For A Common Cause: Taikkyi School Building Project

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

For a Common Cause 
We are excited to launch “For a Common Cause” this month, our way of giving back to local communities and regional causes. Every month a member of the CMCR team nominates both a coffee and a cause close to their heart, with $2 from every 250g bag of that coffee donated to the chosen cause.

April 2019

Chosen By: Colin Loh, Head Roaster 

The Cause: Fundraising for the Taikkyi School Building Project. 

Dr Leslie Tay is synonymous with starting one of Singapore's most popular food blogs, ieatishootipost and I've been an avid fan for some time. Besides blogging about the best local food to be found around Singapore or regionally, Leslie also devotes his time to humanitarian projects. He started with the Root and Wings project in Batam, which worked towards building proper housing for an orphanage there.

This time around, Dr Tay is working in partnership with World Vision, this time to build a school and facilities in Taikkyi, Myannmar. 

Located in the northern part of the Yangon region, Myanmar, is a village named Sar Hpyu Su in the Oke Pon tract of Taikkyi Township. There is currently 1 small school to service the town, the school is vulnerable to the elements, has very few amenities and poor hygiene, particularly in regards to drinking water.  

World Vision's aim is to refurbish and expand the school compound to accommodate over 90 students from Kindergarten to Grade 4 (ages 6 to 10) from 2 villages in the Oke Pon village tract. Part of the refurbishment will cover the construction of a new school building, with three classrooms furnished with desks and chairs for teachers and students along with two new latrines and a water purification system. These improvements will not only impact the lives and outcomes for the students, but the whole community will be positively affected by the project.  

You can read more about the project here. 

The Coffee: Vista Al Bosque, Guatemala

I've chosen Guatemalan Vista Al Bosque, as I've got a feeling it will be a real money maker for my cause - it's so delicious. 

When we have team meetings, we usually whip around the table and share which coffee we think is really a stand out at the moment, and Vista just keeps on coming up! 

You can expect peach & nectarine flavours, sticky nougat mouthfeel, & a lingering smooth finish.


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For A Common Cause: Ending the illegal trade of Pangolins

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

For a Common Cause 

We are excited to launch “For a Common Cause” this month, our way of giving back to local communities and regional causes. Every month a member of the CMCR team nominates both a coffee and a cause close to their heart, with $2 from every 250g bag of that coffee donated to the chosen cause.


March 2019

Chosen By: Sarah Rouse, Brand Manager 

The Cause: TRAFFIC organisation, TRAFFIC in support of ending the illegal trade of Pangolins.

Pangolins are scaly little mammals that live in parts of Asia and Africa. The word Pangolin actually comes from the Malay word - ‘penggulung,’ which means roller – the action a pangolin takes in self-defense. When threatened they curl up into a ball and rely on their virtually impenetrable armour for protection against predators, which for most of the worlds history, meant that they were pretty indestructible, until humans came along.

Poaching for illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss have made these incredible creatures one of the most endangered groups of mammals in the world, with one Pangolin being snatched every 5 minutes.    

These little guys are hunted for a rampant illegal international trade in scales, skins, and meat to be used as food, decoration and traditional medicine. There is high demand for nearly all of their body parts, particularly from China. The large-scale illegal trade in Asian pangolins is drastically driving down their numbers throughout Southeast Asia. Pangolins are believed to be the most trafficked mammal in the world, with rapid loss and deterioration of available habitat places added pressure on the dwindling numbers of remaining pangolins.

TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organisation working exclusively on wildlife trade in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. When it comes to Pangolins, Traffic is helping local enforcement agencies fight back and take legal action against traffickers, they are also working with local partners in the field to educate communities and are undertaking advocacy and awareness initiatives which assist in fostering behavioral change to reduce consumer demands, all done with the goal to protect threatened pangolins, and keep them in the wild!

You can see more here:

The Coffee: Ardi Sidama, Ethiopia 

I've chosen Ardi, from Ethiopia, as I thought it made sense to pick an origin where Pangolins are found in the wild. Whilst their numbers are threatened, the Temminck’s ground pangolin can be found in the region. 

At the same time, Ardi is one of our most loved single origins, so if you haven't already given it a try, here is a good reason to! 

Besides the good feels, you will experience a naturally processed coffee with tasting notes of mixed berries & ripe orange, jammy texture with a lingering dark chocolate finish.




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Going Green For a Common Cause

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

We're Going Green for a Common Cause!

Over the course of the past twelve months or so, you may have noticed us making a few changes to our business in order to be more environmentally friendly.

We see this as the first steps down a long road, making CMCR an environmentally sustainable and responsible business, and an active member of its community.

