Outdoor black seatiing area with black tables and chairs
Papa Palheta constantly reviews its brewing techniques and roasting methods
(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

Singapore might be better known for its insatiable foodies and gastronomic offerings than its cups of joe, but local coffee roaster Papa Palheta is attempting to change all that. Located in the Newton area, away from the island’s café hubs, this speciality coffee boutique has gotten coffee-crazy Singaporeans talking with its selection of coffee beans all roasted and sold on-site.

Instead of following the usual café formula, Papa Palheta acts as a tasting bar where customers can order coffee (free of charge) to sample in the outdoor courtyard or the boutique’s quaint sitting room, before deciding which variety of beans to buy. The beans themselves are sourced from all over the world, either from local brokers or personally carried back by staff from trips abroad. The boutique prides itself on supporting sustainable coffees that span the usual suspects as well as more exotic varieties, rarely available in the country. Closed twice a week just for roasting, its current catalogue is made up of two blends and 7-9 coffees sourced from Micro-lots and single-origin estates in places such as Sumatra, Sulawesi, Guatemala and Brazil.

Roasting and retailing coffee in Singapore is no easy business. There just isn’t the same loyalty for drinking coffee, unless it's from the local kopitiams (neighbourhood coffee shops.) According to PPP owner Leon Foo, who left his job as an investment banker to fund the cause, Asians are starting to warm to the balanced flavour of city roast. “The toughest factor faced in Singapore is usually freshness and we're able to roast our beans locally to guarantee that.”

While a fully-fledged café is now on the cards to open later in the year, Foo is passionate about making each cup of coffee served the best that it can be. “We constantly strive to improve our roasting techniques and brewing methods – the spirit of speciality coffee.”

Papa Palheta acts as a tasting bar

The perfect way to work

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

Bean for sale

The menu board featuring the usual suspects as well as more exotic varieties

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

A super model cappuccino

A Papa Palheta cappuccino

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

This is the entrance to the coffee bar

The entrance to the speciality coffee boutique

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

A customer is waiting for the coffee

The courtyard where shoppers can sample the coffee before purchasing

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

This is the waiting room for the customers

The boutique’s quaint sitting room

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

Coffee roasting machine

The boutique is closed twice a week just for roasting

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)

Open area for the customers

A fully-fledged café is now on the cards to open later in the year

(Image credit: Papa Palheta)


140 Bukit Timah Road


Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms