Tagged "CMCR"

A Day in the Life of... a CMCR Academy Trainer

Posted by Keith Yee on

Keith Yee, CMCR Academy Trainer 



“Keith, are you keen on becoming a barista trainer?”

This was the question proposed to me by Matt (our GM) one and half years ago, my answer? For sure! what a great opportunity to work in such interesting position so I took up the offer and here I am today.

Some people might wonder what the job scope of a barista trainer is and what we do when there is no training, so this is an account of a typical day as a barista trainer at Common Man Coffee Roasters.

8am: I start my day just like everyone else, with a cup of coffee. I sit down and check my schedule for who I am going to train today so I can prepare mentally prepare myself for both the students and the content that I need to deliver. Today I have a public fundamental barista skills class and then on-site training for one of our wholesale clients in the afternoon.

day in the life common man coffee roasters

Once I'm done, I take some time to check my emails for training enquiries from wholesale clients and public students and make the necessary arrangements to book them in. This can be really tricky as I have to prevent class clashes with the different clients, difficult when we have over 70 wholesale clients to manage not to mention public students too! 

9am: Class begins! This is a Fundamental Barista class, it's going to last for three hours finishing around 12pm. What I love the most about my job is that I get to meet people from different industries and even countries but everyone come here only for one purpose, a passion for COFFEE!

day in the life common man coffee roasters

12pm After the session ends, I head up to Grounded for our weekly sales meeting with the team.

day in the life common man coffee roasters

Then it's time for lunch which I normally spend hanging out with the Grounded baristas and enjoying the CMCR staff meal!

2pm It’s time to head out of my usual training ground for some on-site training with one of our wholesale clients, Atlas Coffee Embassy. On-site training can be very challenging because the cafe's equipment can be differ from place to place so I have to be adaptable to different machines and spaces. On top of this we sometimes, like today, I have to deal with live orders coming in as we conduct the training. Today we are mainly about the calibration and the workflow of the bar which helps when you have live orders to work with. It's a great feeling when everyone seems satisfy after a session!

day in the life common man coffee roasters

Being a barista trainer in Common Man Coffee Roasters is really fun and full of challenges; it's not as easy as many people think and it can be tiring talking to so many people and drinking so much coffee (!) but still I really enjoy it nearly two years after that question kicked the whole thing off!

Read more →

A Comp with Seoul...

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

Last month a few of the CMCR team packed their suitcases, jumped on the first flight to Seoul and headed over to the Café Show 2017 to find out what’s brewing in the Specialty Coffee world, as well as cheer on our national coffee heroes in the World AeroPress and World Barista Champs. Here’s a little run down of their top five and some words from both the Singapore and Malaysia AeroPress National Champs, on their experiences of competition on the national stage.

Number 5 – Coffee & Café Culture in Seoul/South Korea

The coffee culture, expectations and drinking habits in Seoul, and if we can be so bold, South Korea in general are quite different from Singapore, and perhaps from the rest of the world. Whilst corporate giants may have received a warm welcome, it’s the design-forward specialty coffee roasters that are really making the noise here.

Of all the cafes we visited on this trip our favourites followed the roastery, bakery, bar and retail space model – bringing a unique yet homely vibe to our drinking experience. Our faves where – Fritz, Mr Holms, Momos Café, Coffee Loves Him, Centre Coffee and Onions.We may also have eaten our body weigh in pastries…every day, been hitting the treadmill pretty hard since we got back to make up for this trip!

 Number 4 – Korean Food

Ok so not strictly coffee related but we couldn’t talk about our trip without mentioning the food!! Street food is a big part of Korean life – how sad would life be without an Eomuk Fish Cake stick? Or a steaming pot of topoki? And no trip to Korea would be complete without a plate of Korean Fried Chicken washed down with HITE. We could go on but it would make you too hungry…



Number 3 – New Gear & Beans

There was a great turn out to this year’s expo, with many local and international brands putting on such a good show with exciting booths and the launch of new products.

***Coffee geek moment alert*** we got to touch the Nuova Simonelli Mythos 2, La Marzocco LEVA machine (those levers!), the BKON Craft brewer and what really got us going, the Giesen W140A Roaster. This bad boy is able to roast 140kgs per batch – what a whopper! It was also a great to see Specialty Coffee in action with so many producers and farmers from different regions here to promote their green beans.










