Inquire any Singaporean coffee lover about the best place to get a caffeine fix, or ask a barista about where they get coffee if not in their own shop, or just open your Instagram feed and you’ll find that all signs point to one place. Their coffee beans were displayed on the racks of numerous coffee shops in the city and all the people I had met raved about them.
After plenty of meandering and squabbling about directions, we finally found Nylon Coffee Roasters tucked away in one of the apartment blocks of Everton Park. Despite its somewhat secluded spot, Nylon proved to be a popular watering hole amongst locals and was positively teeming with life. In front of the shop was a playground where kids played as their parents sat armed with a cup of joe and the daily paper. By the front doors sat a husky that I had often seen in photos tagged at Nylon. It seemed he was a regular there.
Beyond their green doors was a small baristas’ counter fitted out with only the essentials. Their décor was simple yet charming and wholeheartedly embraced the spirit of community with one long communal table with no seats that purposely brought people together and enabled them to chat with whoever was sitting opposite to them.
Their roasting room, aptly named The Maillard Project in honor of the reaction that turns food (and coffee) into that delectable golden brown color, housed one large roasting machine and a slightly smaller one where they magically transformed green beans into the glorious roasted beans Nylon was acclaimed for. Nylon is passionate about fostering relationships with everyone in the coffee chain, visiting farms and cooperatives continents away to ensure that the coffee they served was ethical and sustainable, making for a fair and transparent industry. In fact, Nylon is so committed to this philosophy that a sign was even posted on their front door announcing that shop would be closed for a couple days as the crew went Colombia in search of quality coffee to share with the community back home.
Don’t expect to see cappuccinos or lattes written on their menu. Nylon’s menu is somewhat unconventional, opting for orders by the ounce, simply topping espressos with differing ratios of water or milk to create a black or white respectively. Trying their 5 ounce latte, I finally saw what all of the fuss was about. In all honesty, it was one of the best lattes I ever had. Theirs was a blend called Four Chairs, consisting of equal parts Nicaraguan Finca el Suspiro and El Salvadorian Finca Los Pirineos. This combination of Central American coffee had a brown sugar sweetness, a creamy mouthfeel, and hazelnut finish that made it perfect with steamed milk. That, with its notes of cherry and sweet citrus made it great for espressos and Americanos as well.
When I first heard of Nylon, I thought it was an odd name for a coffee shop. As it turned out, the shop wasn’t named after the material used for making ropes, umbrellas, and hot air balloons, but a portmanteau of New York and London, two cities where the owners lived, worked, and fell into the world of coffee. Returning to Singapore, they opened a space where they could share their passion with the community, carefully sourcing, fastidiously roasting, and lovingly brewing for the people of home.
The longer we sat, the more people started to pour in. I watched as children playfully hid under the communal table while their parents enjoyed a white or black right above them. The air hummed with chatter as more people walked in to start their day right. It’s no wonder Nylon was the name on everyone’s lips, they truly were the hearth of the community and the place to go for stupendous coffee.