Top image: Choo Yut Shing / Flickr
Today, we gather not in sorrow, but in general distaste, to bid farewell to a certain neon-yellow coffee franchise. A certain chain of stores that always made you wonder: “Who the hell is drinking this?”.
It hasn’t been long, but its untimely demise after a valiant, albeit futile, struggle against its non-existent peak-hour queues and plummeting coffee quality will always be remembered.
Oh, Flash Coffee. How do we put into words just how mid your coffee was?
In the early stages, it seemed like we were all in denial, convincing ourselves that the next sip might be a revelation. At every turn, your glaring yellow storefront awaited us. You were like the coffee equivalent of elevator music: unashamedly subpar yet inescapably omnipresent.
Still, we can’t help but marvel at the remarkable feat of crafting coffee that could compete with the flavour profile of soggy cardboard. It was a true enigma, especially for a franchise that (somehow) managed to span 11 stores across the island.
In all fairness, you always had a knack for defying expectations. We never thought it was possible to concoct a beverage that made us feel like a masochist for every willing sip, but well, here we are!
Regardless, we remained willing participants in your grand caffeine-fuelled experiment. Admittedly, we were drawn in by your onslaught of irresistible deals and your army of social media influencers who bravely (or perhaps even audaciously) tried to convince us that your brews were the affordable elixirs of the gods.
You said you had to leave Singapore to “consolidate” your efforts and “double down” on more promising markets. Truth is, your coffee just wasn’t great.
As we bid goodbye, let us reflect upon the simpler times. Your Singapore-based TikTok account might have been scrubbed, but we’ll fondly remember your thirst trap era. You found a schtick that worked—featuring attractive employees in your videos—and you milked the froth out of it.
Alas, the times have changed. Circumstances have led to the shuttering of your stores in Singapore and the ire of your former employees.
Making a lacklustre cup of joe is one thing; not looking out for your workers is the bigger offence. Yes, we know they’re technically not on strike since all your stalls are closed, but what about their unpaid wages and outstanding Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions? After all, you can’t exactly take that US$50 million you just raised to the grave. And one day’s notice that they’re about to lose their jobs hardly seems fair.
If you’re worried that we’ll miss you, fear not—you’re survived by other similar concepts. Sorry, tech-enabled coffee chains like Luckin Coffee and Fore Coffee. Let’s hope they learn from your mistakes and focus on their coffee quality first instead of tech.
Rest in beans, Flash Coffee. May your bitter coffee legacy live on in your 200 other outlets abroad. Just pay your workers what they’re owed first before you’re gone for good.