The Brewvolution Begins: ELLA the Robot Barista hits Changi Airport with Exclusive Pandan Tea Latte!

Say her name. ELLA. She’s a one-woman show. She’s a robot barista designed to give you a perfect cup of artisanal, high-quality coffee 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Say her name. ELLA. She’s Singapore’s first fully autonomous AI-powered barista, created by Crown Digital. She has debuted in three new locations at Singapore Changi Airport. Say her name. ELLA. She’s bringing you a taste of Singapore with the Changi Airport exclusive drink, the Pandan Tea Latte. And she does all this unmanned. She’s a woman that needs no one. Say her name. ELLA.

ELLA Coffee Launch - Crown Coffee
The initial launch version of ELLA, when she took residence at Plaza Singapura. Look how far she’s come!

We first covered ELLA’s launch back in 2020, and today we see this genius robot barista making her much-needed appearance in Changi Airport’s Departure Transit Halls of Terminal 2 and 3 – the one place in Singapore that’s always bustling night and day and is filled with people in need of a caffeine pick-me-up. Talk about perfect placement! From coffee to non-coffee alternatives, there’s something for everyone with ELLA, and that too, starting from just S$4! 

Launched in July, there are three ELLAs already operational in Changi Airport. ELLA brings her patrons an exclusive drink they can only find within the glass walls of Terminals 2 and 3 – the Pandan Tea Latte. I tried it, and you can call me a fan: Nay, a stan.

I might be planning my next trip just for one more sip of the heavenly Pandan Tea Latte again. I absolutely loved it. But I know what you’re thinking – this sounds like diabetes in a cup. 

ELLA at Changi Airport: Pandan Tea Latte
Absolutely life-changing. My taste buds will never be the same ever again.

Surprise, surprise. I actually didn’t find it too sweet at all. In fact, it was the perfect sweetness to still allow the taste of the pandan to come through without tasting artificial but without making you cringe. 

It’s certainly on the sweeter side to allow the pandan accents to come through, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth, maybe you can try a sip from someone else before making the purchase. (For reference, I take my bubble tea at 50% sugar and found the Pandan Tea Latte’s sweetness just right.)

But this was perfect as a tea drink! As you take that glorious sip, you’re greeted by the strong wave of the tea latte, as the taste of the pandan rides smoothly on the tea notes, making it a subtle but excellent accompaniment to the tea. As you swallow that sip, you’re left with the smooth aftertaste of the pandan, with a hint of tea lingering in your mouth, begging for more. 

When Changi Airport told Crown Digital that they wanted a local drink to give tourists a taste of Singapore and Singaporeans a warm welcome home, they thought of a pandan-flavoured beverage. Thus, the Pandan Tea Latte was born. All of us tea lovers will definitely love this drink, but even if you aren’t, this innovative and thoughtfully-crafted ode to our homeland cannot be missed. And at just S$6? It really can’t be missed.

ELLA at Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 3
Travellers are trying out ELLA for the first time with the help of the on-site crew!

The fact that this delicious drink was made to perfection by a robot astounds me. This one-woman show takes your order and processes payment, makes your coffee, and serves it to you (in record time, too, might I add), successfully and speedily doing the job of at least 2 people. 

And while that might sound unimpressive to us, who are numb to the greatness of technology living in a smart nation that continuously outdoes itself, let me spell out precisely what ELLA does from the moment you order. Prepare to have your minds blown.

Once ELLA receives your order and your cashless payment, she begins making your coffee – premium Buscaglione bean coffee with fresh, barista-quality milk, that is. She starts to ground the coffee fresh, then extracts the espresso from the coffee beans. She then froths the milk while maintaining an ideal temperature of 68 degrees Celsius, which a human barista would have to use their hand to check. Thus, ELLA eradicates the possibility of human error. She also ensures that the perfect quantities are used to prevent any waste.

ELLA at Changi Airport Terminals 2 and 3
Order up!

Once your coffee is ready, ELLA serves it to you, and it’s ready for collection. When using the mobile app to order, you get a text message letting you know your order is ready. And you won’t believe how long I waited.

Barely three minutes. 

A delicious, soothing beverage in less than three minutes? After having done everything I just described? The future really is here! And, of course, having a robot barista means that consistency is ensured, the same consistency that man cannot replicate. Can a human barista serve the same quality of coffee at 3pm and 3am? Nope!

But to bring ELLA to where she is today and what she can do wasn’t just a single voila moment. ELLA has been a work of progress for years. 

Many changes were made to her programming and software to make her as precise and consistent as she is today. This fifth generation of ELLA has seen many improvements – from increased coffee grounds capacity from 80 to now a whopping 500 cups and an upgraded user interface with multiple languages for the ease of international travellers (English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) to an increased number of payment modes.

ELLA at Changi Airport
Order through this touch-screen, make payment, and await the magic of ELLA!

We also heard from Keith Tan, CEO and Founder of Crown Digital, about why this revolutionary product was named ELLA, and you’re going to go nuts. 

Keith wanted something simple yet memorable, a two-syllable name that would be on everyone’s lips, no matter the language, no matter the country. He then heard some kids running around, singing Umbrella by Rihanna, singing ‘ella, ella, eh, eh eh’. Boom. ELLA. Of course, our girl RiRi is the inspiration behind the name! A queen giving rise to a new queen – ELLA. How poetic.

So say her name. After everything you’ve heard that she can do, say her name. ELLA. Applaud her. Celebrate her. She’s changing the world, changing lives and making history. She’s Singapore’s first fully autonomous AI-powered barista. 

Say her name. 


ELLA – The Robotic Barista

Location: Departure Transit Halls of Terminal 2 and 3, Singapore Changi Airport
Price: S$4 – S$7

Other locations where you can find ELLA include Raffles Place MRT XChange (Bytes Station), Changi Business Park and Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital. Do note that the Pandan Tea Latte is only available within Changi Airport.

For more information on ELLA, check out ELLA’s official website or Instagram and Facebook pages. Download the ELLA app on the App Store or Google Play for a more convenient ordering experience and for rewards and goodies you can’t miss!

Visuals courtesy of Crown Digital.

Baani Kaur

Aspiring to achieve great heights like every human in the world, but till then, enjoy the most dramatic and sarcastic person you will ever read from.

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