
Furthermore, there was only one power outlet. J. happily used his Lenovo T60 because it has a ridiculously good battery life of a few hours, in stark contrast to the Acer which lasts an-hour-and-half tops.
At the time J. was there (Saturday, 5.45pm), there were about 12 students scattered about the few small tables studying. 6 of them were wearing ACJC T-shirts and they all seemed to know each other. In contrast, Starbucks at Holland Village had a mishmash of students and working adults, people studying and people working on notebook computers.
Boo to Coffee Bean for the yuppie coffee culture.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
#01-01 Guthrie House
1 Fifth Avenue S(268802)
Opening Hours: Sun-Thu & PH: 8am-11pm Fri-Sat & Eve PH: 8am-12am
Tel: 6468 3554