The Steeping Room
Last month I went down to The Steeping Room to catch them a week before they shut down. I was curious to see what a local pop-up store would have to offer, especially since the pop-up concept hasn’t quite caught on here yet. The result was a tiny set-up in an old building on Waterloo Street. The little room was done up in minimal fashion, but it was air-conditioned and comfortable. A set of long, narrow benches lined the window for waiting customers while a six-seat coffee bar stood in the centre of the room. The two baristas were friendly and welcoming. We had to wait our turn, due to the lack of seats, but I didn’t really mind.
The thing I really liked about the Steeping Room was that it was all about the coffee. The place was unpretentious; it was not over-designed like I expected it to be. It looked like just enough thought had been put into the place. The baristas, Chloe and Marvyn, were confident and had an obvious passion for coffee, they took the time to explain their methods and beans and could answer all our questions without skipping a beat.
(Chloe preparing coffee with a Hario Siphon over a butane burner)
(Chemex-dripped coffee made by Marvyn)
Both the boys had Hawaii Ka’u beans prepared in two different methods. Ben had his pressure-infused with a Hario Siphon over an awesome-looking butane burner while Cheeyi had Chemex-dripped coffee. The point was for us to compare the two results. The Hario Siphon coffee was a clear winner – the coffee was full and it had a lovely roasted flavour to it. The Chemex-dripped coffee on the other hand, was a little too light for our liking.
On a side note, I really liked that Chloe and Marvyn took their service a step further when Ben scalded his tongue on his coffee by offering us sparkling water from their private stash. After that, they also offered Cheeyi a small sample of his coffee in a shot glass while he waited for his it to cool. It was a really thoughtful touch that’s rare in local service.
Also FYI, that great little butane burner is made by a brand called Hotery. Theirs was bought from Jakarta.
The Steeping Room is a project by Papa Palheta, it was open for three months from May to July 2011.