Popular lifestyle Indonesian coffee chain, Maxx Coffee now at JEM, was started in 2015 by OUE Restaurants. It has since opened more than 80 outlets in 23 cities across Indonesia, with Singapore as its first foray into the international scene this year.
At Maxx Coffee, customers can choose their preferred roast; medium dark roast or dark roast, for espresso-based beverages. All beverages are available hot or iced in various sizes (small, medium, maxx), except for drinks under the signature freddo series where it is only available in one size.
Like any self-respecting third wave coffee chain, Maxx Coffee also offers customers an option for their preferred brewing method such as French press, cold brews, and pour-over styles of V60 or Chemex. Caffeine-free options such as blended juice smoothies and tea-based beverages are also available.
The signature latte freddo ($6.50), served in a cute brandy glass, is well balanced. Each freddo creation is topped with a layer of velvety smooth froth (yay, whipped cream!) that is made on the spot by vigorously shaking cold milk + cream in a cocktail shaker by the barista.
It is not too sweet and the milk did not overpower the taste of the coffee. I could make out the nutty notes of the coffee and also, hints of caramel. The coffee has a good body, a nod to Maxx Coffee’s house blend of Indonesian and South American arabica coffee beans.
Lining the glass rim with brown sugar not only makes the drink visually appealing, the brown sugar crystals also provide texture and sweeten the coffee. However, I find it rather difficult to drink as when the sugar starts to melt, it becomes messy and you get sticky fingers. Certainly not a drink to order when you’re out on a first date.
The signature klepon freddo ($6.50) is inspired by klepon or more commonly known here as ondeh-ondeh. For those who have a sweet tooth, this drink is for you. Personally I find the drink to be sweeter than the latte freddo and more fragrant due to the addition of pandan and gula melaka.
Riding on the cold brew trend, one can opt for cold brew black or cold brew latte ($4.90 for small) at the Jem outlet. Cold brews are basically grinded coffee beans steeped in room-temperature water overnight (or 24 hours for Maxx Coffee).
The end result: coffee that is lower in acidity, more flavourful and smoother as compared to coffee prepared using hot water. The cold brew black here is strong with a hint of acidity and a slight bitterness. I had trouble sleeping that night but it is worth it.
If you are feeling peckish, there is an assortment of cakes and pastries to choose from. For pastries, we had cruffins ($3.90 each) which are essentially croissant dough twirled to fit into a muffin mould so that it will rise upwards into the shape of a muffin, hence the name cruffin.
These babies will then be baked and dusted with sugar so that they form a light crust at the top. Fillings will be piped into the pastries after they have cooled down. The cruffins here come in 4 different flavours: srikaya, pandan gula melaka, bandung and oreo.
As it was rather late in the day, the cruffins probably did not hold up well so they were not as crunchy as I hoped for. However, beneath the (slightly) crunchy cap, lies a soft and fluffy interior.
I would assume the srikaya or coconut jam is made from coconut, pandan, eggs and gula melaka hence giving it a lovely golden hue. The srikaya filling is sweet and also has a thick consistency which complements well with the pastry.
An unusual filling, bandung, is reminiscent of the bandung (rose syrup + carnation milk) drink you get at the kopitiam – sweet, milky and floral.
If you are looking for something heavier, one can opt for their multigrain sandwiches, flatbreads or pies. The smoked salmon on multigrain with mesclun salad and cream cheese ($7.80) is a simple but satisfying sandwich with good portions of smoked salmon in between toasty multigrain bread slices.
All in all, Maxx Coffee is an inviting space for people to sit down and have a cuppa or a bite or two. I think this is a much welcomed alternative besides the ubiquitous Starbucks or Coffee Bean.
JEM #01-34/35, 50 Jurong Gateway Rd, Singapore 608549
Tel: +65 6908 6787
8am to 11pm daily
You may be interested in…
–Bread Yard, Galaxis One-North: Bakery Cafe with Dishes that Focus on Bread
–Noa Singapore, Stanley St: Coffee, Ferments, and Food Inspired by Southeast Asia
–Small Ville Bakery Cafe, AMK/YCK: Avoiding Crowds Led Us Here
–195 Pearl Hill Cafe, Chinatown: The Haunting (Good Food) of (Pearl) Hill (Terrace) House
Written by Vanessa Khong. Vanessa is someone who enjoys checking out the local food scene. She believes the way to her heart is through her stomach.