One of our particular favourites was the Panama booth where we met one of the Lamastus Family who produced our delicious El Burro and Luito Geisha beans. Get some before it’s all gone, we’re nearly down to the last bag. 

Number 2 – World Barista Champs

One of the main highlights of the expo was the World Barista Championships. Over 60 National Barista champs from around the world battled it out, pouring their way to the coveted title. After a nail biting competition, Dale Harris of Hasbean Coffee, UK was crowned king.

It was a great atmosphere and the guys from Ediya Coffee put on a great show, as did the MCs who made the event thrilling and full of excitement. It wasn’t Singapore’s year unfortunately, but there is always next! 

Number 1 – World AeroPress Champs

Two words…FREE BEER! But really, it was amazing to see the nations come together over coffee – as cliché as that sounds! It was a tight battle, with our local talents Hui Zhen Tan (Malaysian Champ) and Jerald Teng (Singapore Champ) putting up a good fight, but ultimately it was the Brits’ night with a wildcard entry for Paulina Miczka who pressed her way to gold. Loved the jumper Paulina!

And, that’s our wrap-up. We brought back many memories, widened stomachs and suitcases stuffed full amazing coffee which we’ll be drinking for weeks – Seoul you did a great job!

We’ll leave the last words to the two AreoPress Champs we took on the road with us, as they tell us what their biggest learning was from the whole experience:

Hui Zhen Tan: If there's one thing to take away from the experience, it is definitely that success does not come without hard work. I wished that I had practiced more before the competition! However, I can say with confidence that this competition is one of the best things that's ever happened in 2017. I’m a relatively inexperienced barista but I was encouraged to take the leap of faith and take part in the Nationals for Malaysia; it has made me realise that you should believe in yourself and don't be afraid to do things out of your comfort zone :D  

Jerald Teng: The biggest learning I’ve taken away from this experience is to see how I’ve grown as a coffee maker, it’s a real eye opening for me.

Read more →

Eat Chocolate, Drink Coffee - Hello Chocolate and CMCR

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

The similarities between these coffee and chocolate are quite astounding from bean to bar, fruit to cup it really is an amazing adventure to follow. It's firstly important to understand the global shift in the way that we consume products which has greatly influenced both industries. This shift has seen more and more people demanding transparency in production processes and encouraging an emphasis on artisanal or handcrafted products.

common man coffee roasters online store specialty coffee and chocolate event

This is something we have seen in coffee with the so called 'third wave' coffee movement hitting Singapore a few years ago now and we are starting to see this trend spread throughout the Southeast Asian area. However, it is not just coffee that this movement has effected, from beer to packing boxes to specialty eggs (yes really, UK online shopping site Ocado has a whole aisle dedicated to them!) the trend is here, and looks likely to stay.

This focus on quality and traceability has been at the core of CMCR's business since the beginning as we strive to bring you an a-grade product every time. Our ethos is know the farmer, the exporter, the roaster and the brewer and support each step to your cup. We want to live up to what specialty means - a person or place known for making something very well.

common man coffee roasters online store specialty coffee and chocolate event

With this premise, we hooked up with the good people at Hello Chocolate to pair together some of their delicious chocolate with our coffee. Their entire range is specially curated to bring together a range of craft chocolates which showcase different textures and flavours. They also only carry products which pay attention to the source of ingredients and show a strong sense of social responsibility towards everyone involved in the production process - just our sort of people!

common man coffee roasters online store specialty coffee and chocolate night

Just a brief comparison between the two industries, both coffee and chocolate are produced by tropical trees grown between 30 degrees north or south of the equator. Although they are grown at different altitudes (cacao in lower, warm climates whilst coffee much higher, cooler conditions), both trees are harvested for their seeds which then are processed (fermented, washed or sun-dried in most cases) to produce the beans we then roast to create the final product.

Interestingly there are also two original varietals of coffee (robusta and arabica) and cacao trees (criollo and forastero) with further species which are hybrids of these being found throughout the production region.

The night was filled with espresso and filter fun as we encouraged the guests to let the chocolate slowly melt on their tongues before letting the coffee flow over it bringing out all those delicious ever evolving flavour combinations.

common man coffee roasters online store specialty coffee and chocolate event

The best part of the night was that all proceeds from ticket sales where donated to The Leukaemia and Lymphoma Foundation Singapore who provide financial and emotional support for people with blood cancers and their caregivers.

