In need of a caffeine boost? Perk up your dreary mornings with a cuppa from these coffee joints in the CBD that open early before 10 o’clock.

Kafe UTU

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Address: 12 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089265
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm (Wed to Mon)

Take a sip on the wild side with Kafe UTU, Singapore’s first cafe concept inspired by Africa. The menu is a celebration of its colourful culture; the flavours are just as exciting. On the drinks front, the UTU Ink ($6) is a safe bet. This cold brew uses Ugandan beans for a rich, chocolatey flavour while delivering a jolt of caffeine. Other kahawa (coffee in Swahili) options include the mocha variation of Bidibado ($6); and the Ibada ‘Ritual’ ($6), a quad ristretto shot over Hokkaido milk. If time permits, come back for lunch and sample exotic dishes like Swahili Fish Curry ($29) and Liberian Peanut Chicken Stew ($28).

Maxi Coffee Bar 

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Address: 31 Club Street #01-02, Singapore 069468
Opening hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon to Fri)

It might be hard to locate Maxi Coffee Bar, but those who do will be treated to a warm space, friendly faces, and a humble menu. For something different, get the Iced Cereal Milk Latte ($7.50) which is almost like a grown-up’s breakfast in a cup. The taste is layered: sweet from the cereal, which transitions gradually to smooth espresso. Also unique to the cafe is the tropical Coconut Cold Brew ($7.50), where the subtle fruity sweetness and coffee brew come together in a refreshing concoction that’s great for beating the heat. And in a similar fashion, Maxi Coffee Bar serves up a novel combination of Miso Peanut Butter Honey Toast ($6) – sweet, salty and savoury all at once.

Nexus Coffee 

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Address: International Plaza #01-15, Singapore 079903
Opening hours: 7.30am – 4pm (Mon to Fri)

The menu at Nexus Coffee is lean and focused: chai, chocolate, matcha and coffee in its variations. This no-frills kiosk stands out with its teal blue exterior, but it is the coffee served that deserves special mention and makes you come back for more. To lend some variety, different beans are available for espresso and filter options, each with their own special profile. Keep things simple with a Black Coffee ($4), or beat the heat with an Iced Mocha ($6) – either way, you will find yourself with a caffeine boost that will lift your tired mind.

Bearded Bella 

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Address: 8 Craig Road, Singapore 089668
Opening hours: 7.30am – 5pm (Mon to Thurs), 7.30am –11pm (Fri), 7.30am– 6pm (Sat & Sun)

Quite literally, Bearded Bella serves up winning cups of coffee. Its co- owner, Regina Tay, holds the title of Singapore Barista Champion 2016, and has under her belt experience as a barista in the coffee capital of Melbourne. There, she learned about its thriving coffee culture and sought to recreate her own back in her homeland. Those lucky enough can spot her behind the coffee machine, pulling shots made from a special house blend of thoughtfully sourced beans – carefully roasted in-house to create its delightful flavour profile. Prices start from $3.50 for a single espresso, which pairs well with their selection of homemade cakes and pastries.


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Address: 531 Upper Cross Street #01-41, Singapore 050531
Opening hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon to Sat)

For a healthier, non-dairy option, try popping by the country’s first vegan-dedicated latte bar. Located opposite Hong Lim Food Centre, Kebun whips up vegan options of your favourite caffeinated drinks. Here, conventional milk is replaced with their special handcrafted cashew ‘mylk’ – which is made from premium, whole cashews that are said to be a healthier alternative. Try the Kebun Earl Grey Latte ($5) infused with the fragrant bergamot, or opt for the nutty Seoul Misugara Latte ($5.50) which comes with an aromatic blend of black sesame seeds, black beans, black and brown rice, and barley grains. Those looking for a gentler dosage of caffeine can also look forward to Kebun’s range of exotic tea blends (also vegan!).

Five Oars Coffee Roasters 

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Address: 39 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088462
Opening hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon to Sun)

With a name like theirs, you know that this is a place that treats coffee seriously. Five Oars Coffee Roasters ticks all the boxes for the modern cafe-goer: clean, minimalist interior, an extensive brunch menu, and good cups of coffee. Beans are roasted in-house, and they serve the usual suspects of espressos ($3), pour-overs (from $6) and iced variants (from $5), which are executed with no faults. The food menu is also tempting enough for you to make a return during the weekends. Without the need to rush for deadlines and meetings, indulge in Insta-worthy dishes like the Truffle Benedict ($20) or Mentaiko Royale ($21) with a cuppa in hand, while enjoying the botanical-decorated surrounds.


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Address: 1 Raffles Place #B1-34, Singapore 048616
Opening hours: 7.30am – 9.30pm (Mon to Fri)

In need of a quick caffeine fix? Drop by the conveniently located Parallel (they have two outlets in the CBD). Raffles City is the brand’s second outlet, where they run regular $2 Friday promotions on their coffee menu for an affordable treat. For those familiar, Parallel makes their coffee using beans from specialty coffee roaster Common Man Coffee Roasters. Beyond just coffee, folks with a sweet tooth can get a healthy dose of sugar with their range of smoothies and acai bowls. Made without added fructose or syrups, Parallel serves up acai bowls (from $8.90) that come packed with natural goodness from ingredients like goji berries, sunflower seeds and nut butter.

 This article was adapted from Teenage Portfolio 2019.

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