About Toast Box
The first Toast Box I remember seeing was the one located in the basement of Wisma Atria. At that time I thought it was just another cafe trying to sell traditional kopi in Orchard Road. Many years later they’re still there, and today they have 65 outlets all across Singapore.
So what differentiates Toast Box from all the other kopi cafes around? And how did they clinch the Top Brand award in Influential Brands Asian Café Category? Other than the fact that they are usually found next to a BreadTalk outlet, we take a closer look at 10 other interesting facts about Toast Box.
1. They’re like the baristas of Nanyang kopi
If you think the ‘barista’ at Toast Box is just another worker on shift, you’re wrong. They go through months of training and are able to churn out at least 450 cups of 230ml kopi in an hour! Also, the ‘baristas’ can perform different tricks with their coffee paraphernalia.
2. Their Nanyang kopi is unlike any other
It is made from a proprietary blend of 3 types of coffee beans - Robusta, Arabica, and Liberica. First in the industry to adopt this method, the beans are grounded as they’re being brewed and to bring out its freshness and aroma. All the way till the very last sip. This method also ensures the consistency, and the consistently tasty kopi.
In order to allow customers to savour Nanyang Kopi in the comfort of their office or home, Toast Box has specially created the new 2-in-1 Kopi-O. These coffee sachets were developed over months to ensure its quality and texture. The ratio of coffee powder to sugar is also optimized for a concentrated taste.
3. Beans undergo both traditional and modern roasting
Coffee beans used here undergo 2 types of roasting methods - Dry Roast and Torrefacto Roast.
Modern Roasting Method: Dry roasting operates at a temperature of up to 260 degrees celsius, for three to 30 minutes.
Traditional Roasting Method: Torrefacto Roast is an executed post-dry roast process. The roasted dry beans are transferred into caramelized sugar and further processed. Caramelize coated beans are then poured into a cooling tray and manually agitated to separate and cool.
4. Not an overpriced hipster cafe
We’d gladly shell out $2 for a cup of kopi-o peng if that means we get to drink our kopi in one of these quaint little shops. Air-con, professionally made kopi (see point 1), and pretty décor, it’s a wonder there are empty seats at Toast Box at all!
5. Each Toast Box outlet has its own unique display and décor theme
If you are a frequent customer at Toast Box, you may notice that each store is specially designed with a variety of exquisite display items.
I visited Toast Box @ BreadTalk IHQ and noticed 5 sections of display themes, namely, The Seamstress, Ballerina, Table Tennis Player, Sailor and Traveller. A Toast Box representative shared that the outlet’s display theme is inspired by “Good Old Memories - Treasures in a Box”, thus the showcase of keepsakes of different lifestyles, symbolising Toast Box as a place where people from different walks of life come together.
After ordering my favourite Traditional Toast Set, I sat by the windows and watched the morning go by before the office crowds started streaming in.
6. The mystery behind the butter
This huge cone of butter must remain of 45cm in height all the time. It might have caught your eye each time you walk past Toast Box. Or you’ve caught yourself staring at this thing while you stand in line and wait for your kopi.
Why do they make it so tall? Apparently it’s a “special” or proprietary butter which is constantly topped up whenever it dips below 45cm. It also doesn’t melt, not in front of you anyway.
7. Each thick toast is 2.5 cm thickness and 2.5 cm only
It’s amazing how every single toast remains true to size! It is also weird how they’re unconventionally thicker than what we’re used to in kopitiams. According to our sources, a 2.5cm thickness is the best proportion served for you to enjoy the toast. It’s also crucial that the toast is crisp on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside.
8. Toast Box Sells Corned Beef
They’re really going all out to bring you premium food at friendly prices. The outlet at CHIJMES even sells Corned Beef Multigrain Thick Toast Set ($6.40) and Signature Minced Pork Ramen Set ($7.80)! If you miss local flavours, they also have a House Special Curry Chicken Rice Set ($7.80).
I also heard they’ve introduced Liu Sha Egg Tarts (only available at their Shaw House and CHIJMES outlets). Seriously, if they continue to spoil us like this I’m demanding every Toast Box in town to come up with a special menu.
9. There is no thick bee hoon for Toast Box Laksa
Don’t you find it to be a challenge to juggle the thick rice noodles slipping through your chopsticks, especially when you’re all dressed up? The thoughtful chefs from Toast Box came up with the solution of using Mee Tai Bak to prevent the Laksa gravy from splashing and staining your clothes. Now, you can tuck in these sumptuous bowls of local delights in your light coloured clothings without worries.
And if you’ve wondered why the Laksa from Toast box is more than just slightly addictive, it may be because of the chilli. The Sambal Chilli you find floating on your thick gravy is made from more than 15 specially selected ingredients made from scratch. This is one bowl of goodness; full of effort by the chefs!
10. They hold coffee appreciation sessions
Perhaps Toast Box’s best kept secret - I certainly didn’t know that Toast Box held coffee appreciation sessions! This is held once a year or every six months, depending on requests and trainer’s schedule.
You can go to read about one blogger’s recounting of a coffee appreciation session.
About Toast Box
From the type of coffee you drink, to creating the perfect ambience for you to lim kopi, Toast Box got you covered. Even the Toast Box logo is deliberately designed to look like the rounded corners of a toast. Perhaps it’s in their zealous efforts in perfecting every intricate detail that allowed them to emerge as a Top Brand in the Asian Café Category.
About Influential Brands
Influential Brands is a consumer insight driven awards programme which provides a platform for brands to celebrate their achievement; for consumers, businesses and stakeholders to recognise the brands’ efforts in arriving where they are today. The study conducted by Influential Brands is purely consumer driven and the Top Brands are selected by consumers through their perception and preference, demonstrating the level of impact and influence of the brands in each consumer’s life.
Influential Brands seeks to identify consumer preferences, their behaviours, values and to understand how the ever-changing environment affects consumer experience in the purchase journey. The programme is tailored to enrich the brands’ relationship with their consumers through ongoing meaningful conversations and engagement.
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Read More Influential Brand Stories by TSL
This post is part of Influential Brands 2014, where we highlight the most influential brands in Singapore.