This is important to us, not only because we believe in making a positive impact on the world, but because we believe that without businesses playing their role and making serious, long-term changes, the challenge of reversing the effects of climate change and humanity’s effect on wild-life and ecosystems becomes that much harder. We recognise that if the trends continue, climate change will have an increasingly detrimental effect on our daily lives and that this is particularly relevant to the industry and product we love so much – specialty coffee is most certainly threatened by changes to the environment.  

We hope that you will join us in our efforts towards Going Green for a Common Cause.

Steps we have taken so far: 

At the Cafes

 - Elimination of Plastic Straws and Signing the WWF Pledge

We’ve been using metal straws in our cafes for around 12 months now, but we’ve recently solidified our commitment, participating the World Wildlife Fund’s No Plastic in Nature industry roundtable discussion, and becoming a signatory to their No Plastic Straw Pledge.

- Plastic Free Take-away Packaging

Where possible we use recycled cardboard containers for our take-way packaging, and partner with Cloversoft to use sustainable bamboo fibre napkins. 

 - Recycling our Coffee Grounds with A1 Environment

We have begun recycle our spent coffee grounds, an average of 200kgs of waste a week, which will now be composted by A1 Environment, and used for organic farming. 

- Discounts for Reusable Cups

We offer a 10% discount to customers using their own cup for take-away beverages, and we have also started selling Sol Cups at our cafes.   

- Partnership with DrinkTapSG

We are proud to be partnering with a new initiative, Drink Tap SG, whereby we will happily allow anyone to refill their water bottles at the cafés, discouraging the need for single-use plastic water bottles.

- Sustainable Uniforms

Over the past 12 months we’ve worked with awesome local companies like Matter Prints and Etrican for our staff uniforms. Both of these companies pride themselves on ethical, slow fashion.


At the Roastery

- Direct Containers

We have been working with our partners at origin to bring over more direct containers of green beans, straight to us from the source, which lessens the freight and carbon footprint of our coffee. This has also enabled us to increase the amount of coffee we source from small holder farmers, allowing us to have even greater traceability and showcase their hard work and efforts, which encourages these farmers to continue with their specialty coffee crops rather than switching to less-sustainable cash-crops. 

- Trees for Kibira

in 2018  have partnered with the Long Miles Coffee Project and Five Senses Coffee on Trees for Kibira, a reforestation project with the aim of planting 15,000 seedling trees in Burundi's Kibira Forest. This will renew life to the region, and with the support of a Forest Scouts programme, empower the community with the skills to care for Kibira for generations to come. Read more about it here. 

- E-commerce

We’ve made a commitment to make our e-commerce orders plastic free wherever possible, and have worked on streamlining our delivery process to make it as effective as possible.

- Recycling

At the roastery we recycle all of our delivery boxes many times over, our grain pro bags are used as rubbish bags and our jute bean bags are collected and recycled by a friendly uncle!

- For a Common Cause 

We are excited to launch “For a Common Cause” this month; our way of giving back to local communities and regional causes. Every month a member of the CMCR team nominates both a coffee and a cause close to their heart, with $2 from every 250g bag of that coffee donated to the chosen cause. 


Targets to reach by 2020:

  • Elimination of any remaining plastic takeaway packaging and switching our disposable cups to a biodegradable option.
  • Switching to biodegradable coffee packaging. This will need to be done in stages, as we want to do it responsibly and run down our existing stocks, but you will see a change soon with our Uncommon packaging.
  • Conduct full Environmental Impact audit of our wholesale operation.
  • Carbon offset. We aim to calculate and offset our carbon footprint by 2020.


Things you can do:

Support for a Common Cause

Shop (and eat!) locally grown produce with the Citizen Farm Box

Join the next clean up held by the Singapore Trash Hero’s

Follow BYO Singapore & Zero Waste SG for tips on reducing your waste

Do your weekly shop at Unpackt 


Any ideas on what else we can do- email us


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All Things Festive at CMCR! 🎅🎁🎄

