Look closely, or you might just miss it… Of all the cafes in the CBD area, Maxi Coffee Bar is perhaps the tiniest of them all. Named after the owner’s pet dog, Maxi, the cafe is situated in Emerald Garden along the conserved shophouses of Telok Ayer.
What Maxi lacks in size, it makes up for in coffee. Maxi doesn’t roast their own beans, and they’re always using different beans from various roasters — both local and abroad.
Apart from the usual coffee drinks, Maxi also offers some signature drinks that you won’t find elsewhere. The Coconut Cold Brew is the perfect summertime drink (which, let’s be honest, is pretty much all year round). Cold brew made with coconut water, topped off with a slice of lime, is a refreshing treat you never knew you needed.
For those needing their daily caffeine hit, give the Iced Cereal Milk Latte a shot. It’s made with milk that had cereal steeped in it, giving it a sweet malty taste you won’t get from regular milk. If you usually take your coffee with sugar, this sweet treat is a great alternative too.
Walking into Maxi, you’ll be greeted by its industrial-style blue walls, retro mosaic floor tiles and of course, the baristas themselves. While the tiny space might be a constraint to others, Maxi embraced their limitation and turned it into a unique experience. Separated only by a small countertop table, interaction with the baristas feel natural and easy.
Littered all over the walls are painted markings and tongue-in-cheek symbols. And don’t forget to look up! That’s where you’ll spot Maxi’s iconic neon “Out of Office” sign.
As one would expect, Maxi’s seating situation is not the best. There are no more than 8 seats in the cafe and that would already be quite a squeeze. During the off-peak hours, Maxi is a peaceful, cozy getaway in the middle of the CBD. But when the peak hour hits, with everyone standing around waiting for their takeaway coffees, a big crowd in a small space is less than ideal. Maxi is great for a pick me up coffee, but it’s not at the top of my list for working spaces.
At $5 for a white and $7.50 for the iced cereal milk latte, Maxi’s prices are pretty reasonable and affordable. They also offer various toasts and pastries, priced from $4 - $10. To top it off, there is no GST or service charge!
What’s coffee without a little something to chew on? Thankfully Maxi does have a toast bar, with options like the standard Avo Feta Smash, Miso PB Honey and the slightly more adventurous Vegemite Cheese.
Maxi also supports local up and coming home bakers/chefs in their inaugural Saturday Remix-es. Previous remix-es include oozy cookies from Ng Li Tying, irresistible pastries from Eat by Nico, and locally made chocolates from Fossa Chocolate.
Maxi Coffee Bar might be the smallest coffee shop you’ve ever seen, but its huge personality definitely draws crowds. It shows that size doesn’t matter; with a little imagination, a great experience can be curated anywhere. The next time you’re looking for a place with good coffee and great conversations in the CBD, Maxi’s the (tiny) place to be.
31 Club St
#01-02 Emerald Garden
Mon – Fri: 8am – 5pm
Sat: 9:30am – 6pm