Tagged "Curated Cupping"


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.

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An Origin Close Up: Primaveral, Colombia

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

We've just had a pretty exciting shipment of Colombian green which we will be bringing to you as a special filter taster box, more to come on this shortly but in the meantime have a read of this story from our partners' over at Five Senses Australia on their experience of working with Colombian giants, the Primaveral Association and the rigorous tests a bean must go through before getting to your cup.

'I won’t lie – buying coffee can be fairly complicated. Sometimes I am simply astounded that the whole supply chain works and that we receive the level of quality we enjoy in Australia. Last November, I left Colombia ecstatic about the potential of our new relationship with the Primaveral Association. Up until recently everything had gone peachy. We received two shipments of the Acevedo group’s coffee and the feedback was extremely positive. Then came time for the Mitaca, the fly crop, and reports of extremely wet weather left us wondering when coffee would arrive and whether it would be of high quality.

Crazily, it has rained non-stop for nearly two months in this part of Colombia. Over the last month, one farmer told me that the Acevedo area had had only three dry days. You can imagine what this type of weather does to coffee production. For one thing, the trees do not follow their normal producing patterns when the climate is wet like this. Trees that do have cherries on them are all but green. Without the sun, the fruit cannot ripen. So while in some sense it is encouraging to see trees producing the beginnings of fruit, it is also worrying because the longer they stay on the tree, the more they are exposed to danger, particularly in the form of broca and frost.

Common Man Coffee Roasters Colombia Origin Trip Primaveral buy online store

Secondly, the farms which have been able to harvest a small amount of coffee are struggling to dry it properly. Colombian fincas are not like those found in Costa Rica or Brazil. There are no large scale electric dryers. Every farmer dries their parchment on patios or beds and hopes that the weather will be conducive to proper drying. Thus far, it simply has not been the case.

Understanding all this, you can bet I was a bit worried about heading to the cupping lab.

It was just as I remembered it: clean, sweet and full bodied with a solid acidity. After giving due credit to the farmers who persevered through some really difficult circumstances, all credit must also go to our friends and partners on the ground, Fairfield Trading.

The Primaveral Association is a group of 50 farms. However, not all their coffee is sold under the Primaveral name. That name is strictly assigned to the best of the coffee; coffee that goes through a stringent testing process. In fact, if I am honest, I learned a lot about the Colombian notions of preparing coffee for export. As such, I’d like to share how rigorously the coffee is tested before it can lay claim the coveted Primaveral name – and the financial incentives that come with it.

First, it must check out as having a 10.5% – 11% moisture content. However, because of the weather conditions, this is actually proving to be rather difficult. In fact, in response, Fairfield has actually lowered the range by .5% from last year to ensure that after transportation, it remains at the proper level. The second test (and this was my biggest learning curve) is what they call the ‘yield factor’. I will spend a bit of time here as I thought this was pretty interesting.

Broadly, yield factors refer to the amount of parchment it takes to achieve 70 kilos of exportable green coffee; essentially, the lower the number, the better the coffee in parchment. The FNC(Colombian National Federation of Coffee) assigns a price and quality status to parchment that achieves a 92.8 rating. So Fairfield uses this particular number as the starting point for the parchment, but they also offer a financial incentive for any parchment that tests better.

Fairfield arrives at this incentivized number like this: As the coffee is received, a member of the team takes a portion of parchment from every parchment-filled bag until they have a 250g sample. They then mill the coffee and remove all the beans which are under a screen size of 14. Then they pick out all the beans with defects (i.e. broca, black beans, chipped beans etc.) and tally the total weight left. They divide this number by 250 and get a percentage or “rating”. If the coffee does not achieve a 92.8 rating the coffee is rejected and the farmer must sell at a local mill and at the listed FNC price for the day. When a coffee does achieve a 92.8 rating, the sample passes the yield factor test and the farmer is theoretically in the running to receive the 170,000 peso premium. If, the farmer’s coffee achieves a yield factor of below 92.8, then another calculation is inputted. They take the FNC price, add the 170,000 premium and multiply it by 92.8. They divide that number by whatever yield factor was achieved and, presto, the final price is theoretically achieved.

Now, I say ‘theoretically’ because there is still one test to pass and it is the most important – how does it taste in the cup? Fairfield has three cuppers in the lab and to accept a delivery of coffee the cup score must average an 86 or above.

This may sound harsh, but this is the real work of preparing specialty coffee. At the consumer level, we too face intense competition. It wouldn’t matter how sweet our smiles and how great our service, if our coffee did not live up to its specialty label. This is the hard truth that we all play by in this industry and, just as the farmers must go through rigorous tests to achieve exportation at a specialty level, we too are tried and tested by our customers.

Our Mitaca shipment will most definitely be delayed and realistically, will probably just slot into the start of the main harvest. However, that disappointment is somewhat lessened by the encouraging fact that the foundation is in place to prepare quality coffee, even in the toughest of uncontrollable circumstances.'

You can try the latest batch of Primaveral yourself by buying a bag from our online store here, enjoy!

This article first appeared on the Five Senses Australia website.

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Ice, Ice Baby: Exploring Cold Coffee

Posted by Matthew Patrick McLauchlan on

CC Cold Coffee

Summer is coming and it’s time to step up your cold coffee game! Cold coffee can be refreshing and fun but we also want to make sure it can champion unique origin characteristics, a necessity for specialty coffee.

In the next edition of our Curated Cupping, we explore the concepts and science behind the various methods and recipes for preparing cold coffee drinks — everything from chilled espresso to cold brew, cold drip and beyond.

This is a free public cupping where everyone is welcome. Join us to level up on cold coffee!


Curated Cupping

Ice, Ice Baby: Exploring Cold Coffee

When
6:30pm, Thursday 29 October

Where
Common Man Coffee
22 Martin Road, #01-00
Singapore 239058

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Nordic Coffee: Stand, Cup & Conquer

Posted by Matthew Patrick McLauchlan on

NordicVikings, Abba and Ikea — the northern kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden strike fear into the hearts of thousands.

For the coffee world though, they’ve often been mystical lands where filter coffee reigned supreme and people drank litres of specialty coffee daily. We’ve reached out to our friends roasting up a storm across the oceans, to curate an exciting cupping showcasing a tasty snapshot of the Nordic scene — join us to learn more about this influential coffee culture!


Curated Cupping

Nordic Coffee: Stand, Cup & Conquer

When
6:30pm, Wednesday 30 September

Where
Common Man Coffee
22 Martin Road, #01-00
Singapore 239058

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