Posted by Sarah Rouse on

We've embraced the Christmas spirit this year and thought we'd spread the cheer with you! 
First up, an UnCommon X’mas blend, something special we’ve created for the festive season, combining the freshest of our UnCommon origins to create this uniquely jolly blend!
60% Wamuguma, Kenya and 40% Gensinkerai, India, presents gingerbread sweetness, acidity of hawthorn berry and a fresh herb finish.
We’re currently pouring it as Nitro Cold Brew, garnished with a little dark chocolate coated cranberry and candied ginger at CMCR Martin Road, Common Man Stan and Common Man KL.
In case cold brew's not your thing, we've also given our Nitro Iced Tea a seasonal makeover...
Brewed from Gryphon Strawberries & Cream tea, we’ve added a little South West Honey and a healthy dose of cream to create this fruity treat. Give it a try and let us know what you think!  
You can also get brewing yourself, or give the gift of coffee with this cracking Christmas gift sets we've put together:
Shop in Singapore. 
Shop in Malaysia. 
For those in Malaysia, Christmas has well and truly arrived at CMCR KL, with this awesome collaboration with Naiise!  
Naiise is a brand we align with in so many different ways, the business began in Singapore, in 2013 (just like Common Man Coffee Roasters) with the goal to make design accessible; and better people's lives with it. This ties so closely to our aim of making specialty coffee accessible and enjoyable for all!
To celebrate the festive season, Naiise Malaysia have installed some of their wonderful bits and pieces in to the walkway of our cafe for you to check out!And the very best part of this whole thing? Spend RM30 or above with us, and we'll pass you a voucher with a discount code for you to shop online with Naiise!
And last but not least, a little cheer has gone up on the walls thanks to Floral Garage for creating these customised wreaths for us! 
Merry Christmas from everyone at CMCR, happy holidays and we hope to see you soon! 
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Planting Progress: Trees for Kibira

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

An Update from Burundi:

Starting to Sow the Seeds of Trees For Kibira! 

We say it often but traceability and sustainability runs at the core of CMCR’s business particularly when it comes to sourcing our coffee. This year we took a new step to building a meaningful and lasting relationship with one of our origins by partnering with the Long Miles Coffee Project (LMCP) to support their reforestation project, Trees for Kibira.

common man coffee roasters trees for kibira long miles coffee project

The Project
The aim is to establish a new green belt to wrap around and through the coffee producing communities of the Kayanza region. This will help build soil health and bolster the existing microclimates against raising temperatures as well as give much needed shade to the farmers and coffee growers that call this region home.

common man coffee roasters trees for kibira long miles coffee project
How are we doing this?
The vision is to expand and renew life to the Kibira Forest by planting new seedlings and investing in the community to manage and protect the forest for years to come. This is not a short term project, it will run for at least 30 years and in reality it’s an investment in a community for a lifetime.
What’s been happening?
CMCR kicked off the project in May 2018 with a series of events across Singapore and Malaysia. The biggest event was our coffee day on 12th May on which we managed to raise $13,148.50!
We’d like to thank our amazing café partners who made the day possible in both Singapore and Malaysia - The Lokal, The Glasshouse, Whisk, Room 203, China House Penang and Milligram Coffee as well as our own cafes.
Five Senses Australia (FSA) followed up with their own coffee day across Australia which saw them raise AUD$9,140 with the support of Howdy Coffee, Hush Specialty Coffee, Three Bags Full, Touchwood, West Juliett, Regiment, Drummer Boy Cafe, Whistle & Flute & Bunker Coffee.
In June, the CMCR team met up with FSA and LMCP project in Burundi to learn a little more about the project, the community we are supporting and of course the coffee that this is all ultimately about. It was quite a bumpy road (literally) heading upcountry to see the Kibira forest but it’s amazing to see first hand the 1,360 seedlings that had been quietly growing in the nursery and the site of the project itself. It was also very encouraging to speak to the communities and rangers that live and work in this forest to hear what it means to them and how our contribution can help affect change in their lives.

common man coffee roasters long miles coffee project trees for kibira
On 27th September the project was officially launched with the appointing of Matthew Gates as Trees for Kibira Project Manager by LMPC.

common man coffee roasters long miles coffee project trees for kibira

Bringing with him a wealth of agro-forestry knowledge, Matthew pushed the project forward to the next stage with the planting of 60,000 seedling, including 150 indigenous cashew trees. These seedlings are now happily living in their germoirs awaiting the next stage of their exciting journey!

common man coffee roasters trees for kibira long miles coffee project
On 2nd November, the first tree was planted at the farm! LMCP’s team then spent the rest of November contouring and terracing the model farms on Nkonge and Gitwe, as well as using their network of ‘Farmer Friends’ to discuss tree planting strategies and design a community programme going forward. Soon 60,000 trees will have a home in fields and spaces in between the edge of the Kibira Forest and Heza washing station with a new network of ‘Farmer Friends’ emerging.

The plan is to building on this next year with the launch of a 'Forest Scout' programme alongside LMCP’s Coffee Scout programme with a team who are dedicated to the reforestation project.

common man coffee roasters trees for kibira long miles coffee project
It’s very exciting for us at CMCR to hear of the work that is being done in Burundi to ensure that this dynamic region continues to thrive, and selfishly(!), provide us with some of the most delicious coffee of 2018 – we’re looking at you Nkonge Hill! We’re looking forward to working with LMCP for years to come and sharing the stories of this amazing project with you as we aim to invest in not only great coffee but good people too!

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