Imagine a place where the world’s innovators in the coffee, tea, and sweets industries gather to unveil new products and discuss new strategies. Then imagine a host of baristas competing to create the best coffee and the most beautiful latte art. Now, smell the freshly baked bread as expert pastry chefs compete.
You’ve just pictured Cafe Asia, where Sweets & Bakes Asia and the International Coffee and Tea Industry Expo gather under one roof. And you’ve pictured the scene I just so happened to stumble upon at the Marina Bay Sands while on an unexpected two-day layover in Singapore.
I love innovation, and I especially love to be among the first to know about a new product, so imagine my delight when they welcomed me with a personal guide for the event. (Thanks, Andrew!) New information is no good if it’s kept to yourself, so I’m excited to share what I’ve discovered with you.
Cafene Coffee Beans- Much like Joseph Fry revolutionized the world of cocoa in 1847 with the invention of the chocolate bar, Flavio Abaurre is revolutionizing the world of coffee with Cafene coffee beans, the world’s first edible coffee.
Cafene coffee bean shaped candies look like chocolate and have a texture similar to chocolate… but they’re made entirely of Arabic coffee beans! Invented in Brazil three years ago, these caffeinated treats have crossed the Atlantic and are breaking into the market in Singapore. The beans are roasted on the farms where they’re cultivated and the manufacturing process is careful to preserve all of the health benefits of coffee. Be careful not to have too many, or you’ll still be thinking about Cafene at 4am instead of sleeping.
Cafella- This is Cafene’s version of Nutella, made with coffee and almond paste, it can be used in the same ways that you’d typically use Nutella.
When I think tea, I think ladies’ lunches and fancy china held with white-gloved hands. A few innovative companies in Singapore are aiming to change that.
BREW is a modern tea concept by A. Muse projects, where wine, alcohol and coffee inspire unique blends of tea. BREW founder, Angela, told me that “people are used to English Breakfast, which is a blend. Why not try something fun? People have been surprised at all the flavors you can recreate with a blend of teas.” With blends like Rose Moscato, Scotch, Caramel Macchiato, Sangria Punch, and Merlot, these teas are tasty hot or cold.
And the packaging is on point. Sold in little test tubes, the presentation alone is worth the purchase. If you’re in Singapore, stop by Naiise or Curious Palette to pick up some BREW by A. Muse teas.
The 1872 Tea Company may be celebrating its 144th birthday this year, but don’t call them old fashioned! Up on the latest technology, The 1872 Tea Company uses an Alphadominche machine to set brew time, temperature and steeping cycles, creating the perfect cup every time.
This year, they’ll open Ion Basement 4, where they’ll serve premium tea from beer taps. They also enjoy teaching customers about alternative ways to make tea for cold brews and mocktails. Their advice? Add a little lemonade or soda to a fruity blend of tea for a refreshing beverage.
If you’re in the market for a $37,000 teapot, head over to Old Village PuEr Pte Ltd. Made of the same material of Samurai swords by a Japanese master craftsman, these teapots are something special. What really drew me to this company, though, was their focus on education. PuEr tea is said to offer a variety of health benefits, including shrinking fat cells, helping the digestive system and reducing blood sugar levels. In addition to an education on the benefits of this kind of tea, Old Village Pure Pte Ltd’s tea appreciation classes educate tea drinkers about how to differentiate raw and fermented PuEr tea, how to appreciate it and how to brew the perfect cup of PuEr tea.
The artisans at Cafe Asia were full of creative energy, taking products that have been around for thousands of years and creating new life from them. If you make it to Singapore, share in the innovation and visit their shops!