Costa Coffee, 16 Collyer Quay

I’ve been wanting to try this for a week or so already, so when the opportunity cropped up, I finally had my chance.

Costa Coffee’s the UK version of Starbucks. Except that it has slightly more credibility than Starbucks or Coffee Bean because of the sole fact that it was founded by Italian brothers, Sergio and Bruno Costa, who started as a supplier of roasted coffee beans to cafes and Italian coffee shops. Therefore, it is likely to be better received among hardcore cafe goers (compared to Starbucks) who appreciate all the theatricality baristas perform with their milk and coffee beans. In fact, Costa has actually overtaken Starbucks in the UK, which is a testament to the coffee that Costa produces. Since I had to run an errand in the Raffles Place area, I thought I should come down to Costa’s first outlet in Southeast Asia to sample a cuppa.

The service is the first thing that stood out for me. I’m not sure if it’s a Costa thing but aside from ordering at the counter, the service was very much in tune with a full service restaurant. Despite the hive of activity (this is after all, Southeast Asia’s first Costa Coffee), I was consistently asked if my coffee and muffin were alright. I was also asked if I wanted more coffee, or a cup of water, which I thought, was a really, really nice touch especially in a country like Singapore, where any “beyond the book” service is surprising itself. For those who’re curious, the staff were local, something which has become very apparent as of late, particularly with new places, with the tightening of entry for foreigners seeking work in Singapore. My latte was not bad, well, it tasted more like a coffee than say, Starbucks (I visit Starbucks these days for their iced green tea latte, iced shaken lemon tea or their flavored drinks instead of coffee actually), but the biggest surprise was the chocolate muffin. I’ve to say, it’s hand down, the cheapest and best I’ve had in Singapore so far – moist, warmed up (without even being requested), with a chocolatey fudge centre – I was in love, and with an upcoming second outlet at Raffles City, I’ll be back for more muffins.

Unlike other bloggers, I’m not going to choose between Starbucks and Costa simply because each cafe has something I like. That’s the great thing about living in a world city like Singapore – you don’t have to choose one over the other, you can have both.

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