No Instant Please

I did something embarrassing at the store today. I asked for Nescafe instant coffee.

The young chap who was putting coffee packs on the shelf, suggested in a nice way that I may be better off looking for ready-made cuppa in a cafe.

Forget it. Instant coffee and definitely 3-in-1 coffee do not exist here.

Seattle is the home of Starbucks and famous for its coffee culture. Why would anyone want to have instant when you can have freshly brewed coffee that’s the best in the world?

Incidentally the young chap wasn’t the store assistant or delivery guy. He’s Jesse Nelson owner of Conduit Coffee, a new coffee company specializing in single-origin coffee from around the world and evolving blends.

In the next ten minutes, he gave me the beginner’s guide to gourmet coffee, explained how he got started with the business and taught me how to brew coffee the proper way.


Then he’s got to go for another delivery. Off on his bike. An entrepreneur riding the streets, filling the stores with big aromatic dreams and making a difference to everyone he meets.

Isn’t that how Starbucks started?

Two days ago, TODAY published an article “Can Singapore be a Seattle?”

The title implies an aspiration rather than a rhetoric. While we can compare and analyse, or analyse and compare a thousand times, I don’t think Singapore will be a Seattle or anywhere else. Every country and every city has its own quirkiness, its special gems and distinctive cultures. Let’s just be ourselves and be good at it.

In case you are wondering, I did buy a packet of Conduit Coffee and though it took longer to brew than to stir, the coffee was definitely more satisfying.

So while in Seattle, I’ll do what Seattleites do. No instant coffee, please.



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