Java expert Andre Chanco shares top picks and places in the Lion City
Passions are very much like cups of coffee. They wake us up in the morning and keep us energized to pursue different possibilities. Over a perfect brew, people bond in the same way they would connect over mutual passions.
For Andre Chanco, founder of Yardstick Coffee (undoubtedly one of Manila’s finest coffee shops), passion and coffee are more than alike; they are one and the same.
Chanco’s story started with a single espresso at Singapore’s premiere specialty coffee café, Papa Palheta. He swapped computers and codes for coffee machines and beans as he left his IT consultancy job to become a barista at the famous coffee house. There, he learned everything there is to know about the coffee industry, from green coffee sourcing and marketing, to mastering the art of roasting.
Drawing inspiration and guidance from Papa Palheta owner, Leon Foo, Chanco returned home to put up Yardstick Coffee. The b2b enterprise and café was his way of strengthening the eventual boom of specialty coffee in the Philippines. Today, Yardstick supplies quality coffee beans and coffee-making equipment to well-known cafés in Manila, and has been credited with paving the way for the third wave coffee culture that most Filipinos now enjoy.
“Coffee is magical by how it connects people. My story comes with every cup of coffee that I serve. With every sip, people somewhat get a glimpse of the personal experiences that allowed me to make my passion a reality in Singapore. And now, having Yardstick back at home, we become connected even deeper because they get an actual taste of that passion,” shared Chanco as he recounted his journey.
From his humble beginnings as a part-time barista at Papa Palheta, to his success with Yardstick Coffee today, Chanco embodies Singapore’s newest destination brand: “Passion Made Possible.” More than just a tourism slogan, Passion Made Possible is all about how one’s passions can be ignited, fulfilled and deepened in Singapore with the possibilities it offers.
Influenced by the Lion City’s thriving coffee scene and the infectious fiery spirit of the local café-owners, Chanco explored and developed his passion for coffee in Singapore and has a list of his favorite coffee hunts.
Very close to the coffee connoisseur’s heart is Papa Palheta. The famous coffee-been supplier pioneered specialty coffee in Singapore and became the model for Chanco’s very own business.
One of Papa Palheta’s retail arms is Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar. Often mistaken as a run-down hardware store, this coffee shop is the opposite with its trendy industrial interior. At the heart of the shop, customers can find a 360-degree bar where baristas quickly serve their delicious drinks.
Chye Seng Huat offers top-quality concoctions that are sure to delight coffee lovers everywhere. Visitors can also check out the roaster, coffee school and private coffee tasting room all housed in the same building. Chye Seng Huat served as an inspiration to Yardstick café’s look and feel.
Chanco also recommends Nylon Coffee Roasters, a coffee bar, which captures flavors from around the world with quality beans exported from Brazil, Ethiopia, and many more. Here, each cup is meticulously made to bring out the beans’ original flavor, all with the right balance of sweetness. Its coffee clientele appreciates the bar’s warm and easy vibe, courtesy of relaxing natural light and an uncluttered interior.
Other honorable mentions include Artistry, Common Man Roasters, Forty Hands, Geisha Specialty Coffee, and Dapper Coffee—specialty cafés which add their own twists to classic coffees.
“From third wave artisanal cafés, to intimate neighborhood coffee shops, Singapore’s rich coffee culture is something every coffee lover should experience,” Chanco guaranteed.