Watch out for more events like these at the CMCR cafe both in Singapore and KL, and remember if you would like to host a party or a coffee appreciation workshop get in touch with us here.

Read more →

IMDA: New Ways of Work Conference 2016

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

This week saw us collaborate with The Working Capitol at the New Ways of Work Conference held at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. The Conference looked at the how work is changing in the age of the Smart Nation, with technology, people and workplaces forming new relationships and Common Man was there to remind everyone that coffee is the fuel!

CMCR at Work: NWOW Conference 2016

The Working Capitol have been at the forefront of this movement in Singapore for some time now, inspiring collaboration in their beautiful co-working space at Keong Saik. At the event they gave us an insight of what it would be like to use their functional but design conscious space, challenging the traditional modus of work. They even had a taste of the added services they provide in their workspaces in the form of a wellness consultation from City Osteopathy & Physiotherapy and the Band of Doodlers documenting the day. You can even get great coffee (it's ours if you haven't guessed already) which they give out free to all their members - sign up now and get those creative juices flowing!CMCR: NWOW Conference 2016

We were there to support The Working Capitol and showcase our new programme CMCR at Work, which aims to un-complicate the world of specialty coffee and bring great tasting coffee to all workplaces. We can supply everything from beans, if you already have a machine, to a small scale equipment solutions. It’s easy and simple to use with no minimum orders or complicated ordering systems - you simply sign up for an account online and can start ordering great quality coffee straight away. By doing this you will unlock special corporate account prices only available to our valued customers.

CMCR Popayan, YirgZero

It really was a throughly enjoyable day and we had great fun sharing our love of coffee with the enthusiastic business builders of the future.

Read more →

Introducing the Expobar Minore IV

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

A dual boiler domestic machine designed for the astute barista. The Expobar is a dual boiler domestic machine designed for the astute barista wanting to experiment on the effects of brewing temperatures on your favourite coffee. The user friendly controls and dedicated brew boiler allows you to adjust the temperatures easily and fine tune your extractions to suit the roast level and flavor characteristics of your chosen beans.

Additional Information 

Each boiler is 1500ml in capacity with it’s own 2000watt element meaning it is the largest ‘boiler capacity to element wattage’ in its class, what does this mean, steam, steam, steam, and a quick heat up time. Both boilers are insulated to help reduce heat loss. Boiler construction is of copper and brass which has been proven for its reliability, strength and durability. One boiler is designated for steam, hot water and to pre-heat the water entering the brew boiler via a heat exchanger so as to keep the brew boiler temp stable. This is known as the steam boiler and it’s controlled by a pressure stat that can be adjusted up to 1.4 bar steam pressure for more steam velocity. The brew boiler is dedicated for maintaining the perfect temp of water for the extraction of coffee via the group head. It does this with its PID temp controller which can be set very easily to the desired extraction temp for the blend of coffee you are using. The PID controller minimises the temp swing by pulsing the brew boiler element to maintain the set temperature. The machine comes standard with a vibrating pump and is fitted with a pump pressure regulator which is adjustable externally to maximise your control over the extraction pressure. Two taps one for hot water to make tea and one for steam which has a double insulated (or cooltouch) steam arm. The body is made of 2mm thick stainless steel for strength and to assist temperature stability with it’s thermal mass. Large drip tray so you don’t have to empty it all the time. The water reservoir has a capacity of 2750mls. Steam pressure gauge and pump pressure gauge. Minore IV has a new main switch which fits more to the styling and era of the lever groups and has smaller feet to give it a lower profile.

Specifications & Features

Functionality Semi Automatic Control
Power Single Phase
Maximum Installed Power 10 amps
Boiler Size 1.5 + 1.5lt
Boiler Composition 99.9% Pure Copper
Automatic Boiler? Yes
Manual Boiler? No
Water Reservoir 2.750lts
Heating Element Power 2 x 2000 watts
Hot Water Outlets 1
Steam Outlets 1
Steam Pressure Gauge? Yes
Inbuilt Pump Type Vibration
Standard Compliance CE
Product Dimensions (mm) 260w x 440d x 400h
Product Weight 30kg
Shipping Dimensions (mm) 345w x 530d x 490h
Shipping Weight 34kg


Expobar Minore IV shop here

If you are interested in purchasing one of these beautiful machines please get in contact with our Wholesale team (wholesale@cmcroasters.com).

Read more →