While the modern cafe might seem like it exists for Instagram content, coffee houses like Bacha Coffee once served a much more noble purpose. Besides being a place where people could get, well, coffee and all manner of refreshments, cafes were places where culture flourished.
Writers, philosophers, actors and even politicians would gather at these places to discuss all manners of things, fuelled by caffeine and sometimes alcohol. Places like Cafe de Flore in Paris built their reputation on such clientele. In culture-rich Marrakech, Morocco, there’s the coffee room of Dar el Bacha (“house of the pasha”) palace – a cafe that has hosted names like Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill.
Sixty years after its closure, the cafe has been revived as a luxury brand: Bacha Coffee. Its first international outlet is opening, surprisingly enough, in Singapore.
It would be remiss of us to not mention that the place reminds us of TWG – Bacha Coffee offers about 200 varieties of Arabica beans, divided among single-origin, blended, and flavoured beans.
While the provenance of the coffee is a big part of the experience, Bacha is a far cry from the sometimes-frustrating finickiness, and minimally-decorated glut, of third-wave coffee places.
The decor comes close to the main outlet in Morocco, with a confidently maximalist mix of Arabesque tiles, gold accents and luxurious porcelain tableware.
All coffees are brewed pour-over, and served with vanilla-flecked chantilly cream, steamed milk, and cracked vanilla beans on the side.
Even the food’s on theme, with Moroccan pastilla – thin pastry encasing delicately-spiced minced chicken, topped with powdered sugar and almonds – being one of the highlights.
That said, one doesn’t just ignore the unstoppable force of market demand. On Bacha Coffee’s menu you’ll also find creamy, truffle-studded scrambled eggs served with crunchy brioche soldiers drenched in butter; as well as croissants and various viennoiserie baked in-house.
#01-15/16 Ion Orchard. Tel: 6363-1910