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Common Man and the SG Pow-Wow

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One of Common Man’s core goals is to actively foster the development of a community around the specialty coffee industry, cultivating a culture of sharing and learning together in the interest of progressing specialty coffee in the Singaporean market.

To that end that Xin Loke (our super star roaster/account manager), teamed up with Bronwen Serna (director of coffee and education for The New Black), for the first ever ‘SG Pow-Wow.’ The Pow-Wow was an opportunity for those involved in Singapore’s specialty coffee industry to get together for a conversation around a specific theme.

As an extension of the recent master class on Coffee Chemistry conducted by Joseph Rivera, former director of Science and Technology at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), the inaugural ‘SG Pow-Wow’ explored the intricate chemical elements at play during the coffee brewing process. CMCR’s Nijo Neo and Michael Tan presented detailed thoughts on the topic followed by a practical demonstration conducted by the former US barista champ herself, Bronwen Serna.

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Neo and Tan gave a detailed explanation of the chemical characteristics of the five accepted tastes: sweetness, acidity, saltiness, bitterness and umami. Participants were then able to assess a number of different coffee samples which highlighted compounds that exhibit certain flavours after the presentation. We also explored the effect of temperature on our ability to perceive those flavours.

During the practical demonstration, Bronwen served up a number of manual and espresso brews which further explored the effect of temperature, at both the brewing and serving stage, on the result in the cup. This prompted some lively discussion and healthy debate from the audience.

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In addition to playing host to Singapore’s first specialty coffee Pow-Wow, CMCR also had the pleasure of running our first Curated Cupping in Kuala Lumpur this month on the subject of the ‘Roast Development Spectrum’. Fahrenheit600 in Publika played host for the evening, graciously welcoming a crowd of around 30 coffee professionals and enthusiasts who were all keen to learn from our head roaster, Jinyu Wang, about our roasting philosophy and the measures we take to maintain quality and consistency. The cupping table consisted of our amazing single origin, YirgZero, which was roasted in seven different profiles, ensuring that any perceivable differences in the samples were as a result of differences in roast, not the coffee itself. This really added practical value to the presentation.

The future of the specialty coffee industry in this part of the world is dynamic and exciting – and it’s through our focus on engagement and education that Common Man Coffee Roasters hopes to progress the industry further. We’re proud to be part of it!